Special Sections » Best of Memphis

Best of Memphis 2017: Nightlife


Paula & Raiford's Disco - BRANDON DILL
  • Brandon Dill
  • Paula & Raiford's Disco

Best Dance Club

BOM 1. Paula & Raiford's Disco

2. Lafayette's Music Room

3. New Daisy Theatre

Best After-Hours Club

1. Paula & Raiford's Disco

2. Earnestine & Hazel's

3. Alex's Tavern

Flashing strobes, smoke machines, dancing under the disco ball: Nothing, and we mean nothing takes you back in time like a night at Paula & Raiford's. We may have lost our favorite cape-wearing deejay this year (R.I.P. Hollywood Raiford!), but his namesake venue holds a special place in our hearts.

Best Bar

1. Loflin Yard

2. Bardog Tavern

3. Railgarten

Who doesn't want to play cornhole or giant Jenga while throwing a few back with friends? If games aren't your thing, take a seat by the fire pit and sip your favorite brew. Either way, the outdoor, backyard vibe at this fun gathering place is a reader favorite.

Best Bartender

1. Brittany Bloom Leach, Bardog Tavern

2. Allan Creasy, Celtic Crossing

3. David Parks, The Cove

A good bartender is like a good friend. Sometimes they're a listening ear; sometimes they pour a strong drink. And our readers have spoken: When they want a whiskey straight-up, a martini extra dirty, or a plain ol' PBR, Brittany Bloom Leach takes good care of them at Bardog.

Best Beer Selection (in a bar)

1. Flying Saucer

2. Young Avenue Deli

3. Boscos Squared

With more than 100 options and lots of local goodies on tap, the Flying Saucer is a favorite of beer fans. Want a hoppy IPA, a malty brown ale, or a refreshing lager? Look no further; they've got it all.

Best College Hangout

1. RP Tracks

2. Newby's

3. The Bluff

Right across from the U of M campus, RP Tracks is a go-to for both students and professors. With local brews on tap, friendly service, and a killer menu, it's no surprise the joint's been pleasing the college crowd for more than 30 years.

  • Justin Fox Burks
  • RP Tracks

Best Craft Cocktails

1. Alchemy

2. Hog & Hominy

3. The Cove

Best Happy Hour

1. Alchemy

2. Babalu Tapas & Tacos

3. Blue Monkey — tie — Boscos Squared — tie — Brookhaven Pub & Grill

The alchemists behind the bar at Alchemy craft magical concoctions using unique ingredients. Things like chamomile, lavender, and elderflower are mixed with vodka, tequila, or whiskey to elevate cocktail time. Happy hour is pretty darn happy, too, with half-price specials on select drinks and menu items.

  • Justin Fox Burks
  • Railgarten

Best New Bar

1. Railgarten

2. Growlers — tie — Old Dominick Distillery

3. The Bluff

Railgarten is Good Time University. On its campus, you can study ping-pong, paletas, beers, or beach volleyball. Railgarten is first-class fun and first-in-class for Memphis.

Best Date Bar

1. Mollie Fontaine Lounge

2. Lafayette's Music Room

3. Alchemy

With a creative menu and plenty of craft cocktails and wine, the swanky setting at Mollie Fontaine Lounge — in a Victorian mansion! — offers a delightful date night. Go for dinner or a late (late) nightcap, and bring your main squeeze.

Best Gay Bar

1. Dru's Bar

2. Pumping Station

3. Spectrum Memphis

Memphis LGBTQ community knows what they like, and they like Dru's. For friendly bartenders, karaoke, a game of pool or darts, or just some good old-fashioned fun, this is the place.

Best Hole in the Wall

1. Earnestine & Hazel's

2. Alex's Tavern

3. P&H Cafe

Best Jukebox

1. Earnestine & Hazel's

2. Alex's Tavern

3. Young Avenue Deli

"Ragged but right." Walk into Earnestine & Hazel's and you know what that means. It ain't worn out — it's well loved. Fire up the jukebox and grab a beer. Instant Memphis good times.

Best Karaoke

BOM 1. Windjammer Restaurant

2. Dru's Bar

3. P&H Cafe

Windjammer karaoke is more than mic and monitor, song and voice. It's ironic, heartfelt, amazing, and terrible. And every single person there is in on it.

Best Place to See Comedy

1. Chuckle's Comedy House

2. P&H Cafe

3. Minglewood Hall

Bad day? Go to Chuckle's. Looking for something new? Go to Chuckle's. Want to see brand-new emerging talent like Ryan Davis? Or, comedy stars like Mo'Nique? Go to Chuckle's.

Best Place to Shoot Pool

1. Young Avenue Deli

2. HighPockets

3. Fox & Hound

Pool makes for classic bar-sport at the Deli, the classic Midtown bar. No bells, whistles, or wifi needed. And everyone's welcome: kids, couples, newbies, regulars, and pros.

Best Sports Bar

Readers' Choice: Fox & Hound, Rec Room, Bayou Bar and Grill, Max's Sports Bar, Brookhaven Pub & Grill.

Sports and bars are unifiers and dividers. Most can agree they're great, but few can agree on which one's best. And for sports bars? Well, this one was too close for our readers to call (and they're all great).

Best Strip Club

1. Gold Club

2. The Pony

3. Purple Diamond

Here's the Gold Club's recipe: adult beverages, good music, good vibes, and gorgeous ladies. A simple recipe? Yes. A winning recipe? Also, yes.


Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.

Add a comment