Beale Street is the place to go nowadays. It's downtown, not too far from the new arena, and all up and down the street are beer joints and great music.
Beale St BBQ is great when you're ready for a snack.
Most weekends Beale Street is blocked to traffic and the bars sell drinks outside. Street entertainers, souvenir-sellers and hustlers ply their trade as well. So be careful, but have fun! about 5 years ago