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Hot List: Main Venue

Five of the coolest places in town for live music, comedy, drinks and more

The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm in Silverhill offers a comfortable, folksy atmosphere, perfect for musicians and fans alike to sit back, relax and listen.

The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm in Silverhill offers a comfortable, folksy atmosphere, perfect for musicians and fans alike to sit back, relax and listen.

MCE Photography / Chad Edwards

The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm

A concert at The Frog Pond is more than a simple performance; it's an experience. This folksy outdoor stage on Blue Moon Farm in Silverhill reflects the same personality as its talented repertoire of musicians. The property, owned by Cathe Steele, uses recycled materials throughout. Chandeliers hanging from the trees and candles atop tables add to the cool ambiance. 

Steele modeled the concept of The Frog Pond on "The Midnight Ramble” house concerts held by popular drummer Levon Helm. The idea is to bring musicians and listeners together in a setting where the focus is firmly on music. This past season, Grayson Capps, Will Kimbrough, Corky Hughes, Mary Gauthier and a number of other acts graced the wooden planks of The Frog Pond porch. 

On performance days, patrons bring their own chairs and beverages and can contribute a covered-dish to the family table for dinner. While Steele manages most of the operations solo, a number of local volunteers chip in to make sure everything runs smoothly. "Most of them are older. Older people like music, but for a number of reasons, going to a bar isn’t always the ideal option for them," says Steele. "This allows them to get involved and feel like they are a part of something." 

Out on the farm, you'll find an eclectic crowd with some fans as young as 6 and some all the way into their 90s. For the past two years, the venue has caught the attention of music lovers far and wide, attracting guests from Louisiana, New York and beyond. "Even when it's 40 degrees, people are bundled up out there," says Steele. "It’s an atmosphere that makes you feel at ease, like you're with your family. I feel blessed to see smiling faces leave here on Sunday."  

The venue is not fully open to the public, but you can call ahead to reserve your spot on the guest list. The first show of the 2013 - 2014 season is scheduled for Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. and will feature the sounds of Willie Sugarcapps, Will Kimbrough, Sugarcane Jane's Anthony and Savana Crawford, Grayson Capps and Corky Hughes.

The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm • Silverhill. 232-3072. 

LoDa Bier Garten

Brats, knots and beer — what more could you want? While we were all saddened to see Hopjack's Dauphin Street location close its doors last summer, we were equally as excited to see Mobile's first (and only) "authentic" German pub pop up in its place. Beer enthusiasts will feel right at home as the pub offers a vast selection of beers on tap, more than 100 bottles and cans, and of course, enough wine and liquor to make spirits bright. Keeping with the German theme, you can satisfy your hunger with the bar's brats, homemade pretzels or one of the delicious dishes the executive chef prepares on site. Upstairs, you'll find the ultimate lounge for you and your friends to watch sports, play pool, hear live music or test your knowledge at trivia on special nights. "Like" the pub on Facebook to find specials like free crawfish on Mondays, half off wine and beer, pitcher deals and other cool promotions that will build your liquid courage in no time. 

LoDA Bier Garten • 251 Dauphin St. 

The large outdoor space at Live at 360 Jazz Cafe attracts swarms of music fans on warm nights.

Photo by Catt Sirten

Live at 360 Jazz Cafe

One of Mobile's trendiest downtown spots, Live at 360 Jazz Cafe is a live performance venue featuring jazz and eclectic music from a variety of local, regional and national artists. Acts such as Marc Broussard, Matt Cusson and Rebecca Roubion have brought their smooth sounds to the cafe's Listening Room, Jazz Alley and outside Courtyard Stage.

The cafe also features a fresh menu, craft beers and fine wine. Wine Down Wednesdays are the perfect time to unwind for a mid-week pick-me-up. Various vendors rotate each week, bringing a vast selection of wines for all tastes from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. 

This summer, venture downtown for a music experience where listening is the top priority. Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers will kick off the summer concert series at noon on June 2. Regularly, Listening Room concerts begin at 8:05 p.m. and the Sunday Jazz Brunch takes place from 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

Live at 360 Jazz Cafe • 360 Dauphin St. 378-5795. 

Alchemy Tavern

The Tavern is the after-hours, is-it-the-weekend-yet spot. Originally built in 1853, the historic two-story house has all the whiskey, scotch and beer you could ever need, served just the way you like. A cool vibe and plenty of space make this an ideal place to catch happy hour out in the courtyard or listen to live music upstairs. Don't miss Comedy Whatever on Saturdays at 10 p.m., a weekly series where you hand over just $5 to see a mix of talented comics perform their best stand-up. Notable acts include Darren Moore, Tanner Inman, Anthony Torino and more. This weekend, the bar welcomes Kristine Levine from the popular TV series Portlandia, along with special guests Mattie C, Shelby Taylor, Mac Harde and Dave Nelson. Show is 21 and up. 

Alchemy Tavern • 7 S. Joachim St. 441-7741.

Located in the heart of downtown Daphne, De-Cuba is the best place to pick up a gift for dad this Father's Day or kick back on the covered deck for live music every Friday. 

De-Cuba

De-Cuba takes cigar shopping to the next level. Started in 2008 by Jack and Terry Beisel, the original inspiration for the shop was based on Jack's travels to Cuba and his love for the atmosphere of the country. In February 2012, Chris Penton and and Noah Thompson purchased De-Cuba with the goal to continue to build upon that concept and provide an easygoing, laid-back atmosphere where people feel comfortable and relaxed. 

In the shop's new location in downtown Daphne, you'll find hand rolled cigars like Gran Habano, CAO, Alec Bradley, Gurkhaa and more. The cigars are purchased directly from the manufacturer, so you'll have the opportunity to buy some of the newest and freshest cigars on the market at prices that won't break the bank. Throughout the year, De-Cuba hosts representatives from various cigar companies to give guests the opportunity to meet cigar representatives, learn about products, take advantage of sales and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with getting a group of fellow cigar smokers together. Periodically, the shop also holds special events like cigar tastings and live cigar rollings.

On Fridays from 8 p.m. - 11 p.m., the covered back deck is the place to be for live music. The Friday Night Music Series features acts such as Eric Erdman, Ryan Balthrop, Triple Threat and Woodshed just to name a few. Mobile favorite Roman Street also performs once a month, usually on the third Tuesday from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Enjoy a glass of wine, craft beer, cigar and listen to the tremendous local musicians in the Bay area.

De-Cuba • 1714 Main St., Daphne. 517-4866.

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