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Last updated on February 4, 2023 by Wandering our World

If you’re looking to experience some good ol’ Southern hospitality, look no further than Jackson, Tennessee, a bustling mid-size city that still has all the qualities of rural life. Located halfway between Memphis and Nashville, this city proudly lays claim to being the place country music met the blues.

Luckily we have you covered when it comes to places to relax, unwind, grab a cold one and listen to some great music!

With such a history when it comes to music, there’s no dearth of bars in Jackson with live entertainment. And with such good weather, no shortage of places with outdoor patios either.

We’ve combed through Jackson’s bar scene and have now decided to share with you our favorite bars in Jackson and what makes them so special. Let’s get started!


  1. The Three Best Bars For Live Music
  2. The Best Bar For Food
  3. The Best Irish Pub
  4. The Best Sports Bar
  5. The Best Bar For Cocktails
  6. The Best Dive Bar
selection of colorful cocktails

The Best Bars In Jackson For Live Music

1. Tap Bar and Grill

Bustling hometown bar and live music venue that’s open late and serves up a good selection of drafts

Tap is your classic neighborhood bar – it’s a regular haunt for locals and a place where everybody knows your name.

Seating here is simple and straightforward, tables and booths are spread out evenly across the floor around the central bar, jukebox and the area with pool tables.

Make sure to get there on time though and find the seating near the stage which they’ve set up in the corner, so you’re as close as possible to all the live music action!

The high ceiling here provides a sense of space, which combined with the strings of fairy lights that hang from the rafters, adds an almost ephemeral quality to any evening spent here.

Tap stays true to its name too with its collection of drafts – you’ll find 20 here, with everything from IPAs and lagers to seasonal brews.

The bartenders have also come up with some interesting concoctions, like their famous grape bomb which is grape flavored vodka and red bull served in an ice-cold frosted glass – the perfect drink for a happening night out!

Speaking of, the weekends here are always buzzing, with live music every Friday and Saturday, featuring plenty of local talent, and open mic nights on Thursday. Come rub shoulders with the locals and groove to some great music, cold beer in hand!

You can also head here on game night with a bunch of friends to watch some sports on their flatscreen TVs or enjoy a few games of darts.

Hours of operation are from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 3:00 a.m. Friday through Sunday.

Address – 719 Old Hickory Blvd, Jackson, TN 38305

Selection of beer
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/blizzard_77

2. The Downtown Tavern

Locally owned and operated downtown bar, known for its great live music

You’ll feel right at home the moment you enter The Downtown Tavern with its mellow vibes and classic bar atmosphere.

Exposed brick behind the bar and along one of the walls adds a rustic touch to the place, which works really well with the warm lighting to create a truly welcoming atmosphere.

Choose between tables that run along one length of the establishment or pull up a stool by the bar to truly immerse yourself in the bar experience.

The stage at one end frequently hosts live bands, and Downtown even comes with an award winning pedigree as a premier entertainment venue in Jackson – check their socials for who’s playing!

There’s a good selection of bottled and canned beers here and we can’t think of many better pairings than good music and cold brews – so grab a pint and enjoy!

There’re inventive twists on classic cocktails here too, like the Low Rider, which swaps out tequila in a margarita for Jameson orange – served in a glass with a salted rim, its simply sublime!

Apart from the fun to be had on live music nights, there’s also plenty of TVs to tune into for sports along with a dart board, so there’s bound to be something for you to do whenever you visit.

Service here is great and there’s minimal wait time, though expect the place to get crowded occasionally as it is one of the most popular bars in Jackson.

Downtown Tavern is open from 5:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. on Saturday.

Address – 208 N Liberty St, Jackson, TN 38301

guitar player at a live music show
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Pro2sound

3. Redbone’s Grill and Bar

Festive bar and grill with a stage for live entertainment and a colorful outdoor patio

Redbone’s offers spacious digs in which to wine and dine – there is a high, vaulted ceiling providing a sense of space and the tables are also spread out, even leaving place for a dance floor!

