Overton Square is at the heart of midtown Memphis. It's an area small in size but huge in terms of all there is to do. Two of Memphis' best theaters are located here. So are venues hosting live music every night of the week as well as Ballet Memphis. There are breweries, restaurants, bars, and courtyards with lawn games. There are hot spots to get ice cream, to do yoga, to get a beauty treatment, even to shop. It's no wonder this one of the city's buzziest and most poplar neighborhoods. Here's your ultimate list of what to do in Overton Square.
Take in a Ballet Performance
Ballet Memphis is one of the best dance companies not just in Memphis but the MidSouth. The group attracts some of the country's best dancers, and they put on professional shows from Giselle to crowd pleaser The Nutcracker. The performance schedule as well as tickets can be found on the website. If participating, not watching, is your thing don't miss their Ballet Pilates classes that are open to the public. You'll feel so invigorated stretching and toning you'll be ready to leap across stage before you know it.
Hear Live Music at Lafayette's Music Room
Lafayette's Music Room is a legendary Memphis establishment. It opened in the 1980s and bought new stars to the Memphis stage. The venue continues to test the skills of both discovered and undiscovered talent in front of an eager audience. There is live music seven days a week, sometimes more than once a day. The acts vary from country to blues to rock 'n' roll. A dedicated staff serves you delicious snacks and drinks during performances so you don't have to take your eyes off the stage.
Indulge in Southern Treats at Local on the Square
You can't miss Local on the Square; it's located in the center of Overton Square, and it's the hot spot for happy hour, dinner, and late night drinks. Memphians crave the modern takes on southern food like the steakhouse spinach dip and the whipped sweet potatoes. One of the restaurant's specialities is the grown-up bologna sandwich complete with beer cheese, pickle, mustard, and a sunny side up egg. Local's beer list is exceptional; they always have the latest Memphis brews on tap, some of which are made in the same neighborhood.
Taste Locally Made Beer at Boscos Restaurant & Brewing Co
Long before Memphis had a vibrant craft beer scene, Boscos Restaurant & Brewing Co. was making award winning beer within its walls. In fact, its Famous Flaming Stone, was included in 1998 in Michael Jackson's Ultimate Beer Book. Now the restaurant continues to whip up delicious concoctions including cask conditioned ales and seasonal brews. They also serve food from fried chicken and waffles to juicy burgers that pair perfectly with the beer.
The Zebra Lounge calls itself "a unique watering hole" which is an excellent way to describe it. A transplant from Chicago, this piano bar features live players seven nights a week. Sometimes they play their own tunes, other times it's Elton John all night. But regardless, it's a good time for all as people sing along and sip cocktails. For a list of performances check the schedule here. But a better way to do it is just drop in and see who's in the spotlight that evening.
Get Your Sugar Fix at Sweet Noshings
Sweet Noshings is one of Overton Square's newest additions. Part candy store, part coffee shop, it tries to bring us back to a simpler era when candy costs a penny and made all problems go away. The store has seemingly endless rows of jars with all types of candy you could want. If you are craving something salty, check out the popcorn selection. Sweet Noshings carries 15 different flavors like s'mores and spicy white cheddar. If you need a pick-me-up after all that sugar order a latte to go.
Sweat it out at Bikram Yoga Memphis
Life can't always be about dancing to live music or trying the latest beer invention. Sometimes you have to err on the healthy side, right? Luckily for you, you don't even have to leave Overton Square to do so. Bikram Yoga Memphis prides itself on being Memphis' first yoga studio, and it still leads the way with innovative classes. Whether you're looking for Inferno Hot Pilates, Hot Yoga, Buti Hot Yoga, or more, this studio has it. Beginners and intermediates are welcome in these friendly classes.
The Art Project Memphis is a haven for creative children in the heart of Overton Square — there are studios and workstations reserved exclusively for them. Kids can choose from a variety of materials including paint, glitter, feathers, googly eyes, crayons, chalk, and more. The space also holds story time and craft workshops for toddlers twice a week. There are art classes and workshops for older children. Check out the schedule on the website.
Playhouse on the Square is one of the MidSouth's most prestigious theater companies. It puts on numerous productions a year from classics like Peter Pan and a Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder to newer, lesser known shows. Taking in a play in Overton Square is a full-evening affair. Most play-goers like to dine beforehand at one of the many restaurants on the block, enjoy a glass of wine in intermission in the theater's buzzing lobby bar, and then get another nightcap nearby when it's over. It's the recipe for a perfect evening.
Go on a Shopping Spree at CrazyBeautiful
CrazyBeautiful is a women's clothing boutique opened in 2004 and is still a favorite amongst locals. Here you'll find the latest trends in fashion from chic jumpsuits to mini skirts. The store sells distinctive items for any occasion whether you need a new dress for a formal wedding to a statement hat for a summer party. It carries plus sizes and always has some items on sale. You'll lose yourself shopping here. It's retail therapy at it's best.
Have Some Family Fun at Belly Acres
Belly Acres is a family-friendly restaurant that prides itself on providing three things: burgers, shakes, and smiles. Its burger list is long — all the meat is grass-fed and some burgers contain buffalo meat — and there are many unique creations on the menu. Don't miss the PB&J that comes with pork belly, pepper jack cheese, bibb lettuce and jalapeño jam. Vegetarians will love the beef-less burgers. No matter how full and satisfied you think you are, everyone should finish their meal with a shake. They are a can't-miss item.
Hattiloo Theater is not just one of the few free-standing, independent Black theaters in Memphis; it's one of the only ones in the country. The theater celebrates diversity by putting on plays by Black playwrights or by casting Black actors in traditionally non-Black productions. During the 2019 season you'll be dancing along to Mahalia, a play that celebrates the life of one of the most famous gospel singers of all time. As the holidays get closer you'll be laughing out loud during If Scrooge was a Brother/A Sistah that tells the story of Ebenita Scroo, a successfully African American businesswoman whose heart has grown cold. Check out the calendar of events here.