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Best of Memphis 2018: Nightlife


  • Justin Fox Burks

Best Bar

1. Railgarten

2. The Cove

3. Alchemy Memphis

In 2018, everybody goes to Railgarten. The primo live music selections and diverse entertainment options (beach volleyball! Ping pong!) have put it on top for the first time. They also make a mean meatloaf.

Best Bartender

1. Dave Parks, the Cove

2. Allan Creasy, Celtic Crossing

3. Vincent Hale, Dodici at Bari

He's the captain of the pirate-themed bar of your dreams, master of the craft cocktail, and pourer of pints. Tip him, and everyone else on our list, well.

Best Beer Selection in a Bar

1. Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

2. Young Avenue Deli

3. Boscos — tie —Lucchesi's Beer Garden

All we're going to say about the Flying Saucer's extensive draught selection is this: They have a beer search engine on their website.

Best College Hangout

1. RP Tracks

2. Railgarten

3. Newby's

If you go to the University of Memphis, or know someone who goes to the University of Memphis, or know a vegan who likes nachos, you've probably been to RP Tracks. It's one of those places that seems eternal, even when it's changing with the times.

  • Justin Fox Burks

Best Dance Club

BOM 1. Paula & Raiford's Disco

2. Lafayette's Music Room

3. Rumba Room

Best After Hours Night Spot

1. Paula & Raiford's Disco

2. Earnestine & Hazel's

3. Alex's Tavern

Best Nightclub

1. Paula & Raiford's Disco

2. Lafayette's Music Room

3. B.B. King's Blues Club

The readers have spoken: Paula Raiford is the queen of Memphis nightlife. Raiford's reign predates the Downtown Memphis revival, making it a true Bluff City original. If you're down for a good time, you know where to go.

  • Justin Fox Burks

Best New Bar

1. Carolina Watershed

2. Atomic Tiki

3. The Gray Canary

Carolina Watershed is a cool space, no doubt about it. Set in grain bins with an enclosed garden-like patio out back. The water features and patio envelope diners in a wave of serenity backed up by an excellent beer selection and menu from chef Andy Knight.

Best date bar

1. Alchemy Memphis

2. Loflin Yard

3. Lafayette's Music Room

Best Happy Hour

1. Alchemy Memphis

2. Bardog Tavern

3. Babalu Tapas & Tacos — tie — The Blue Monkey

Best Craft Cocktails

1. Alchemy Memphis

2. Hog & Hominy

3. Dodici at Bari

Taking the win in three very important categories, Alchemy hits all the right notes for a night out. With a half-price happy hour and creative cocktails like the Memphis Jam, a concoction of Old Dominick Honeybell, fresh lime, cane sugar, and a hint of local jelly, this Cooper-Young spot is a reader favorite.

Best Gay Bar

1. Mollie Fontaine Lounge

2. Dru's Bar

3. The Pumping Station

Memphians love this historic haunt for its late-night DJ sets, perfectly potent cocktails, and eclectic ambience. Pick your poison at the bar and dance the night away until, as they say, the spirits go to sleep.

Best Jukebox

1. Earnestine & Hazel's

2. Alex's Tavern

3. Young Avenue Deli

Best Hole in the Wall

1. Earnestine & Hazel's

2. Alex's Tavern

3. The Cove

Always a good choice, Earnestine & Hazel's Soul Burgers, topped with a perfectly simple mix of mustard and caramelized onions, are known as a middle-of-the-night pick-me-up to usher in a second wind. If the night is without live music, no worries. The E&H jukebox is filled with classics to please even the most persnickety patrons.

Best Karaoke

1. P&H Cafe

2. The Blue Monkey

3. Dru's Bar

When Memphians are ready to grab a mic and belt out their favorite tunes, on key or not, their go-to is the beloved P&H Cafe. Don't stop believin' — their karaoke game is on point, and we'll be there to kill it with our best rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Best Place to See Stand-up

1. Chuckle's Comedy House

2. P&H Cafe

3. Minglewood Hall

Nothing heals the soul like a good, hard laugh. At Chuckle's, comedy is king and our readers enjoy the venue's lineup of nationally renowned acts — and resulting guttural laughs. Fun just got funnier at this Cordova gem.

Best Place to Shoot Pool

1. Young Avenue Deli

2. Highpockets

3. The Absinthe Room

The game is on at Young Avenue Deli, where the pool tables stay racked and packed. A pocket full of quarters and some geometric strategy line your night up for a straight shot across the green. Eight ball, corner pocket!

Best Sports Bar

1. Brookhaven Pub & Grill

2. Celtic Crossing

3. Bayou Bar & Grill

This neighborhood spot, where everybody knows your name, is loved well beyond its borders. Live music, weekly trivia, and sports on the big screens keep 'em coming in to hang with their favorite friends and bartenders.

Best Strip Club

1. Gold Club

2. The Pony

3. Purple Diamond Gentlemen's Club

At Gold Club, the pole and patrons get plenty of attention. Whether stopping by for a strip show or settling in with a private lap dance, when our readers want a little risqué action, this is their happy place.

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