Rum Boogie Cafe's Blues Hall features live music every night of the week. The venue itself isn't the most glamorous, but the talent is undeniable. The resident performers, Dr. Feelgood Potts and his band play Friday through Monday. It's located next to the Rum Boogie Cafe, which is known for its delicious Cajun and barbecue dishes. Make a night of it and visit this venue for some great blues.
Take a trip back in time at Blind Bear, a speakeasy-style bar in downtown Memphis. Classic cocktails like the Moscow Mule, Manhattan, and Cosmopolitan are featured in the drinks menu. However, the bar snacks have as much draw as the drinks. Try the chicken sandwich, turkey burger, or white cheddar mac and cheese. There's an outdoor patio that's great for people watching, while the interior is decorated in dark hues and dimly lit. The bartenders add to the festive atmosphere by dressing in costumes from the roaring '20s.
Take a cue from the sign outside and enjoy a Guinness at Celtic Crossing. A traditional menu of pub food like Irish beef stew, fish and chips, and shepherd's pie is made even better by weekly specials. Traditional Irish music played by local musicians can be heard several times per month, and trivia night is always popular. When they don't have live music, you might catch great local DJs providing the musical entertainment for the evening. Check the website for information on music and events.
Enjoy great beer, food, and blues music at King's Palace Cafe's Tap Room on Memphis' ever-bustling Beale Street. This bar is open late, serving hungry and thirsty patrons until 5a. Great prices and friendly service get this place a lot of return business. The wings are a must-try if you're ordering food. If you don't have time to stop in for a drink, don't worry: you can get one to go from the walk-up window facing the street.
This hot spot used to be a pharmacy, was also rumored to be a brothel upstairs. Now Earnestine and Hazel's is leading the revival of the South Main area. Music and the jukebox (rumored to be driven by ghosts) at the bar bring in the late-night crowds and the famous soul burgers keep them satiated as they listen. Weekend nights feature a piano bar upstairs early in the evening, R&B or jazz later and, often, late night jam sessions with local musicians. The clientèle changes as the evening goes on, with the action really starting around midnight. On Sunday afternoons, there is live music from a variety of local groups. Ghost tours of the haunted rooms upstairs draw curious thrill seekers.
If you want to venture away from the usual tourist spots in Memphis to hear some live music, Wild Bill's is a great option. While it's a bit out of the way, the lively atmosphere, cheap drinks, and unbelievable talent will make you glad you made the trek. When the music starts playing, people are get up and start dancing. So don't be shy, and join in!
Bardog Tavern has a great selection of beer on tap, but it's best known for its tasty bar menu. Start with the seared Ahi wontons, for something savory to share. Sandwiches like the "Amazing" Island Club are popular: this filling sandwich is made with grilled chicken, a fried egg, ham, bacon, white American cheese, provolone, avocado, lettuce, spicy mayo, onion, and tomato. Friendly bartenders will be able to recommend their tastiest shots. Come in for brunch on the weekend and get a taste of specials like the lobster sandwich, mimosas, and screwdrivers.
King's Palace Cafe's Absinthe Room has the advantage of being located on Memphis' busy Beale Street, but removed from much of the commotion outside by being located on the second floor. A sign will guide you up the stairs where you'll find pool games going on in three different rooms and people lounging on couches enjoying drinks.