On summery nights, there aren’t many spots I enjoy more than the tables outside Hoppin’ Johnz. Beneath the lights strung across Pailin’s Alley, it’s a great place to relax and enjoy a breeze with your favorite dessert or cocktail. But all that changes when the weekend rolls around.
Saturday nights from 8-11 you’re more likely to find me inside, where musicians from the region perform regularly. It’s here that I enjoy the duo of Holly & Molly; here where gentle bends on the fingerpicked electric guitar punctuate sentences of soft strumming from its acoustic partner; that their dual guitar arrangements and harmonized vocals bring out the best in classic Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton hits “Crazy” and “Jolene.” Like their names, the music moves with easy rhythm and cadence.
The restaurant is well attended, between tables and bar, and its narrow layout give the music a more personal texture. My friends sip gimlets (which I’m told taste like the tropics) while I enjoy a crème brûlée. I only realize later that I’ve missed the special—strawberry mojito—but I know I’ll be back in the future.
Of course, there are other places to enjoy live music in Elizabeth City, not the least of which is right next door at Ghost Harbor Brewing Company, where artists perform at least once a month. We’ve written about Ghost Harbor recently so I won’t add much; just that its brick wall interior, selection of games, and dependable brews always makes for a great night out.
Arts of the Albermarle also hosts Third Thursday Jazz on yes, you guessed it, the third Thursday of each month (5:30-7 pm). Likewise, their City Sounds series caps off each First Friday Art walk at 7 pm, with a $5 admission. Third Thursday Jazz is free admission, but you’ll probably want to bring some cash for the bar.
For more information on live music in Elizabeth City, check out our calendar of events.
Nelson Disla is a fiction writer and the owner of Pasquotank Pen, a content studio that consults with businesses to deliver high-quality marketing material. He also blogs for non-profits and his own pleasure. You can find more information, and get in touch with him, at www.dislawritescopy.com.