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Memphis + Graceland Nightlife

Hi Tone Café
1913 Poplar Avenue
Memphis , Tennessee
Tel: 901 278 8663

At this funky, 1950s-themed bar in Midtown, beer-swilling twentysomething hipsters and older music obsessives take in Memphis's current crop of music pioneers. Both regional favorites, such as emotive singer-songwriter Garrison Starr and bluesy rockers the North Mississippi Allstars, and national acts take the stage. Elvis—Costello, that is—filmed a 2004 concert video here with Emmylou Harris. The small stage area gets jam-packed at concert time; arrive early, or you might not get in.

Memphis , Tennessee

For a city of fewer than 700,000 residents, Memphis's theatrical scene is surprisingly varied. The gold leaf- and red velvet-ornamented Orpheum was once a vaudevillian venue but now stages Broadway road shows (203 S. Main St.; 901-525-3000; Theatre Memphis, the city's oldest community theater group, was organized in 1921 and puts on regional premieres and locally produced revivals such as The Pavilion and A Little Night Music (630 Perkins Ext.; 901-682-8323; Excellent sister theaters Circuit Playhouse and Playhouse on the Square produce more artistically adventurous fare, like the civil-rights musical Caroline, or Change and Martin McDonagh's dark The Pillowman (1705 Poplar Ave. and 51 S. Cooper St.; 901-726-4656;

Wild Bill's
1580 Vollintine
Memphis , Tennessee
Tel: 901 726 5473

Locals adore 87-year-old Wild Bill's eponymous social club, not least because rhythm and blues group Memphis Soul Survivors performs here Friday through Sunday. This no-nonsense hole-in-the wall with low ceilings and plastic tablecloths is located in a north Memphis strip mall, unceremoniously flanked by a barbershop and a convenience store. The Southern-style bar menu includes black-eyed peas and fried chicken wings, and beer is served by the quart—especially key in summer, seeing how there's no AC. Things generally get started at 10:30 p.m.

Young Avenue Deli
2119 Young Avenue
Memphis , Tennessee
Tel: 901 278 0034

With a constantly changing selection of 36 draught, 121 bottled, and 3 non-alcoholic brews, this is the best place to quench your thirst—and many do. You'll find it in a large, open warehouse in the hippest part of Midtown, where local alt-rock talents play to young, packed crowds. There's a full menu of pita sandwiches, salads, and pizza, but their award-winning fries are the standout item. Cut one third inch thick and spiced up with a unique salty blend of seasonings, they beg to be crunched.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.