Bars in Athens

Select Local Merchants

Brackins Blues Club pairs deep-fried fare and more than 100 international beers with live music several nights a week on a small, window-backed stage. As guitar riffs fill their ears, diners can reach into a basket of 10 hot, mild, or teriyaki chicken wings, strumming along on wing bones, or jump into a fried-mushroom or loaded potato-bite appetizer. For entrees, a bed of french fries lays the starchy foundation for chicken tenders, shrimp, or North Atlantic cod fried in Brackins' own beer batter, and a half-pound cheesesteak sandwich tops a toasted hoagie roll with chopped steak and melted american cheese. Diners can reenact hamster ball demolition derbies on the bar's pool table, or move to the outdoor patio and bask in a cool, refreshing cascade of water balloons.

112 E Broadway Ave
Maryville,
TN
US

A tall pint of Guinness. A hearty plate of corned beef and cabbage. Few places?in Ireland or otherwise?can top the traditional Irish fare at Flaherty's Irish Pub and Grill. But with that said, this is a restaurant that doesn't shy away from creativity. Exhibit A: the award-winning corned beef bites, which roll together Swiss cheese, cream cheese, and sauerkraut in deep-fried bread crumbs. And if you're not a fan of salted meats and potatoes, Flaherty's still has you covered with club sandwiches, veggie wraps, and a no-fuss pub burger. Irish beers and whiskeys predictably dominate the drink list; most of them are even easy to pronounce, unlike foreign words such as "bangers and mash."

1720 West Broadway Avenue
Maryville,
TN
US

With the Chattanooga location named one of Times Free Press's Best Happy Hour and Best Place to Have a Cold Beer in 2010, draughts and dishes flow freely at both Fanatics Sports Bar & Grill locations, each festooned with a slew of HDTVs, pool tables, and dart boards. Soak up suds with the menu's starters, such as monterey cheddar bacon cheese fries ($6.49), or peck at a platter of philly cheesesteak nachos ($7.99/$12.99). Tangy wing seasonings range from mild spice to insane heat ($7.49+), and buffalo shrimp offers a seaside alternative ($7.99). Bolster belly caverns with the quesadilla burger, a 1/4-pound burger with three types of cheese corralled between two tortillas and topped with salsa and sour cream ($8.99), or dive into the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich ($7.49).

5425 Highway 153
Hixson,
TN
US

Sports Barn's mammoth and diverse schedule of more than 120 weekly group classes leaves little room for excuses. Nationally certified instructors, including a former triathlete and a six-sigma black belt, teach just about every type of fitness class imaginable—from high-energy kickboxing and dance aerobics to mind-centering yoga and Pilates—for people of any experience level. Students challenge multiple muscle groups in high-intensity, low-impact CRCTBRKR (or Circuit Breaker) classes, which melt calories with strength training and compound-joint exercises. To further direct guests toward their weight-loss goals, an on-staff dietitian and attentive personal trainers devise personalized programs and custom-fitting donut-proof vests.

Among other amenities, the centers boast an indoor pool and two heated outdoor pools. Patrons can relax after their workouts in a hot tub or sauna, or book a soothing massage.

6148 Lee Highway
Chattanooga,
TN
US

Deemed the "Best Night Out" in Chattanooga by US Travel and Attractions for two years in a row, Vaudeville Cafe is an entertainment chameleon. On some nights, the tables at the spacious dinner theater are packed with families savoring Italian feasts as they try to solve original murder mysteries. Weekend nights have a more adult slant as headlining standup comedians seen on HBO and Comedy Central garner guffaws while guests enjoy a full bar of cocktails, wine, and frozen specialty drinks. But regardless of the event, every evening brims with jolly vaudeville spirit, and every seat in the house offers stellar views of the stage and napping spotlight operator.

138 Market Street
Chattanooga,
TN
US

The friendly staff at Cloud 9 stockpiles a variety of different tobacco and tobacco-free shisha flavors, alongside a menu of fingerpicking fare and craft beers. Guests can pack regular ($12) or large ($18) hookah bowls with tasty fusions such as the apple, cherry, and coconut blend of Al-Fakher, or add extra zest with flavor bases more juicy than grape-juice gossip ($5). Their collection of comestibles unveils the tomato bruschetta atop a toasted baguette ($4) and the stuffed pita a la jones ($5), which delivers bite-size packages of house hummus and feta to oral doorsteps. Cool off a piping-hot palate with bottles of Avery Ellie's brown ale and Yuengling lager ($3.50 each), or take a swig from your own bottle of spirits ($8 cork fee).

1101 Hixson Pike
Chattanooga,
TN
US