A Chattanooga Girls’ Night Out can be adventurous, crafty, competitive, and downright delicious. Here are five options for your next night on the town.
Latin Dance Party:
Mayan Kitchen Latin Cuisine & Tequila Bar
Here, the dinner menu may bring you in the door, but it’s the drink specials and dancing that will convince you to stay late into the night. Guatemalan brothers Jacob and Benjamin Lemus came to America in 1990 and 1996, respectively, and went straight to work in the restaurant industry. After getting his start with City Cafe, Jacob brought in his brother to help open Mayan Kitchen Latin Cuisine & Tequila Bar on Broad Street downtown. The menu includes garnachas (crispy corn masa patties topped with picadillo), caldo de res (beef broth with beef shoulder and short ribs, carrots, potatoes, corn, and cabbage), grilled tilapia with mango salsa, Guatemalan-style chicken tenders and waffles with a spicy mango syrup, and parillada chapina (a skirt steak served with Guatemalan white sausage, chorizo, short ribs, and chicken breast). Every first and third Saturday of the month, Mayan Kitchen hosts an after-hours Latin dance party with a live DJ beginning at 11:30 p.m. Don’t worry if you’re inexperienced. The regulars will teach you how to move.
Craft Night, Woodshop Style:
Board & Brush
This is basically a crafting experience for those of us who prefer to have a project already prepped. It’s a DIY night without having to own a table saw, make a trip to a hobby store, or protect your dining room table from paint splatters. On Thursday and Friday nights, you’ll find Pick Your Project workshops that run from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. That means each person in your party can select any craft from the website to make when you arrive, so there is no need to have everyone create an identical project. Itching to paint a trio of vintage Christmas trees, regardless of time of year? No problem. Board & Brush also offers garden boxes, front porch signs, cornhole, beer trays, decorative trivets, book crates, coat racks, and an oversized tic tac toe board. And, you aren’t using power tools. You’re simply distressing, staining, and decorating the wooden item of your choice. Named an Entrepreneur Franchise 500 top new franchise the last three years running, at Board & Brush, the wood and stencils are pre-cut for your creation, so all you have to do is show up. Located in Cambridge Square in Ooltewah, this workshop is within walking distance to Tasty Donuts and Wine Down Bistro & Lounge. On Thursdays, there’s no need to step off-site for a quick drink while you wait for your paint to dry, because beer and malt beverages are available for purchase in the studio. If you prefer to bring your own wine, there is a $5 corkage fee.
Dessert and a 90s Dance Off:
The Hot Chocolatier to Regan’s Place
Wendy and Brandon Buckner opened boutique-style artisan chocolate shop The Hot Chocolatier in 2008 after touring similar shops and production facilities in France and Belgium. Wendy, the head chocolatier, has training from The French Pastry School in Chicago. The scent alone as you peruse the treats behind the glass is chocolate heaven. At The Hot Chocolatier, chocolate is imported from Switzerland, Belgium, and France and then used to make a custom blend. Once you’ve had a taste of the sipping chocolate, truffles, or cakes, walk one block east behind The Terminal Brewhouse to Regan’s Place. On Friday and Saturday nights, Regan’s Place hosts a Retro Weekend Dance Party with hits from the 1980s and 1990s. The drink menu includes scotch, 19 different kinds of bourbon, 14 different kinds of tequila, and plenty of bubbles and wine. Signature cocktails include the Boozy Boot Legger (blackberry moonshine, pineapple juice, and club soda), Le FIZZ (vodka, St. Germain, and champagne), a rum runner, and a cherry Manhattan.
Bingo and a Drag Show:
Bar Watson to The Great Scotland Yard
In order to secure a seat for the Divas of Illusion Drag Show at 11:30 p.m., you’ll need to come early for bingo. Located on Shallowford Road east of downtown, Bar Watson is the place to find drinks inspired by classic British literature written by Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson. The Jekyl & Hyde Juice is made with Bulleit Bourbon, Cointreau, Spire, lemon, and red wine. The Pineapple Penalty is a martini made with pineapple vodka, Pama liqueur, and pineapple juice. The Baskerville Hendrick Hounds is made with gin, a cherry puree, club soda, and lime. Two venues in one with three bars and two dance floors, Saturday night fun on-site is hosted in The Great Scotland Yard with Drag Bingo at 8 p.m. The drag show follows at 11:30 p.m. A warning for the most conservative of your friends: The show is racy.
Bowling, Bar Games, and a Speakeasy:
Southside Social to Company at the Kinley Chattanooga
A bowling alley with 10 lanes, four bars, skeeball, pool tables, darts, ping pong, and a giant version of Jenga out back, Southside Social puts a creative spin on the gaming lounge atmosphere. Here, the bar food includes pizzas, nachos, pulled pork and brisket, mac and cheese bites, chicken tinga tacos, and sandwiches with bread made locally at Neidlov’s. Once you’ve had your fill, head a few blocks east to the Kinley Chattanooga, a modern boutique hotel with a secret on the main level. By reservation only, you can get a private table at a speakeasy style bar hidden behind a bookcase. Dimly lit with velvet chairs, banquettes, and menus with a purposeful nod to sophisticated, vintage hotel bars, this place has serious Prohibition-era vibes. Small plates include truffle fries, deviled eggs, charcuterie, and chocolate cremeux, while cocktails range from the Bee’s Knees (gin with triple honey syrup and lemon) to the Grasshopper (Cognac, Amari, creme de cacao, creme de menthe and cream topped with shaved dark chocolate).