Expert Tips


Best Nightlife in Greenville

These 10 hot spots make for a great night out in Greenville

There was a time when the matter of “What do you want to do tonight?” was a pretty finite list of things with a limited number of options. Today, the question is more along the lines of “How much do you want to do tonight or even the weekend as a whole?” This is because there is so much to do that you just want to indulge in as much of it as possible. Want to soak in some rooftop views with your evening cocktails? Check out Up on the Roof or the still relatively new Juniper.  How about a dance party with your friends? Abanico and Blue Martini have you covered. There’s even a place where you can eat, drink, and throw axes… Seriously, that’s a thing now.

Whatever tickles your fancy, a night out with friends or your special someone presents a whole world of options that are yours for the taking. There are far more places to enjoy a night out than we can include here but this is a great place to start – The 10Best Upstate destinations for nightlife.


Whether we like to admit it or not, sometimes the most primal activities are the most satisfying. The social constructs of 2019 may have a different opinion... right up until you feel the softwood of the axe leave your hand and watch the cold steel on the other end bury itself deep into the target in front of you. The craft brew from Birds Fly South immediately becomes more satisfying, as does the bond with those around you. If you feel an urge to grunt, that is just fine provided you do not stray from the rules of the contract requiring you to only throw the axe at the designated target. Seriously, this is an honest-to-goodness fun time that can be enjoyed with friends, partners, or anyone looking for a great night of unique stress relief.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: It is the newest and most innovative social activity to hit Greenville.

Brett's expert tip: It's a great first date for the ladies because if a man cannot competently throw an axe, it might be an indicator of his prowess at changing tires and other essential skills he should possess.

Read more about Craft Axe Throwing →

Downstairs at Abanico, you will find some great Spanish-style tapas that is perfect for date night dining with a loved one. If you are really looking to get loose on night on the town, one only needs to venture upstairs where DJs lay down a healthy dose of international flavor all weekend long. The two halves of the business do a great job of working independently of each other so you can dine without being overwhelmed by a dance party or get your boogie on without encroaching on diners on a quiet date night. Whichever evening you are looking for, Abanico has you covered.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: DJ dance parties all weekend long make Abanico the perfect place to make the most of your night on the town.

Brett's expert tip: On the weekends, you can stay downstairs for some quality Spanish-style tapas or venture upstairs for a dance party that goes all night long.

Read more about Abanico Tapas Bar →

If you are a craft beer lover in Downtown Greenville, Barley's is where you want to start your evening (and perhaps never leave). Let's start with the fact that there are more than 30 taps flowing both upstairs and downstairs, each with its own unique beer selections. Throw in a great pizza menu on the main floor and pool tables and dartboards upstairs and there is really not much more you can ask for. If you really want to dial up the experience, check out Barley's Reserve List where you can indulge in some truly spectacular and rare bottle offerings you will not find anywhere else.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: With the biggest draft beer selection in town, great food, and pool tables upstairs, Barley's has it all for a great night out on the town.

Brett's expert tip: Ask your bartender or server what they recommend as they are all well versed in the ever-changing draft selection.

Read more about Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria →


WXYZ Bar, located inside the Aloft Greenville Downtown, serves up great views of Downtown in a beautifully designed space. Not only do they offer a nice selection of wines, beer, and craft cocktails, they've also carved out a corner for live music. Patrons can enjoy the spun tunes of a DJ, or perhaps acoustic melodies of a local artist while sipping a martini. WXYZ also has an expansive menu that offers small bites like antipasto skewers, as well as larger bites like fish tacos or their signature burger. The hotel also offers a dog adoption program where you can enjoy a puppy's love at the bar or give one a home for the night in your hotel room. WXYZ may be a hotel bar geared towards travelers, but it's a favorite haunt for locals as well.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: If there is a bar in Downtown Greenville that begs for the use of the adjective "swank," this is the one.

Maggie's expert tip: You'll be doing yourself a favor if you order the Dark Corner Whiskey Cake from the dessert menu. It's crafted from whiskey made at the local Dark Corner Distillery.

Read more about W XYZ Bar →

The Alchemy Comedy Theater has been making Greenville laugh since 2011, showcasing its skills through the city's only weekly improv shows, as well as sketch comedy and stand-up. In a great display of local talent, there are plenty of opportunities to catch this group in the act with both early and late shows occurring on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. These uproarious events take place in the back of a favorite downtown haunt, Coffee Underground, and tickets can be purchased online or at the door. For those that want to do more than enjoy the show, Alchemy Comedy Theory also offers improv classes for the general public so you can develop some comedic skills of your very own.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: For an evening of comedy, you never know what to expect from the Alchemy Comedy troupe.

