Friday, October 28, 2011

Eat, Drink, Boogie. Repeat....

....thats the moniker of the Rum Boogie Cafe on Beale Street in Memphis

However when I visited recently I could only manage two of the three; drink and boogie. The eating was more than taken care of with BBQ at the Rendezvous. Too bad, because the menu at Rum Boogie was tempting, with everything from Cajun specialties to Southern cuisine and quirky items like the Fried Green Beans with Ranch Dressing and BBQ Baloney sandwiches.

The popular James Govan and The Boogie Blues Band was jammin' as we made our way to the bar. You  probably guessed by the name, the Rum Boogie had an ample selection of rum to sip or mix while listening to the legendary blues.

As we checked out the hundreds of guitars on the walls, a couple with empty seats at their table extended some Southern hospitality. We sat down and watched the show; not just the one on the stage. We were at the bottom of circular stairs that seemed to trip people up. Within 30 minutes two revelers had spilled their drinks and a third spilled his guts while trying to make it outside. Then there were the girls who forgot to gather their skirts close to their legs when on stairs above us.

Our $5 cover also gave us access to Mr Handy's Blues Hall, commonly referred to as the last real juke joint on Beale Street. We entered through what looked like a secret door from the bar in Rum Boogie. It was tight, loud, rockin' and I didn't want to leave.

I was asked by friends in New Orleans how Beale compared to Bourbon. They both sell "Big Ass Beer", the historic streets are packed with party people and there's a great music vibe but the overall vibe is totally different. At 10:00 Memphis police put up barricades, checked ID's and waved metal detectors over everyone before allowing passage. I politely questioned the cops and they assured me this was for my safety, which I hadn't really questioned, until that moment.

If you are a music lover, Beale Street should be on your bucket list. One of my favorites; Marc Cohen sings about it here......

***COMMENTS: Thanks to all my Facebook friends for posting so many great comments. I would LOVE it if you could also post your comments here on this blog site. I've had dozens of people tell me they posted and it never showed up. Disappointing for us both. So click comment, type your comment, check the box that says "comment as" then hit post. If a word verification box does not appear next (a scrambled word to retype), your comment did not post. Thanks!

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