Friday, January 27, 2012

(Re)Discover Chattanooga - Rhythm & Brews

There are so many places on my Chattanooga "I can't believe I've never been there" list.  Rhythm & Brews was very close to the top of that list.  They are in a perfect location, right downtown next to the Aquarium, there is plenty of parking (most of which you have to pay for, but it's not bad), and there is a back entrance from Big River Brewery.  My only defense of not going checking out Rhythm & Brews sooner is that when I lived in Chattanooga before, I just wasn't that into live music.  That has changed since I've moved back, and I'm glad I got a group together for Perpetual Groove last weekend.

A friend of mine took this picture 1/21/12

The venue seems a little smaller than I expected, but I think the capacity it a bit deceiving since the balcony area is a lot larger than meets the eye.  The long balcony is cool because it creates a few different environments in the venue. You've got the standard open space by the stage and more chill section near the bar.  You've also got a low ceiling space under the balcony that, depending on the show, can be standing room overflow for the main space, or even small group type seating.  The balcony is great because there is plenty of room to dance and keep a few cocktail tables.   For my South Carolina friends, Rhythm & Brews has some of the same acts as the Handlebar in Greenville, but with a more intimate feel.

The best pleasant surprise was how awesome the cocktail waitresses were.  We hung out upstairs, and had a cocktail waitress that kept us happy all night.  It was pretty nice not having to fight the line downstairs (not that the bartenders were slow, it was just busy) and she was quick.  I was impressed.  Cocktail waitresses are almost non-existent in Clemson, or at most shows I've been to in SC.

Another pleasant surprise is that Rhythm & Brews is a smoke free venue.  Sorry smokers, but this is a small-ish venue, and it was really nice not to have to wash my hair when I got home.  The sidewalk is huge, so there was plenty of room outside to smoke, and the bouncers were cool with people going in and out.

The only reason I don't think I'll spend a ton of time at Rhythm and Brews is I feel like they book a lot of "tribute" bands.  I am excited about seeing 'Who's Bad' (Micheal Jackson) because of the recommendation by a friend, but personally, I'd rather see original music live.  I get what they're doing though, it's a lot more cost effective and logistically feasable to book a tribute band over the real thing.  And hey, you gotta give the people what they want.  Rhythm and Brews has obviously done that, because I feel like they were The venue in Chattanooga while I was gone.  It will be interesting to see if their booking strategy changes with the addition of Track 29 in the Chattanooga Music Scene.  Either way, I have a feeling they are here to stay, and I'll be watching their calendar for new show announcements.

Rhythm & Brews
221 Market Street  Chattanooga, TN 37402
Phone: 423.267.4644
Website - Facebook - @RnBChatt- Schedule

Side note:  Rhythm & Brews does a great job promoting on Facebook & twitter, and tickets are always available in advance online.  I'm an internet junkie, so this works really well for me.

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