And dance you will, thanks to the various talented bands and musicians that take center stage here to belt out toe-tapping tracks.

Murals and neon signs work together with spot lighting and fairy lights to give the bar a lively feel, making it great to visit with family to enjoy a good meal and a few rounds of drinks.

The central bar is also really well done up and there’s comfortable chairs set up around it, so you can always park yourself there or choose the airy outdoor patio.

You’ll find all the usual suspects when it comes to bottled or canned beer, plus a focus on craft drafts and domestic drafts.

They also specialize in frozen and signature drinks. Spring for the Swamp Water (don’t worry, it doesn’t actually contain swamp water) which comes with tequila, coconut rum, blue curacao, melon liqueur, sweet & sour and pineapple juice. – refreshing and really hits the spot.

In terms of the food, we’ve also heard great things about their bourbon sauce which pairs beautifully with their grilled chicken and pork. The rest of the food menu features true down south Cajun cooking.

While the food and drinks here are excellent, we think you’ll really gravitate to the place for their live entertainment which is the main reason this pace is regarded as one of the best bars in Jackson. Just follow their socials to see who’s playing.

Hours of operation are from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Address – 584 Carriage House Dr, Jackson, TN 38305

Live music at a bar with audience looking on
iStock.com/Nutthaseth Vanchaichana

The Best Bar In Jackson For Food

1. Red Dog Saloon Bar & Grill

Dive bar with pool tables, cold beer and some of the best burgers in town

Red Dog Saloon is your neighborhood dive bar – its unpretentious, has a pool table, serves up cold beer and good eats – in short what it does, it does well.

The interiors have all the hallmarks of a classic hangout – there’s subtle lighting in the form of fairy lights, simple bar stools for seating and neon signs advertising their bar offerings on the walls. There are tables available for seating too along with a pool table if you fancy a game or two.

Red Dog serves up some of the coldest beer in Jackson and makes sure to pair that with one of their famous burgers – locals have been singing its plaudits for years!

It’s the classic American staple done right – with lettuce, tomato and onion along with your choice of one or two thick, juicy patties and American cheese.

Spring for the decadent bacon double cheese burger – you’ll thank us later! Good beer, great food and pool, you’ll definitely want to visit this place with a bunch of friends for a great evening out.

The Saloon is open from 10:00 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday and from noon to midnight Sunday.

Address – 1450 S Highland Ave, Jackson, TN 38301

Top view of home made tasty burgers on wooden table.
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Kesu01

The Best Irish Pub In Jackson

1. Mulligan’s

Old school Irish pub with trivia and live music, perfect for after work get-togethers.

You’ll be transported to Ireland the moment you enter Mulligan’s with its retro themed interiors (think exposed brick walls and a fireplace).

The bar itself really draws the eye with its mirrored bar back and carved wooden features – it’s sure to make you want to grab a chair and sit by it! The walls themselves hold flatscreen TVs along with various knick-knacks and works of art.

But if you’re not sitting by the bar, you can grab a table out of the many ones available. Then bring your friends over for trivia night, when the place really comes alive!

Like any Irish pub worth its salt, Mulligan’s boasts a healthy selection of drafts along with a modest selection of domestic and imported bottles, plus wine.

Don’t miss out on their cocktails though – their take on the Long Island, called the Mad Irishman, which comes with vodka, gin, rum, tequila, triple sec, sour mix and melon liqueur is absolutely divine! Locals also can’t get enough of their beer battered fish and chips.

Paired with a cold pint of Guinness and it doesn’t get much more Irish than that – especially when the live music kicks in! The environment here really lends itself to celebration, so if you’re planning an occasion, Mulligan’s definitely delivers.

Service here is excellent, plus the bartenders are really friendly and know their stuff. Mulligan’s is open from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. seven days a week.

Address – 1364 Union University Dr, Jackson, TN 38305

irish pub with drink on table and live music in the background
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/jdwfoto

The Best Sports Bar In Jackson

1. 731 Sports Bar and Grill

Fun, family friendly sports bar with an incredible number of large screen TVs and outdoor patio seating

731 Sports Bar has a mammoth total of 48 big screen TVs (believe us, we counted) covering any and all viewing angles, so you won’t miss a minute of action, no matter where you sit!

