Best Place to Hear Live Music

Top Hat Lounge


When St. Paul and the Broken Bones played the Top Hat in February, the crowd seemed almost hypnotized by the raucous soul band’s antics. Jaws were literally dropping. Here’s a band that’s technically great, but you have to see them live to get the full experience—and the Top Hat is a perfect place to fall in love with such a band. The thing is, the music venue hosts top-notch bands like this all the time. Upcoming shows include heavyweights like Lucinda Williams, Iris Dement and Ryan Bingham, plus no shortage of local favorites like Lil’ Smokies, Local Yokel and Locksaw Cartel. The music venue once again wins for best place to hear live music, but it also swipes the coveted honor of Best Bar. With the help of owner Nick Checota, the establishment has made a transition from being a beloved blues dive to a place that has maintained its character while updating its décor and offerings. Now, even on the nights no live music is performed, the bar draws in all walks of life looking for a good spot to throw back a drink and simply hang out. Top Hat Lounge • 134 W. Front St • 728-9865 •

Finalists, Best Place to Hear Live Music

2. Sunrise Saloon • 1805 Regent St • 728-1559 •

3. Union Club • 208 E. Main St • 728-7980 •

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