If you are on vacation, a proper cocktail hour needs to be experienced. At these Memphis spots, the atmosphere varies from dive bars and tourist spots to upscale bars. My top three bars in Memphis all have one thing in common - the passion for mixing up creative and fun concoctions. You'll have no trouble getting an expertly prepared cocktail at one these bars. The only problem you will have is choosing which drink to order.
The Blind Bear Speakeasy brings the Roaring 20’s back to life in Memphis. Located in the heart of downtown Memphis, Blind Bear will take you back to the Prohibition era of the 1920’s with a themed bar and cocktail lounge that has a modern twist. Just like speakeasies of the past, you will need to know the secret password to get in but only on Fridays and Saturdays. The passwords can be found on their social media page – make sure you are on the lookout so you will not have to pay the $5 entry fee.
The Blind Bear has been transformed into a dark and cozy bar with nooks, couches, plush chairs, a pool table, and dining tables with blackjack and poker mats. The servers are dressed appropriately in 1920’s attire and the draught beer is served in mason jars. The Blind Bear is open nightly from 6 p.m. until 3 a.m., and for Sunday brunch 3-6 p.m. The bar does allow smoking and the bar is 21 and up.
Next on my list is Alchemy, which is located in the Cooper-Young neighborhood with a scene that includes everyone from young singles to older couples, a true multicultural mix of people and economic backgrounds.
Alchemy offers a dim, sexy and contemporary atmosphere with sophisticated one-of- a-kind cocktails.
From behind the spacious wrap-around bar, bartenders produce craft cocktails with unique ingredients like The Alchemist - egg whites, Aperol, and Peychaud bitters. You also can choose from the extensive bourbon and scotch list for the whiskey lovers. The drink menu is inventive and the restaurant's signature small plates can be ordered while you indulge in a few of the cocktails. Alchemy is everything you are looking for in a hip, contemporary bar.
Loflin Yard is not just a bar, restaurant, and event space; it’s a place to hang out with friends and unwind. Loflin Yard, originally called Loflin Safe & Lock Co., is in the heart of Downtown Memphis near Riverside Drive.
The bar area is small with a handful of tables, but it has a massive cocktail list with names like “I Read That Book in Middle School” or “I Hated the Remake” and “My Dad Goes to Japan on Business.” Their beverage menu also includes barrel-aged drinks that have been carefully crafted from classic recipes. There's a Tennessee whiskey Old Fashioned, a Sazerac, and a Bijou to name a few.
The bartenders are mixologists who can whip up whatever your heart desires, and most of the handcrafted barrel-aged cocktails pair beautifully with the meats prepared in Loflin Yard's on-site smokehouse.
Once you decide which cocktail suits your fancy there is seating outdoors on Loflin's massive covered patio, which overlooks a manmade waterfall that runs into the Gayoso Bayou. There's also a huge green space for lounging and playing giant Jenga, Connect Four and corn hole games. In the event space, there’s a beer and wine bar, performance stage and another outside area that features giant beer pong that’s played with a soccer ball and trashcans!
What I found most appealing about Loflin Yard were the people who worked there. I have never felt so welcomed and immediately had the feeling of being at a family reunion. I was absolutely in awe by the love both the patrons and the staff had for each other, which makes Loflin Yard my favorite bar in Memphis; so please make sure you stop by to enjoy a cocktail and hangout by the fire.