Sunglasses On, Bottoms Up: 15 Places to Drink Outside in Memphis
Ed. Note: This post is from 2012. For the extensive 2017 patio list (100+ patios listed), click here. For details on ten of those awesome patios, keep reading!
On about the third 75 degree day of any given year, our collective focus seems to turn from “Where did I put my jacket” to “Where can I sit outside and have a drink?”
Here, my friends, are 15 answers to that second question, in random order:
1. Swanky’s Taco Shop (4770 Poplar Avenue)
If you’re planning to meet friends who work all over the city for a patio happy hour, the Swanky’s in East Memphis is centrally located and their patio is large. The best time to enjoy said patio is on Tuesdays, when Swanky’s has two-for-one margaraita night (read: two huge margaritas, $7).
2. Young Ave. Deli (2119 Young Avenue)
The Young Avenue Deli’s patio is tiny, but it’s a great place to see and be seen. The dog-friendly patio is the perfect place to try something new from the Deli’s long beer list and catch up with a mass of friends (and neighbors, and strangers). If the Deli’s patio is full, you can always head next door to patio number three:
3. Cafe Ole (959 S. Cooper St.)
Say what you will about the other parts of Cafe Ole – they’ve got one of the best patios in town. It’s massive, secluded (but not too secluded), and open late. It also goes well with margaritas.
4. Otherlands Coffee Bar (641 S. Cooper)
You can sip your coffee on the patio at Otherlands. You can bring your friends (or your dog). You can also drink a beer there – the shop sells domestic bottles all day long.
5. Memphis Pizza Cafe (2087 Madison Ave.)
Why eat pizza on a one-story patio when you could eat it on a two-tiered deck with big tables, lots of shade and plenty of space? The Pizza Cafe patio is fun for all ages.
The inside of Central Barbecue’s original midtown location has a tendency to get a little cramped, especially during peak mealtimes. Instead, sit on the deck, which is almost as big as the main dining room and underwent some major repairs last year.
7. Silky O’Sullivan’s (183 Beale Street)
I could tell you that Silky’s patio is great because of its size, itsgiant building facade, its live music and its Diver Buckets. Or, I could give you the only reason that really matters: it has goats, live goats that frolic outside on a huge goat playground.
8. Bhan Thai (1324 Peabody Ave.)
I’m willing to forgive the lack of parking right behind Bhan Thai since it means that there’s enough space for the restaurant’s massive back deck. The big, two-level wooden patio is partially covered and has its own bar. There’s live music on the weekends and heaters when it’s cold out.
9. Celtic Crossing (903 S. Cooper St.)
The best time to hang out on the patio at Celtic is during Sunday brunch. It’s a good way to escape any loud soccer fans inside and there’s live music from a traditional Irish band. Also, it’s a proven fact that mimosas taste better outside.
10. Bayou Bar and Grill (2094 Madison Ave.)
Bayou Bar and Grill may have moved across the street from its original Overton Square location, but the people in charge are clearly smart – they added a bigger, better patio to their new space. Have a beer, eat some Cajun food (they’ve got alligator), and people watch in Overton Square.
11. Slider Inn (2117 Peabody Ave.)
The Slider Inn is a relatively new restaurant, and this is its first full patio season. It already seems to be going well, though – the small, covered patio has been standing room only the past few times I’ve passed by. The patio is open late during the week and occasionally has live music on the weekends.
12. The P&H Cafe (1532 Madison Ave.)
When things get a little too smoky or loud inside the P&H, head out back past the bar and the bathrooms to the back deck. It’s almost always dark, but it’s a good place to take a break from the madness inside and have a conversation.
13. Mollie Fontaine Lounge (679 Adams Ave.)
The victorian-modern inside of the Mollie Fontaine Lounge is pretty incredible, but the lounge’s back patio is a little more private, a little more quiet and perfectly suited for drinking your fancy cocktail. If the urge for outdoor drinking doesn’t strike until well after dinner, Mollie’s patio is open late-late.
14. Majestic Grille (145 South Main St.)
The Majestic’s patio is a total date-night patio. The lighting is perfect, the food is great, and from the patio, you’ve got a great view of people, trolleys and carriages on the Main Street Mall.
15. Bosco’s (2120 Madison Ave.)
A word of warning to those of you who are hoping to get a seat on the Bosco’s patio during Friday happy hour: get there early. The side deck is big, but the combination of inexpensive locally-brewed beers and really good food cause it to fill up fast, especially on the weekends.
Where are your favorite places to drink outside in Memphis?