The new-to-Memphis Zebra Lounge
fits — forgive me — squarely into Overton Square, providing a new option for bar-hoppers in the area.
The original Zebra Lounge opened in Chicago in 1929. The Memphis location is just its second, chosen, the owners said, for city’s musical legacy.
The atmosphere alone might be enticing enough for some. The decor is modern chic — black, white, and red all over.
The main event isn’t the look of the place, however; it’s a piano where performers crank out covers of requested songs taken throughout the night in front of a huge zebra mirror/mural. The seating immediately around it almost looks like a sushi bar with the performer as a chef and whatever they decide to cook up is the chef's special.
Prices for cocktails are right in line for the area: a whiskey sour settled at $7, while my companion's Guinness cost $5.50.
The crowd was thick and loud during our visit (it was Saturday night, after all), dancing to the pop music overhead. It wasn't until a performer sat behind the piano and began to play that the professional-type crowd quieted and then cheered. Classics by Elton John and Billy Joel were to be expected, but one performer belted pop favorites by Queen and Lady Gaga.
The Zebra Lounge is located in the old Le Chardonnay space near Babalu and Sweet Noshings.