When you listen to live music, you experience something unique. The artist plays music only performed exactly that way one time. While the song may be familiar, it doesn’t come out of a machine. People visiting Tyler say it’s one of the best places for experiencing the passion, energy and intensity you can only get in person. These are the music venues you don’t want to miss when you visit Tyler.
Best 9 Live Music Venues When You’re Visiting Tyler
Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q
You wouldn’t think this unpretentious establishment across from UT Health Tyler would be the place Texas Monthly Magazine would name “One of the Best BBQ Joints in the World” for food and atmosphere, but it is. Stanley’s Famous BBQ is known as much for its bands as for its BBQ and booze.
The music: Almost every night of the week Stanley’s has performances from local bands and outside performers. For example, featured Chakra Khan plays exploratory guitar melodies with compelling vocals and was called by the Austin Chronicle one of the capital’s best psychedelic bands. The Indie garage band from Tyler called Gorgeous Jetson also plays frequently. Every Tuesday is kid’s night with live music featuring Dustin Becker.
What to eat and drink: Everything on the menu will make you wish you had a larger stomach. If it’s your first time visiting Tyler, you have to experience the Mother Clucker for spiked smoked chicken with spicy mayo on a toasted jalapeno cheese bun. Stanley’s has happy hour every day and they serve bourbon, cocktails and Texas craft beer. Try the whiskey flights or relax with a house margarita.
If you’re looking for a fun, casual dining experience with inventive flavors and you’re visiting Tyler on a Thursday, try Cork.
Type of music: On Thursdays Cork offers a jazzy Amy Winehouse type of band. Music starts after the dinner rush around 8 pm, so the atmosphere is intimate. Wednesdays the music isn’t live, but a representative from Tyler’s downtown El Guapo Records plays old vinyls on a record player with the same jazzy, upbeat feel.
What to eat and drink: Check Cork’s specials list for chef features with unique flavors and local ingredients. The craft cocktail program provides tasty treats like the Strawberry Smash and the Fire and Ice.
When you visit Tyler if you ask a local where to find pool, pub grub and live music, they’ll probably say Clicks. There you’ll find live entertainment almost every night of the week.
The music: Wednesdays are always karaoke night, then Clicks features live bands Thursday through Saturday starting at 8 pm and lasting until midnight. Recent artists include Bowling for Soup, Raven Hunter and Metrograde.
When you think of live music venues, a grocery store probably isn’t what comes to mind, but Fresh isn’t just a grocery store. They have milk, eggs and bread like any other market, but that’s not what draws people from all over the area. When you visit Tyler, stop by Fresh for chef-prepared takeout and enjoy it on the patio with live music.
The music: Fresh has music on Friday and Saturday nights from 6-9 pm, making it great for people who want to unwind but can’t stay out late. They feature local artists playing jazz, country, and occasional classic rock.
While you’re there: The come and go atmosphere and a mix of people makes the Fresh patio feel like a community party. Fresh offers an expansive collection of wine and beer with selections at multiple price points. Munch street tacos, a burger hot off the grill or an oven fired pizza until you’re ready to get up and dance to the music.
For more information: Check out the Fresh by Brookshire’s calendar of events.
ETX Brewing Company
People say ETX Brewing Company has a very laid-back atmosphere that feels like being in Austin. The downtown Tyler establishment features wall art from local artists and serves beer from their family-owned micro-brewery.
The music: ETX Brewing Company offers live music from local artists. They provide a variety of jazz, country, and rock every Friday and Saturday night. Some of the most popular past performances were by the Jazz Connection, The Haggerty’s and Meredith Crawford.
While you’re there: In addition to beers like 1846 IPA and Red House Wheat, the micro-brewery offers healthy eats and tasty splurges. Try the black bean burger or the popular mac and cheese cheesy fries with bacon on top.
Upcoming events: ETX Brewing Company usually has live music every night except Sunday and Monday from 8-10 pm. Check out their online event schedule to find out more.
One of Tyler’stop-rankedd steak and seafood restaurants also has live music. If you’re visiting Tyler on Wednesday, Friday or Saturday, Dakota’s has live music on the patio.
The music: Dakota’s also plays a variety, but it’s primarily country and classic rock. The Darrin Morris Band is a country group made up of five friends from Gilmer. Patrick James plays electrifying pop. The energetic Gary Patrick band plays country that will make you want to dance.
Best food and drink choices: If you go to Dakota’s when you visit Tyler, try the steak bites. The tuna loin tips sliced with peppercorn sauce satisfy your appetite for savory. The jalapeno raspberry martini is spicy and sweet, and the restaurant also has an extensive wine list.
For more information: Music plays from 7-10 pm. Find out what to expect on their website.
Mario’s Italian Restaurant
For old world charm and a romantic atmosphere, go to Mario’s Italian Restaurant when you visit Tyler. The owners Veronique and Mo Rezaei get to know guests by name and treat them like family, not customers.
The music: The old movie posters and black and white stills on the walls will take you back in time, and so will the music. Friday and Saturday nights offer a live piano player with occasional karaoke and jazz.
While you’re there: Wear shoes you can dance in. The dance floor is small, but the restaurant is so romantic and the music so moving, you won’t be able to resist.
The Garage Bar
Any day but Sunday and Monday this bar two blocks off the square gives you a chance to blend with music enthusiasts of all ages. Go to The Garage Bar when you visit Tyler for a relaxed atmosphere and a friendly crowd.
The music: Owners say they try to stick with local bands. They turn over their stage for some country bands but they also feature blues, rock and alternative rock. Tuesday they offer karaoke. Wednesday and Thursday the D.J. encourages audience members to step up to the microphone. Fridays often have a theme like Latin and Hip-Hop or Neon Glow. Saturdays feature local performers.
While you’re there: Friday and Saturday are packed, so the owner recommends you visit at eight or nine to beat the crowd. In addition to music they have two pool tables and a dance floor.
To find out more: The Garage Bar posts upcoming events on their Facebook page.
Ricks On the Square
For valet parking, white chocolate bread pudding and music on the patio, stop by Rick’s On the Square when you visit Tyler.
The music: Rick’s On the Square offers mostly Dallas bands playing top hits. Previous performers include Live 80, an 80’s party dance band and Chinatown, a group with an extensive song list and a smooth jazz saxophonist.
For more information: Rick’s On the Square’s webpage calendar helps people visiting Tyler see what’s coming up.