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Best of Memphis 2015: Nightlife



Sections: Introduction | Food & Drink | Nightlife | Arts & Entertainment | Media | Goods & Services | Staff Picks

Levitt Shell
  • Levitt Shell

Best Place to See Live Music

1. Levitt Shell

2. Lafayette's Music Room

3. Minglewood Hall

Devil Stick Guy. Dancing Kid. Midtown Hipster. Germantown Mom. They all go to the Shell. Why? Quality acts with a range of styles. Blankets. Beer. Buddies. All under the open sky. What's not to like?

Best Band

1. North Mississippi Allstars

2. Dead Soldiers — tie — Star & Micey

3. Lucero

More than any act, the North Mississippi Allstars keep our region's music in the national spotlight. The band is still rollin' and tumblin' with new projects and keeping the hill country blues alive and well.

North Mississippi Allstars
  • North Mississippi Allstars

Best Singer

1. Amy LaVere

2. Alexis Grace

3. Joyce Cobb — tie — Yo Gotti

Amy LaVere lives in Memphis, but the highway is her home. She tours relentlessly across the U.S., but last year she took time to record Hallelujah I'm a Dreamer with her husband and guitarist, Will Sexton. The record was released in April. Described as a "sonic portrait," the record captures the couple's live shows.

Best Comedian


Ambrose Jones

Josh McLane

Katrina Coleman

Mo Alexander

This one was too close to call, but the folks listed above are among Memphis' most gifted funny-bone ticklers.

Best Comedy Venue

1. Chuckles Comedy House

2. P & H Café

3. Hi-Tone

Chuckles Comedy House sought to lead the charge in a stand-up rebirth here when they opened last year. The club now brings a laudable mix of up-and-coming comedians, like Ambrose Jones, underground comics like Doo Doo Brown, and undisputed superstars like Marlon Wayans, Damon Wayans, and Carlos Mencia.

Best Karaoke

1. Windjammer Restaurant & Lounge

2. P & H Café

3. The Blue Monkey

Whether you're crooning "Summer Love" with your bestie or croaking out "Sweet Child O' Mine," this classic East Memphis joint is the place to be.

Earnestine & Hazel's
  • Earnestine & Hazel's

Best Hole-in-the-Wall

1. Earnestine & Hazel's

2. Alex's Tavern

3. The Cove — tie — P&H Café

Best Jukebox

1. Earnestine & Hazel's

2. Alex's Tavern

3. Young Avenue Deli

This is Memphis, so the competition for best cozy bar was fierce, but the haunted vibe in South Main's landmark beer joint won the day. And E & H's monster jukebox, thick with soul and R&B, draws drinkers to the dinky dance floor on the regular.

Best College Hangout

1. RP Tracks Restaurant and Bar

2. Alex's Tavern — tieCeltic Crossing

3. Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

After years as a BOM bridesmaid, this University of Memphis-area institution ascended to the top spot, perhaps on the strength of the magic they work with barbecue and tofu.

Best After-Hours Club

1. Paula & Raiford's Disco

2. Alex's Tavern

3. Earnestine & Hazel's

Best Dance Club

1. Paula & Raiford's Disco

2. Club 152 on Beale

3. Rumba Room

Just imagine what downtown would be if Paula Raiford hadn't taken up the reins of this dance palace when her father retired. And "No Discrimination!" has to be the best business motto in the city.

Best Pick-up Joint

1. Peabody Rooftop

2. Paula & Raiford's Disco

3. Celtic Crossingtie — Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

Less of a "joint" and more of an "international landmark," the weekly rooftop parties in the summer are the hands-down favorites of Flyer-reading singles looking to hook up.

Best Margarita

1. Molly's La Casita

2. Babalu Tacos & Tapas

3. Las Delicias

There was a time when Molly's was the ONLY place to get a decent 'rita in Midtown. Now there's competition, but it's still the best place to shake off a stressful Monday.

Best Artisanal Cocktails

BOM 1. Alchemy

2. Hog & Hominy

3. Beauty Shop — tie — The Cove — tie — Peabody Lobby Bar

This Cooper-Young restaurant is built around a huge central bar, and the concept of bringing innovative cocktails to the masses is clearly a big hit with our readers. Bonus points for having an original drink called Tequila Mockingbird.

Best Happy Hour



Bardog Tavern

The Blue Monkey

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium


Slider Inn

The only conclusion we can draw from this too-close-to-call category is that Midtown and downtown are the happiest places to be at 5 p.m.

Best Sports Bar

1. Fox & Hound Sports Tavern

2. Rec Room

3. Buffalo Wild Wings

Now that football season is in full swing and basketball season isn't far behind, fans will be flocking to the Fox & Hound to get their game on with an extensive beer selection and heavenly nachos.

Best Gay Bar

1. The Pumping Station

2. Dru's Place

3. Spectrum Memphis

Is there a more evocatively named business in Memphis than this Midtown institution? It's been a center of Memphis' thriving LGBT community for 14 years and still going strong.

Best Bartender


Brian Davis, Huey's

Dan Taylor, The Pumping Station

David Parks, Alchemy

Evan Potts, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen

Matt Lilly, Local

Vincent Hale, Bari Ristorante

Wisecracking friend. Priest confessor. Alchemist. Bouncer. The bartender, kings and queens of the watering hole, is all of those things, and we join our readers in saluting these guys at the top of their game. Shake their hands, be respectful, and tip generously!

Lafayette's Music Room
  • Lafayette's Music Room

Best New Bar

1. Lafayette's Music Room

2. Rec Room

3. Memphis Made Taproom — tie — Schweinehaus

Lafayette's Music Room isn't only one of the best places to see live music every night of the week, it's also the best new bar in Memphis. From hard rock to bluegrass, Lafayette's serves up great local, regional, and national bands daily, in addition to an impressive beverage selection.

Best Bar



Bardog Tavern

Lafayette's Music Room


Let's raise our glasses to all the fine bars in Memphis. From the chic cocktail bar and the music joint to the spot where regulars congregate and the comfy hangout, all are perfect for getting your drink on.


The Best of Memphis 2015

The 2015 Best of Memphis winners gathered to celebrate at the Pipkin Building on Tiger Lane on Wednesday, September 30, 2015. Photos by Don Perry.

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