B.B. King's Blues Club as the name would suggest is owned by legendary blues musician B.B. King and features some of the best blues music in Memphis. From the regular appearances of Ruby Wilson - who can belt out a tune and entertain a crowd as well as anyone - to the special concerts by groups such as Booker T, this club consistently delights visitors and locals alike. There is a menu of ribs, barbecue and other entrees, as well as snack items, but most people come here for the music, not the food. The dance floor rocks every night of the week. Reservations are required for special concerts.
This bar has wrap-around windows that let you see the dancers bopping and jiving from the outside, or watch the street scene on Beale from the inside. Autographed guitars hang from the ceiling, offering proof that musicians such as Carl Perkins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Walsh and others have hung out here. The house act, James Govan and the Boogie Blues Band, performs at Rum Boogie Café when there isn't a visiting artist. The kitchen serves several dinner and snack items, but the Rum Boogie is famous for its red beans and rice.
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.
This locally owned steakhouse offers some of the best prime rib and seafood in Memphis and also features a large selection of fine wines. Top a steak with smothered onions or blue cheese, or select from a variety of vegetables including fresh asparagus and sauteed spinach. Appetizers include fried dill pickles, mushrooms stuffed with lump crab meat and several other choices. As for dessert, the Famous Folk's Folly Freeze is a good choice and comes served with your favorite liqueur. The atmosphere at Folk's Folly is simple and comfortable. A pianist plays Monday through Saturday in the cocktail lounge adjacent to the dining room. Rooms are available for private parties and can comfortably accommodate 70.
The burgers are definitely big and juicy, but many customers are drawn by the deep fried onion rings and mushrooms, the live music on Sunday afternoons, and the late evening hours. If you are looking for something besides burgers, try the tamales with chili, cheddar cheese, and onion, the chicken or steak on a stick, or the fried mushrooms. There is a full bar, where beer is a specialty.The atmosphere is casual, with a couple of gimmicks. Customers are encouraged to write graffiti on the walls (and to read it, of course), and to shoot toothpicks through straws so they stick in the ceiling. Lunchtime draws area office workers.
The food here is designed to complement the beer. Appetizers include the beer cheese soup, hot tamales, sausage quesadillas, and sausage and cheese plates. Sandwiches make up most of the main dishes. One of the rooms contains a large bar and wooden tables and chairs, and the other room has pool tables and a sports bar atmosphere. The most popular place to eat and drink is on the wrap-around patio at the windows. Cigar smoking is encouraged on the patio, and the restaurant offers a cigar list. The restaurant features live music on weekends and is in the heart of the tourist district, so there are usually plenty of chances for people-watching.
Home to both Sun Records and Stax Records, Memphis has always been foremost in finding talent, and the rollicking live music scene is still kicking hard today. Maybe that's why Memphis is mentioned in more songs than just about any other city. So if you're out "Walking In Memphis," just do the electric slide or "Memphis Boogie" right on into the Hard Rock Cafe Memphis and let them ease you into "Memphis Bliss." Their historic building has done time as a recording studio and a saloon, plus the restaurant has an electrifying menu that will make you stomp and shout.
King's Palace Cafe is a great place on Beale in which to have a pre-blues club dinner or a late night bowl of chili. The gumbo has won many local awards, but some people may find it overly spicy. Other Cajun dishes are well done, especially the shrimp and crayfish etouffee, while the barbecue ribs are tender and meaty. Inside the restaurant, bare wood floors contrast with the velvet wall coverings. The brick walls and pressed-tin ceiling make for a fairly high noise level. A back room, separated from the main dining room only by some pillars, features live bands on weekends. Both the crowd and the service are casual.
The atmosphere at this diner-style café is so authentic that the place was used virtually unchanged in "The Firm", the Tom Cruise movie about a Memphis law firm. Bill Clinton is also fond of the Blues City Cafe. The décor is intentionally weathered, with corrugated iron and glass blocks. Diner-style seating offers a great view of the crowds on Beale. The best bet on the menu is that Memphis staple—barbeque. You can watch big slabs of ribs being turned on the grill while you drink a cold beer. The prices are slightly elevated because of the restaurant's historic location, but you can still eat for a reasonable price.
This club features vintage rock on the weekends, often with Memphis favorite Kevin Paige as the star, On weeknights, catch up-and-coming musicians at Alfred's. The menu features ribs and barbecue pork along with steaks and chicken dishes. The lunch plate special offers the day's meat choice and three vegetables. There is also a full bar, with wine and beer. A large double-decker outdoor patio gives you a great view of the strollers on Beale Street while you dine or have a drink.