Nightlife in Greenville: Best Bars, Clubs, & More

View of the Reedy River and buildings in downtown Greenville at sunset
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With hiking and mountain biking in parks and the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains, countless museums, and a walkable downtown dotted with independent boutiques, cozy coffee shops, and exciting restaurants, Greenville is a great city during the day. But the city also has a thriving nightlife, with laid-back breweries, no-frills dive bars with live music and open mic nights, rooftop bars serving craft cocktails with panoramic views, and energetic clubs where you can dance all night long.

Whether you're looking for a casual weeknight karaoke or trivia night, a dark speakeasy serving the classics, or a dance club with the hottest DJ, Greenville has something for you.

Bars and Breweries 

Greenville is a burgeoning beer destination, with more than a dozen local breweries serving everything from experimental sours to classic ales. It's also a great cocktail town, with elegant rooftop bars whipping up original drinks to 1920s style speakeasies that focus on the classics. Whether it's your first stop of the day or final destination of the night, these are some of the city's go-to bars and breweries:

  • The Trappe Door: Located directly underneath Barley's in downtown, this dark basement bar has the city's best selection of Belgian and Belgian-style beers with refreshing saisons, malty pales, and funky sours on offer. The cocktail list is loaded with classics like the boozy Sazerac and the house Ramos gin fizz is also excellent. Don't sleep on the bar's food menu either, with several varieties of moules-frites (mussels and French fries) and house-made sausages that pair perfectly with beer.
  • UP on the Roof: Drink with panoramic views of the city and the nearby mountains at the city's tallest rooftop bar on top of the Embassy Suites downtown. The drink menu includes an extensive list of wines by the bottle and glass, local and regional craft beer, and seasonal cocktails. Open until midnight Sunday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. on the weekends, it's also the perfect place for last call or to grab a late-night snack like wings, tacos, and other shareable plates.
  • Vault & Vator: Head to this downtown subterranean speakeasy for classic cocktails like the Last Word and Penicillin, house specialty drinks, wine, beer, and small plates. Feeling indecisive? Opt for the "dealer's choice" and select two words that best describe your booze style, and the bartender will whip up the perfect drink for you. The bar is walk-in only, so come early or on a weeknight. Groups of six or more can call ahead to secure a reservation, capacity permitting.
  • Birds Fly South Ale Project: This pet and family-friendly brewery adjacent to downtown in Hampton Station is the perfect pit stop after a walk or ride on the city's Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail. The husband-and-wife-owned spot specializes in sours and farmhouse-style brews, ranging from crisp lagers to double IPAs to innovative saisons. The space—in a revitalized 15,000 square foot wool mill—includes an indoor taproom, expansive lawn, outdoor patio, and biergarten.
  • Swamp Rabbit Brewery and Taproom: Located along the Swamp Rabbit Trail in downtown Traveler's Rest, this brewery is a popular pit stop for walkers, runners, and cyclists. Choose from several beers on tap like American pale ale, nutty stouts, and German-style pilsners.
  • Community Tap: Get over 20 beers on tap, plus wines by the glass, kombucha, craft sodas, and more at the North Main and Trailside at the Commons outposts of this local growler shop. You can also purchase beer and wine to go and snack on popsicles, cheese, and charcuterie while you sip. The North Main location is pet-friendly and features nightly food trucks.

Nightclubs

Greenville's club scene includes sprawling nightclubs, piano bars, country-tinged saloons, and dark dive bars.

  • Blind Horse Saloon: With line dancing lessons, a large dance floor, and live music Wednesday through Saturday, Blind Horse is the city's top spot for country music fans, Many of country's biggest stars like Keith Urban and Trisha Yearwood have played here, and the club also has an excellent house band, One Eye Jack. The 18-and-up club only serves drinks and has a cover charge so keep some cash on hand.
  • Blu Nightclub: Located below Sushi Go on Main Street, this basement dance venue is the go-to spot for late-night dancing. The venue is open until 2 a.m., and the bar is stocked with beer, wine, and cocktails and the kitchen serves up hearty pub fare to keep you energized for a long evening. Don't miss Friday "Pride Night" and other theme nights.
  • Abanico Tapas Bar, Restaurant & Music: Come for Spanish-style tapas like the tortilla Española, paella, and patatas bravas and pitchers of sangria and stay for a night of dancing to DJs spinning upbeat international jams upstairs.
  • Acuarius Nightclub: The Upstate's largest Latino dance club welcomes a diverse crowd of late-night revelers who come for serious dancing plus cocktails and a rotating cast of guest DJs.

Live Music and Performance Venues

  • Blues Boulevard Jazz: Hear music from local and touring acts Tuesday through Friday starting at 7:30 p.m. and this downtown club. The menu includes a list of small plates plus cocktails, beer, and wine. Book in advance, as the club is small and shows fill up quickly.
  • Smiley's Acoustic Cafe: With Monday open mic nights, Wednesday live-band karaoke, and a regular rotation of singer-songwriters and bands, this West End venue is a laid-back spot to try your work on stage or just sit back with a drink and listen to live music. Don't miss the signature Heady fries and other hearty pub fare, plus cocktail specials and an extensive list of wine and local beers.
  • Sharkey's Pub: Located in the heart of downtown, Sharkey's is the ultimate, no-frills dive bar. The pub regularly hosts live music or guest DJs and has standard bar snacks—think wings, sandwiches (the Philly cheesesteak is outstanding), and fries. On the weekends, Sharkey's is a good spot to catch the latest college or professional game on one of several big-screen TVs.
  • Jack n' Diane's Dueling Pianos: This lively bar has it all: raucous live music, flowing cocktails, epic fishbowls, craft beer, and plenty of fun. Be sure to make reservations in advance, as spots book quickly.
  • Rainer's Cafe and Bar: Searching for an intimate spot to listen to your favorite band or discover your next new one? Rainer's is your place. No TVs, no background noise, just good music, ranging from jazz to folk to the blues. The venue only holds 45 people, so call ahead to secure your spot. Note there is also a dress code: no shorts, distressed jeans, flip flops, or athletic wear, so pack and dress accordingly.
  • Radio Room: With nearly 20 shows a month featuring artists playing hip hop, indie rock, and EDM, Radio Room is one of the city's best venues for seeing emerging local and regional bands. When someone's not on stage, the bar hosts trivia nights, karaoke, service industry specials, happy hours, and other special events.

Festivals

With its stunning parks and temperate weather, Greenville has no shortage of outdoor festivals for art lovers, foodies, and car aficionados. 

Held each October, Fall for Greenville is the largest free admission food and music festival in the Southeast includes three days of live music plus food from over 250 local and regional restaurants and 50 different beers and wines.

Other can’t-miss annual events include Artisphere arts festival celebrating ceramicists, printmakers, and other visual artists in spring; fall's euphoria Greenville, with coursed chef dinners, cooking demonstrations, beer and wine tastings, and live music; the annual spring EURO Auto Festival; and the Indie Craft Parade, which happens during fall and also holds regular pop-ups throughout the year.

Tips for Going Out in Greenville

  • While Greenville's downtown is walkable, plan on calling a taxi or a ride share service like Lyft or Uber if traveling to other parts of town.
  • Be mindful of dress codes, as some bars and clubs do not allow shorts, athletic wear, or other casual attire.
  • While reservations generally aren't required, they are recommended for large parties or special occasions.
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