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 grab a craft brew with friends? Check out The Community Tap or Barley’s.  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 soft wood 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 about his prowess at changing tires and other essential skills he should possess.

Read more about Craft Axe Throwing →

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 their own unique beer selections. Throw in a great pizza menu on the main floor and pool tables and dart boards 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 on 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 their 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

It appeared as if a void was going to be left on a corner of Pendleton St. in The Village of West Greenville when The Village Grind moved into their own space and GB&D moved into The Commons. Thankfully, the owner of GB&D introduced a new concept in the form of Bar Margaret which focuses on really creative cocktails and lighter fare. The originality begins with a carefully curated, unmatching assortment of glassware that is filled with some of the most unique cocktails in town. Start with the cOla Fashioned as it is the only consistent cocktail on the menu and look forward to delicious new other creations every time you visit.

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 then 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 night club 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 →

Café and Then Some
Photo courtesy of Cafe & Then Some

Café & Then Some has been delighting Greenville audiences with great meals and poignant social commentary since 1978. Your evening begins with a full-service menu featuring everything from duck wing drummettes to fresh mountain trout and aged black Angus NY strip steak. The following show features a seasoned cast of characters mocking everything from the local political scene to issues affecting the world stage (like how to properly communicate with Alexa). Shows run every Wednesday through Saturday evenings with each performance available for a few month production run. Also, keep an eye out for special events such as one-off Sunday brunch productions.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Café & Then Some is one of Downtown Greenville's longest operating night spots.

Brett's expert tip: The Richardson St. garage is the closest one to Café & Then Some and is free every Friday and Saturday.

Read more about Café and Then Some →

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 dance party that goes all night long.

Read more about Abanico Tapas Bar →

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 →

Wade Hampton

If you want the best selection of craft beer and wine in the Upstate – and the friendliest place to consume it – look no further than The Community Tap. They have 20 beers on tap and more than a dozen wines all pouring as we speak, meaning the only problem is deciding where to start. The staff is well versed on all of the options and is happy to help no matter how much or how little you know about craft beer and wine. Food trucks are regularly found on the scene meaning you can enjoy a meal and a couple of cold ones for the perfect way to unwind after a long day at the office.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Community Tap set the standard for Upstate craft beer and wine establishments.

Brett's expert tip: If you're going on Friday, get there early if you want to find a parking spot. Like "lunchtime" early.

Read more about The Community Tap →


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