Despite COVID victims like Best Friend Bar (now the Fishtank) and Cosmic Charlie’s, Central Kentucky’s live music scene continues to thrive.
Lexington and surrounding counties have indoor and outdoor venues, grand ballrooms, quaint little listening rooms, and everything in between to catch a show. Each has their own quirks and personalities, but all share the common musical note.
Whether it’s a brewery, amphitheater, nightclub, local restaurant, bar or arena, the area has more than enough venues to nurture the appetite of even the most ferocious music lovers. Here is a list of the best live music clubs in and around Lexington and a guide to honorable mentions. Use this list of local places to see gigs if you’re in the mood for country, bluegrass, rock, and everything in between.
The best music venues in Lexington, Central Ky.
Al’s bar, 601 N Limestone St., hosts live music three to four nights a week, including Thirsty Boots every Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. The music moves between indoors (capacity of 150) and outdoors (capacity of 100) depending on the season. The bar, which changed hands and got a facelift in 2019, also offers a free pool and foosball seven days a week. Al’s also hosts an occasional pop-up kitchen, which you can follow by following their social media. Facebook.com/AlsBarLexington.
Austin City Saloon, 2350 Woodhill Dr., has been serving authentic Kentucky fried country music for 40 years. The bar has live music Thursday through Sunday and has hosted country stars like Keith Whitley, John Michael Montgomery, Toby Keith, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan as well as local talent over the years. With a capacity of 300, there’s more than enough room for you to kick up some dust with your two-step Texas best. AustinCitySaloon.com/Lexington.
Bluegrass Barrel House, 701 E Irvine St. in Richmond, brings a bit of Nashville to Kentucky with its honky tonk decor and the country music it hosts. BBH has live music five nights a week beginning with the music talk show “Overtones Live” on Tuesdays, open mic on Wednesdays, and live bands Thursday through Saturday. With room for 200 people inside and another 500 on its terrace, BBH also has plenty of televisions to watch the big game. They also have a game room with pool, darts and Golden Tee golf and serve pizza in their kitchen. BbhRichmondKy.com.
Magnifying glass, 375 Thompson Rd., has quickly become the heart of Lexington’s booming distillery district since its launch in July 2016. Its shotgun-style venue with a capacity of 350 (and an outdoor setup of 1,200 abilities) hosts some of the region’s finest artists in all musical fields. spectra ranging from three to six days a week. It has also earned a reputation as one of the finest music venues in the Southeastern United States with its guest and entertainer amenities including a retro game room, food kitchen (serving everything, from juicy burgers to Korean corn dogs) and a spacious green room visiting artists love. TheBurlKy.com.
The twisted cap, 3344 Partner Pl., has long hosted one of Lexington’s largest open mics every Sunday, though it only has a capacity of 50 people. The liquor store and bar regularly hosts live bands the other six days of the week inside its cozy enclosure, such as Austin City Saloon namesake Greg Austin every Monday and Brother Smith on the first Wednesday. of each month. The Cork also offers 86 varieties of wine to sample alongside its finest tunes. Facebook.com/TwistedCorkLex.
Honorable Mention: Live Music Guide
Abettor Brewing Co., 128 N Highland St, Winchester. AbettorBeer.com.
Azur Restaurant & Terrace, 3070 Lakecrest Cir #550. AzurRestaurant.com.
The barnyard, 10005 W Highway 36, Sharpsburg. TheBarnyardVenue.com.
Cocktails ALSO, 130W Tiverton Way #195. CocktailsBarAndGrill.com/Home-Cocktails-Too/.
clubhouse, 385 S Limestone Street ClubhouseLex.com.
creaux, 301 W Short St. CreauxLex.com.
Downtown Elixir, 249 W Short St. ElixirDowntown.com.
The Elkhorn Tavern, 1200 Manchester St. BarrelHouseDistillery.com/Elkhorn-Tavern.
The aquarium, 500 Euclid Ave. Facebook.com/TheFishtankLex.
The Green Lantern Bar, 497 W Third St. Facebook.com/The-Green-Lantern-Bar-183595498351037.
Gypsy Run Brewery, 131 N 4th St, Danville. GypsyRunBrewery.com
Henry Clay’s Public House, 112 N Upper St. Facebook.com/HenryClaysPublicHouse.
Southern table and bar by J Render, 3191 Beaumont Center Cir. JRendersBbq.com.
Lexington Opera House, 401 W Short St. LexingtonOperaHouse.com.
Lyric theater and arts cultural center, 300 E Third St. Lexington Lyric.com.
Manchester Music Hall, 899 Manchester Street, ManchesterMusicHall.com.
Meadowgreen Appalachian Music Park, 303 Bluegrass Ln, Clay City. MeadowgreenMusicPark.com.
Moondance Amphitheater, 1152 Monarch St. Facebook.com/MoonDanceAmphitheatre.
My old Kentucky moss, 194 E Main St, Georgetown. Facebook.com/MokyFoam2017.
patch pub, 153 Patchen Drive #29. Facebook.com/PatchenPub.
Proud Mary BBQ, 9079 Old Richmond Road. ProudMaryBbq.com.
Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, 2380 Richmond Street, Mount Vernon. RenfroValley.com.
Rupp Arena, 430 W Vine St. RuppArena.com.
Slainte Public House, 320 E Main St, Georgetown. Facebook.com/SlaintePublicHouse.
Shaker Village from Pleasant Hill, 3501 Lexington Road, Harrodsburg. ShakerVillageKy.org.
Sig Luscher Brewery, 221 Mero St, Frankfurt. SiglLuscherBrewery.com
The scope, 5711 McCracken Pike, Frankfurt. Facebook.com/TheStaveKentucky.
TeeDee Progressive Bluegrass Club, 266 E 2nd St. Facebook.com/TeeDeesBluegrassProgessiveClub.
drunk cow bar, 401 Outlet Center Dr #165, Georgetown. TipsyCowBar.com.
Wildcat Willy Distillery, 31 E Broadway St, Winchester. WildcatWillysDistillery.com.
Wildside Wine Estate, 5500 Troy Pike, Versailles. WildsideWinery.com.