The interiors here are bright and airy with exposed brick walls adding a touch of the rustic to the classic sports bar atmosphere.

In between all the televisions are various team flags and logos, so see how many you recognize and find the one you support!

If you’re wondering why it’s called 731, that’s the area code and the bar proudly celebrates all the athletes that hail from that area. The bar does get crowded as it’s one of the most popular sports bars in Jackson, especially on game days, but you can always retire to their large outdoor patio.

731 boasts a healthy collection of draft, craft, bottled and canned beer, plus the selection is constantly rotating, so you’ll have something new to savor every time you visit. They also have a full bar, and the bartenders here are known to whip up a mean margarita.

Perfect game day atmosphere – check, ice cold beer – check, some of the best wings in Jackson – also check!

Locals have been giving their wings high praise for some time though, and they are the perfect bar food, coming in 8 different choices for sauce and 2 different dry rubs.

So visit with a bunch of friends, or even with your family and cheer on your favorite team!

Service here is great and the wait-staff are all friendly, making sure you are welcomed and treated well.

731 is open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Address – 601 Vann Dr, Jackson, TN 38305

a football or soccer fan cheering for his national team watching the match on tv
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Mikhail Rudenko

The Best Bar For Cocktails In Jackson

1. The Blacksmith Restaurant

Upscale eats and elevated cocktails served in a historic setting plus an outdoor patio

The rustic-chic interiors of The Blacksmith pay homage to its historic roots as the building it’s currently housed in was an actual smithy and livery dating back to the 1800’s!

Brick pillars and exposed brick walls work together with wrought iron fixtures and lighting to transport you back in time to the warm embrace of an old school inn.

In terms of seating, you have both tables and booths available along with stools by the bar. But the outdoor patio is the place to be, however, with tables set up under umbrellas to make the most of some wonderful Jackson weather.

This bar has a good list of premium bourbon and vodka along with a modest selection of wine, though the cocktails are what will likely have you coming back for more.

They feature inventive twists on classics along with specialty martinis and margaritas. Their Pig Iron Bloody Mary deserves special mention, coming with a bacon salted rim, Tito’s vodka, pepperoncini juice, olive juice and lime juice built on all the classic flavors and ingredients of a classic Bloody Mary.

Pair that stellar mixed drink with some of the wonderful food they have on offer (we’ve heard great things about their ribeye) and you have all the makings of a perfect date night.

As one of the hottest bars and restaurants in Jackson, reservations are encouraged, especially over the weekend. Plus they even offer special benefits to VIP members – just check their socials for details.

Hours of operation are from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with closing hours extending to 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday.

Address – 216 N Shannon St, Jackson, TN 38301

Expert barman is making cocktail at a bar.
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/santypan

The Best Dive Bar In Jackson

1. One Five Bar and Grill

Unpretentious local watering hole with classic pub food and a patio

One Five Bar and Grill is where all the locals flock to for a nice cold beer and great grub. Don’t be fooled by its simple exteriors – what it lacks in flashy neon signs, it makes up for in genuine warmth and charm.

The interiors are a simple affair, clean and spacious with tables well spread out – there’s a cute patio too, if you fancy a drink outside.

You’ll also find a strong family vibe here and that carries over to their service too – you’ll be made to feel right at home!

All the usual suspects find their way onto the menu here with classic bottled beers and a handful of wines. The beverages are rounded up with an interesting selection of classic mixed drinks.

Now, we know this is a list of bars and we’re highlighting some of the best drinks in Jackson, but the homemade strawberry lemonade they serve here, while not containing liquor, is an absolute hit with the locals – so make sure to give it a try (perhaps as a chaser between beers).

They serve up some good food here too with the wings and burgers getting particular praise.

One Five is open from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and from noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Address – 1605 North Pkwy, Jackson, TN 38301


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