Tonight, seeing as I'm pretty broke I decided I would stay in a do a little review of some of my favorite establishments in this fair city. We'll start at the top:
Ever wondered where you could find an Irish pub in the middle of the south? Well this city wasn't called the Crossroads of the South for nothing. Fenians is a great place with a very unique atmosphere. Just about everyone you see when you walk through the door is a regular and they let you know it. The staff is very good and the manager Damon runs a tight ship. Outsiders and out of towners stick out like sore thumbs, but usually get a pretty good reception from the motley crew of patrons, bartenders and wait staff. The music is always free and karaoke night is a riot, (although I really can't stand karaoke.) Any attire is acceptable from the suits of the Capitol to me and my old jeans. The food is good and the kitchen stays open late. I suggest at least one trip to Fenians for anyone who lives or visits anywhere near Jacktown.
Hal and Mals
I always say that Hal and Mals has juxtaposition on tap. This place has the strangest eclectic mix of people you can find anywhere. During the day, this place is a restaurant with a pretty good menu. Actually, I'm not really sure about the entire menu, just the sandwiches. During the night, Hal and Mals has three main rooms and a couple of smaller rooms. The big back room usually has the big acts that come to Jackson and if your looking for where North Mississippi Allstars are playing, its the big back room. The smaller main room usually has the free music every other night, mostly jazz and bluegrass, but that's the place I haunt. In the redroom, blues is rolling pretty regularly. I recommend Hal and Mals for a good change of pace and a good mix of everything Jackson has to offer.
930 Blues Club
During the day you can't even tell this place is a blues club. Situated off Fortification street on some side street I can't remember, 930 looks like an old home, but during the night, this place is the most hoppin' juke joint for miles. Miss Sweetheart Jackie Bell belts out the blues and soul and get ready for her to serenade you. 930 is a little expensive with a cover charge every night, but well worth hitting it up every so many weeks. Its so popular that you need to be ready to get there at around 8 or 9 due to the crowd. Its a great place to take out of town friends who really want to experience some real blues. Expect to see pimps and cops together watching some hot blues.
I have to admit I was not a fan of Martins for a while. At first, I was very put off with Martins because of the slow service, how this bar is set up and the usual crowd there. Naturally, what changed my mind? Beer of course. Martins has the, and I mean THE, best selection of beer in this entire city. I can't even begin to estimate how many different types of beer they have, but its enough for me. Martins has really grown on me, mainly as a good late night place to go, when many other places are shutting down. Its kinda dingy and has never been the friendliest place, but it has the habit of collecting a strange brew of Jackson characters very late at night and complimenting this with a good lager selection. Give it a try if your out to see some late nightlife.
Now I cannot say that I have partied here or even hung out for an extended period, but Schimmels is a nice place. I ate there once and the steak was just right. According to my sources, Schimmels has gained a pretty good reputation for music and night life. Its a swanky joint, so don't run in there without dressing up a bit.
How perfect. Follow Schimmels up with Jokers. Jokers is the quintessential trucker bar on the side of the highway. Its a little rough, but a pretty good bartender and lots of pool tables. Also lots of dartboards. The strangest thing about Jokers is the wide selection of K.D. Lang on the jukebox? I guess Jokers these days is a trucker/gangster/lesbian bar.
Sports bar that can get way too crowded. This place has lots of tvs and two pool tables. The jukebox is pretty good, but usually broke. Usually too many guys, but it makes my main list because its a great place to watch Ole Miss play during football season.
Ok, those are my top places to hang out. Here are a few mediocre places:
Char: Not bad, a little too pretentious and expensive for me. Good place to see everyone in Mississippi politics when the Senate and House are in session.
Bravo: Wonderful food, another pretentious bar.
Julep: Way too feminine for me. Basically, they only have cocktails.
Elixir: Never been, have no reason to go.
Cherokee Inn: Another place I have no reason to go.
Pops Around the Corner: Supposedly the roughest place in Jackson.
Mardi Gras: They almost kicked me out one night when they first opened because I was wearing a pullover. They made the mediocre list because at least they have regular music, but its not my kind of place.
Buffalo Wild Wings: My only reason to go to this place is to watch pro football. The season is over and so is me being there.
Ok, here is my worst list, places I cannot stand:
W.C. Don's, Any place that serves beer in Rankin County, Fire, Ice and the rest of those places right next to each other, The Spot or Headliners or whatever they are calling it now, and Cups. Yes, I don't like Cups. I go to Cups every now and then, but for some reason it rubs me the wrong way.