After some oysters and pizza, I wandered around Beale Street one last time.
People watching could not be avoided here. Seeing a a young woman convince herself that a 3-foot tall frozen alcoholic concoction all to herself on a worknight was pretty funny. Cheers to you!
Beale Street was fun the first couple times, but it was my final night in Memphis and I was over it. I wanted to go somewhere different. Somewhere the locals hang out. I made my way to Ernestine & Hazel’s located downtown on South Main Street.
The low-key bar and grill has a very interesting history. Besides being named one of the best dive bars in the country, it’s also deemed one of the most haunted places in America. The building is from the late 1800’s. It was everything from a church to a dry goods store to a pharmacy to a jazz cafe and even a brothel.
You won’t find wine or cocktails here, only beer…and Fireball. A bottle of Miller Lite did just fine.
The jukebox sits near the entrance and it’s supposedly haunted. There are stories about random songs being selected by ghosts.
While sipping on my beer, I could hear the sizzle of the grill and smell the onions and beef.
The food menu has two items – a Soul Burger or a Double Soul Burger. The nationally recognized burger has a bun, beef patty, grilled onions, American cheese, pickle, and “Soul Sauce”. They kept it simple and it works. It’s served in a red basket with a bag of Golden Flake Thin & Crispy potato chips. On weekends, they cook between 250-300 Soul Burgers.
I don’t know what it was about this place, but I would have stayed all night if I didn’t have to catch an early bus to Nashville in the morning. The super laidback vibe was welcoming, the cold beer and tasty Soul Burger was comforting, and the history was fascinating. I was a fan of Ernestine & Hazel’s…a huge fan.
Ernestine & Hazel’s
531 S Main Street
Memphis, TN 38103