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Blues, Dancing, and Drinks - Nightlife in Memphis

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When the sun sets, Memphis really comes to life, particularly on famed Beale Street and in the Midtown neighbourhoods of Overton and Cooper-Young. On Beale Street, you can experience authentic blues music in the city, an absolute must while visiting Memphis. A trip over to Midtown is in order if you're looking for cocktails, and if you want to dance the night away, Memphis has that covered, too.

Blues clubs

 

Stroll along Beale Street, where legends like W.C. Handy played, and you're sure to hear the sounds of the blues. It was born here, after all, and no trip to Memphis would be complete without a visit to one of its famed clubs. Beale is the epicentre of such music here, with spots like the popular B.B. King Blues Club and the Rum Boogie Café welcoming its signature melancholy notes.

 

B.B. King Blues Club

 

Named after the legend himself, B.B. King Blues Club is one of the most popular spots for live blues music in Memphis. Stop by to hear the house band play or catch a show from a visiting act.

 

143 Beale Street, Memphis 38103Tel: +1 901 524 5464

 

B.B. King Blues Club website

 

Rum Boogie Café

 

Home of The Boogie Blues Band, the Rum Boogie Café showcases live blues music every night of the week. While you're enjoying the show, you can sample southern dishes like gumbo and, of course, Memphis-style BBQ.

 

182 Beale Street, Memphis 38103. Tel: +1 901 528 0150

 

Rum Boogie Café website

Dance clubs

 

Memphis has an assortment of dance clubs, so if you're looking to dance the night away, you won't be disappointed. From disco to salsa, you can find almost every kind of dancing here, and many spots host DJs and cover bands to keep things going all night. Most of the city's dance clubs are located downtown and around Beale Street, so finding them is easy.

 

Rumba Room

 

Known as the first salsa club in downtown Memphis, the Rumba Room features live salsa music and free salsa lessons on Friday and Saturday evenings. On Fridays before the salsa gets into full swing, the club also hosts swing dancing.

 

303 South Main Street, Memphis 38103. Tel: +1 901 523 0020

 

Rumba Room website

 

Paula & Raiford's Disco

 

Looking for disco dancing in Memphis? This is the place to find it. The 2-story Paula & Raiford's even has a disco ball and a fog machine, so come prepared to transport yourself back to the 1970s.

 

14 South Second Street, Memphis 30103. Tel: +1 901 521 2494

 

Paula & Raiford's Disco website

 

Live music

 

Blues is king here, but Memphis is also home to a number of live music venues that showcase other genres. Aside from the blues clubs on Beale, you can head over to Cooper-Young to find joints hosting cover bands, rock groups, and alternative acts. Throughout the year, bigger acts play at venues like the Mud Island Amphitheatre and Minglewood Hall.

 

Young Avenue Deli

 

Yes, it's actually a deli, but this Midtown spot also features an impressive live music lineup featuring everything from rock acts to local bands. There's also an extensive beer list, plus darts and pool.

 

2119 Young Avenue, Memphis 38104. Tel: +1 901 278 0034

 

Young Avenue Deli website

 

Lafayette's Music Room

 

Opened in 1972, this legendary Memphis venue has hosted such acts as Billy Joel and Kiss. Now reopened in Midtown's Overton Square, it presents live music 7 nights a week, showcasing everything from blues to rock 'n' roll.

 

2119 Madison Avenue, Memphis 38104. Tel: +1 901 207 5097

 

Lafayette's Music Room website

 

Bars and cocktails

 

Memphis isn't short on places to grab a drink, with dive bars, upscale cocktail bars, and everything in between lining the city's boulevards. Again, Beale Street reigns supreme here. It even has an open container policy, so you can grab a drink and stroll down the walkway to take in the atmosphere. However, if you venture beyond Beale, you'll find plenty of bars in Midtown and Cooper-Young.

 

Earnestine & Hazel's

 

Located on downtown's South Main Street, this famous Memphis dive bar has been frequented by celebrities and featured in movies. Grab a beer and a famous Soul Burger and keep an eye out for ghosts; it's rumored to be haunted.

 

531 South Main Street, Memphis 38103. Tel: +1 901 523 9754

 

Earnestine & Hazel's website