Don't say there's "nuthin' to do." Knoxville's filled with nighttime hotspots, if you just know where to look.
When it comes to night life, there's much grousing, whining, and general snotty petulance among locals hereabouts, copious complaints that, when it comes to club-hopping and what-not in Knox-vegas, there's simply nothing to do.
But the grass is always greener on the other side of the velvet rope, or some such thing, and while no one will ever mistake Sunsphere City for the Big Apple, there's plenty of interesting nightlife in Knoxvilleafter-hours mischief for every taste and inclination. All you need is the gumption and gray matter to pick up one of our fine local publications (like, oh, say the Metro Pulse) and discern just exactly what it is among the multitude of options that you would like to do.
Fer instance, if you just want to bend an elbow and do the ol' 12-ounce curls, opportunities abound. In general, the Western half of the metropolitan areachiefly that long stretch of Kingston Pike between Bearden and Farragutis home to more of the quiet, sit-down-and-eat-and-drink type establishments, the fern bars, the places you go to sit at a table and toss back a few and hold down some semblance of a conversation with your sweetie or your compadre without having your every syllable lost in the din. West Knox is home to too many fine sit-down establishments to name in one spell, but here are some hints; for good food and spirits, try the Copper Cellar/Cappucino tandem near West Town, Bearden's Naples, or perhaps the Italian Market and Grill just outside Farragut (where you can enjoy a full bar or a nice bottle of wine).
There are a few notable exceptions to the West-side's fern bar rule, however, such as Prince Deli (hosting hard-kickin' local rock bands every weekend), the West Town-area alterna-hovel Lava Lounge, and one of the largest country dance halls in the universe in the Lovell Road-area's Cotton Eyed Joe.
The Eastern and downtown portion of the city, in the meantime, is a colorful circus of more proactive nightspots, places where you can hear a band, dance to music, meet and mate. The twin loci of the Cumberland Avenue Strip and downtown's Old City district are easily the town's prime night-time hotspots.
Local, regional, and even some national acts perform weekly (for just a few shekels) at places like Moose's Music Hall on the Strip (a more college-y crowd), the Old City's Lucille's (a casually sophisticated jazz bunch), or the nearby Pilot Light (a scruffily charming little indie rock hole-in-the-wall.) And if booty-shakin' is the order of the evening, nothing beats the Old City's Underground, a dance warehouse full of pulsing techno and contemporary dance-pop beats.
I've left out innumerable other, equally attractive nighttime options from all parts of the city (the Tomato Head downtown, Patrick Sullivan's in the Old City, Michael's out west, to name just a few more). That's one of the hazards of familiarizing oneself with the local nightlife; too many beery, bleary-eyed nights inevitably lead to memory loss. But the point is this; if you're looking for action, peruse our pages until you find it. If you still think there's nothing to do, well, it's your own damn fault.
Coffee Houses w/Live Music
Restaurants w/Live Music