Maggie's expert tip: Coffee Underground has a stage near the back of the cafe, so you'll walk through the cafe itself before you get to the theater doors.

Read more about Alchemy Comedy →

West Greenville
Bar Margaret

If a night on the town is specifically defined by a darn good cocktail, Bar Margaret should be at the top of your list. These are craft cocktails at their finest and, just to keep you on your toes, the menu changes daily (with the exception of the cOla Fashioned). Speaking of the cOla Fashioned, you might never order an Ol' Fashioned again in your life anywhere else. Since man cannot survive on cocktails alone, Bar Margaret's beer and wine selection are on point, as is the food coming out of the kitchen. All of this is going down in the Village of West Greenville so you can make a whole night of things exploring the bustling neighborhood's food and drink options. Even better, go down on First Friday and mix a few art galleries into the experience.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Bar Margaret brings some exceptionally tasty and original cocktails to The Village of West Greenville.

Brett's expert tip: With the exception of the cOla Fashioned, the cocktail menu changes almost nightly.

Read more about Bar Margaret →

Blu Martini
Photo courtesy of Blu Martini

A good night on the town often involves some quality time on the dance floor and for that, there is no better place to get down than Blu Martini. The basement dance venue resides under Sushi Go and kicks out the jams every Thursday through Saturday evening. Blu Martini sports a full bar with great cocktails, beer, and bubbly and the dance floor is just the right size for an evening of partying into the wee hours with friends. The party lasts until 2 am, just as any good nightclub should before you wrap up the evening or head just a few blocks up Main St. for the obligatory late-night Waffle House experience.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: If you are looking to dance the night away in Downtown Greenville, this is the place to do it.

Brett's expert tip: Check the calendar because theme nights are a regular thing and nobody wants to show up to a pajama party overdressed.

Read more about Blu Martini →


One of the newest additions to Downtown Greenville is Juniper, a posh rooftop restaurant and bar located right on S. Main St., atop the new AC Hotel. The garden-themed atmosphere is the perfect place to enjoy a few cocktails with friends or a romantic date night on the town. As juniper (the plant) is the botanical found in all gins distilled on earth, you will find a gin heavy cocktail menu offering the likes of the 75 & Basic (fall spiced gin, lemon cordial, cava) or the Not-A-Latte (Tanqueray Sevilla gin, st. Elizabeth allspice dram, buffalo trace bourbon cream, pumpkin syrup), just to name a few. A full selection of other spirits, wine, and beer is also available, of course, as is an extensive dinner menu for those out for a total dining experience.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The newest rooftop restaurant on the scene is serving up some great cocktails with views from the middle of Downtown Greenville.

Brett's expert tip: Walk-in seating is extremely limited and reservations are booked a month out, so plan way ahead.

Read more about Juniper →

North Main
The Radio Room
Photo courtesy of The Radio Room

The Radio Room is the type of place that would see the term "dive bar" as a little too highfalutin for its tastes. That being said, at least their current location on Poinsett Highway has windows and ceilings higher than your basement's, things the original location on Pleasantburg Drive lacked. More importantly, the thing they have always had is live music at least four or five nights a week and as an eclectic lineup, as you will find anywhere. You are as likely to find a quiet, folky, singer/songwriter on the marquee as you are to find a face-melting hardcore punk or metal band. Most of the featured acts are regional and nationally touring artists grinding out life on the road from one dive to the next, making their performances all the more honest and satisfying night after night.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Live, original music flows regularly out of this listening room, making this an ideal destination for music lovers on a night out on the town.

Brett's expert tip: Don't worry about the tiny parking lot, the Dollar General has plenty next door.

Read more about The Radio Room →

There is something about gazing upon a city skyline with a tasty beverage in your hand that just makes one feel as if all is right in the world. I have reached that conclusion through exhaustive research at Up on the Roof, Downtown Greenville's tallest rooftop bar. Located atop the Embassy Suites, Up on the Roof offers spectacular views of Greenville's skyline both indoors and out. It is just steps away from Main St. and the Peace Center making it an incredibly accessible destination whenever you are Downtown. The cocktails are well made, the craft beer selection is formidable, and the food, be it snacks or entrees, have yet to disappoint.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Greenville's tallest rooftop bar offers unparalleled views of the city's skyline.

Brett's expert tip: From the parking garage, it is a bit of a maze. Enter through the automatic sliding doors at street level but you have to get to the second-floor lobby to catch the elevators that go to the rooftop.

Read more about UP on the Roof →


Meet Brett Barest

Brett Barest is a freelance writer in Greenville, South Carolina that has watched the city grow from cow pastures and boarded up buildings to the tourist destination it has become today. He...  More About Brett