Nightlife 

Best of Memphis 2007

In the "Nightlife" section of the Best of Memphis, the number of places to earn votes broke down like this: More than 75 bars received a vote for best bar. About 30 bars got votes in the "Best Jukebox" category, while 57 were deemed as having the best happy hour. Some 44 bars got votes in the "Best Hole in the Wall" category, and about half of that group got votes for "Best Gay Bar." Our readers also let us know that there are some 50 great places to see live music and that there are at least 100 musicians or bands worth checking out. We could go on, but you catch our drift. Saying there's nothing fun to do in Memphis after sundown — that just doesn't add up.

Best Beer Selection

BOM 1. Flying Saucer

2. Boscos Squared

3. Young Avenue Deli

Entering the Flying Saucer is entering into a mythical pantheon of beer. New or old, the Saucer makes over 200 labels from five continents available to the novice and connoisseur alike. Taste the finest Belgian Trappist Ales, English IPA's, and German Dunkel and Märzen lagers, all on tap. But sorry, folks. There's no PBR.

click to enlarge JUSTIN FOX BURKS

Best Place To See Live Music

1. Hi-Tone Café

2. Beale Street

3. Mud Island Amphitheatre — tie

New Daisy Theatre

When Elvis Costello comes to town, he plays at the Hi-Tone. So does virtuoso violinist Andrew Bird, West Coast roots-rockers the Blasters, and Wanda Jackson, the first lady of rock-and-roll. This stripped-down club even housed the martial arts studio where Elvis learned to kick people in the face. Toss in a kick-ass sound system, cold beer, and friendly staff, and you've got a venue that musicians love and music lovers cherish.

click to enlarge Windjammer Restaurant & Lounge, - 1st Place: Best Karaoke - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

Best Local Band/Singer

READERS' CHOICE

Harlan T. Bobo

The Dempseys

Kevin Paige

Lucero

Twin Soul

What's Memphis listening to now? Apparently the greatest hits of the '40s, '50s, and '60s (the Dempseys); the greatest hits of the '70s, '80s, and '90s (Twin Soul); quirky, self-deprecating love songs (Bobo); and whiskey-drenched heartland rock (Lucero). And who can resist the pop stylings of the Reverend Kevin Paige, the man who opened for Debbie Gibson back when that actually meant something?

click to enlarge Hi-Tone Caf, - 1st Place: Best Place to See Live Music - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

Best Karaoke

1. Windjammer Restaurant & Lounge

2. Yosemite Sam's

3. Alfred's

Most bars can only manage to devote one night a week to karaoke. And can you blame them? Bartenders can only handle so many white girls rapping "Baby Got Back." Bartenders are sober, after all. But the staff of the Windjammer braves the bad notes, offering karaoke Wednesdays through Mondays. For that, the Best of Memphis voters commend them.

Best Bar

READERS' CHOICE

Young Avenue Deli

Flying Saucer

Blue Monkey

Boscos Squared

Dish

Bar patrons in Memphis just can't decide. Some nights, they like to shoot pool and nosh on the best fries in town at the Deli. Other nights, they treat their tastebuds to beers from around the world at the Saucer. On Sundays, it's cheap Bloody Marys at the Blue Monkey. A weekday lunch lends itself to a quick cask-conditioned ale at Boscos, and dinner cocktails are best enjoyed on the comfy beds at Dish.

Best New Bar, opened in 2007

1. Spindini

2. EP Delta Kitchen & Bar

3. Sauces — tie

King Biscuit Diner

Those Italians know their wines. That's probably why Judd Grisanti's Spindini boasts such an impressive wine list. From Chardonnays and Rieslings and Chianti to Cabernets, this new South Main eatery's got you covered. And with a modern, spacious bar, there's plenty of room to kick back and sip in style.

click to enlarge Harlan T. Bobo, - Readers' Choice: Best Local Band/Singer - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

Best Hole in the Wall

1. Alex's

2. P&H Café

3. Lamplighter Lounge — tie —

The Buccaneer

Alex's is a place where the Blues Brothers would be perfectly at home.

Best College Hangout

1. R.P. Tracks

2. Alex's

3. Zinnie's

R.P. Tracks lies nestled in the shadow of the University of Memphis. Sit on the porch, order the hummus, and pick from one of the best beer lists in the city. But watch your grammar. The English department may be right behind you.

Best After-Hours Club

1. Blue Monkey

2. Alex's

3. Wild Bill's

It's no surprise that the Blue Monkey is our readers' favorite place to go after dark. The elaborate bar, the brick and tile, and the huge dining room give the Monkey an environment that's relaxing and fun.

Best Happy Hour

1. Flying Saucer

2. Chili's Grill & Bar

3. Boscos Squared — tie

Blue Monkey

Meet your friends or sit at the bar with an order of hot wings and people-watch. You'll forget your day at work in no time.

Best Place To Dance

1. Alfred's

2. Senses

3. Backstreet — tie

Club 152 Beale

Dancing at Alfred's just seems to happen. You're walking around Beale with some friends. You stop into Alfred's while the band's playing. You have a few drinks, and by the time the DJ comes on, you're ready to move. Some guy walks up behind you, starts grinding, and before you know it, you're on the floor dirty dancing like Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey.

click to enlarge Fox & Hound English Tavern, - 1st Place: Best Place to Play Pool - JUSTIN FOX BURKS
  • Justin Fox Burks
  • Fox & Hound English Tavern, 1st Place: Best Place to Play Pool

Best Jukebox

1. Earnestine & Hazel's

2. Alex's

3. Young Avenue Deli

Etta James, Otis Redding, and John Lee Hooker reside alongside disc upon disc of obscure Motowners and Sun Studio B-sides, with a minimum of rock. Best of all: no Tom Petty.

click to enlarge Alex's, - 1st Place: Best Hole in the Wall - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

Best Place To Play Pool

1. Fox & Hound English Tavern

2. Young Avenue Deli

3. P&H Café

Let off that workday steam and unwind with a game of pool at "the Fox." High ceilings, huge TVs, cigar shop, and great menu make it the perfect weeknight playground.

Best Sports Bar

1. Fox & Hound English Tavern

2. Buffalo Wild Wings

3. T.J. Mulligan's

On game day at the Fox & Hound, the only way not to see a match-up is to leave. With huge TV screens everywhere, the local enthusiast can keep track of the SEC and C-USA without having to turn his head more than six inches.

Best Gay Bar

1. Backstreet

2. Dish

3. One More

In the local gay community, the phrase "going to the club" means one thing: a night of booty-shakin' at Backstreet. Backstreet offers a large dance floor, fantabulous drag shows, an outdoor patio, and even a gift shop filled with rainbow-themed merch.

Best Bar Décor

READERS' CHOICE

P&H Café

Huey's

Buccaneer

Flying Saucer

Dish

No one bar swept this category, but the top vote-getters indicate that our readers appreciate a bit of kitsch and clutter. One can spend hours studying the P&H's hodgepodge of eclectic art, taking in the pirate aesthetic of the Buccaneer, reading Huey's graffiti-covered walls, and counting the Saucer's vast array of commemorative plates. But for those who like their surroundings a little more low-key, there's always the sleek bar and hip beds at Dish.

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