Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria
- Address: 200 East Jackson Ave.
- Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Mondays-Saturdays; noon-midnight Sundays
- Phone: 865-521-0092
KNOXVILLE — Mobilizing a group of people for a night of revelry and mayhem can sometimes be more difficult than you would think.
This week we got together with one plan in mind, but found ourselves quickly changing over to plan B before even reaching our first destination. Before we knew it plan B had quickly dissolved into plan C and we were heading to familiar territory.
Of all the bars in Knoxville, there are few that I have never heard anyone speak ill of. Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria located in the Old City is a part of this elite group, and a sure bet for consensus among everyone.
The amount of things there is to do on any night of the week is what makes Barley's so special. There is hardly a night when you can't find live music from a variety of local or national acts, ranging from the in-your-face Nashville duo The Black Diamond Heavies to the tormented sounds of Athens band Dead Confederate. Thanks to Barley's setup, the shows there are always very personal and a guaranteed good time.
If you aren't familiar with Barley's, there is a lot to take in at once. First of all, if you plan on heading to Barley's past reasonable dinner time, be prepared to show your ID after 9 p.m.
Around this time Barley's becomes a 21-and-up venue and they mean it. I've had my ID scrutinized on more than one occasion, and I always make sure to have my passport and birth certificate handy just in case. All kidding aside, Barley's does a great job putting the kibosh on underage drinking.
Barley's has plenty of places to sit throughout its two levels. The stage and main bar reside downstairs, while a smaller bar, more seating and several pool tables keep the upstairs offering plenty.
The upstairs portion of Barley's does a good job of keeping the noise level to a minimum and allowing for conversation even while some of the loudest bands are rocking out downstairs. There are also a few arcade games in the back if pool isn't your thing. Pool is priced by the hour, but it isn't too difficult to find a table during the busier hours if you keep your eyes open.
The main draw for many at Barley's is the huge beer selection. The downstairs bar offers one of the best selections of beer on draft in Knoxville, with favorites like Rogue, Left Hand and Sam Adams. Upstairs you will find a more limited selection, picking from the most popular beers downstairs. If you like beer and trying new brands, there is no reason for you to be missing out on Barley's.
There are a variety of specials throughout the week, including $2 pints throughout the week, making it one of the best values in Knoxville as well.
Barley's also has plenty of delicious food. Their menu includes wraps, burgers and, of course, pizza. We split a large cheese pizza, chips and salsa and each had a beer for $12 with a bit to take home. The pizza is always tasty and usually served until midnight throughout the week for those looking for a late night snack.
There are also plenty of exciting shows coming up at Barley's over the next few weeks. Folk-rocker group the New Familiars will perform this Saturday, the Tim Lee 3 will play May 21 and Christabel and The Jons - one of my local favorites - will entertain on May 29. With so much to do there is no reason to miss out on the entertainment going on this summer at Barley's.