Did you know that the population of Joplin swells to 250,000 during the day? Our city streets hum with cars carrying people from all over the region to their jobs, to our restaurants, and to our stores. Joplin is the hub of the Four States during the day, but what happens after 5 p.m.?
There are happy hours, live music, comedy, open mics, karaoke, painting, and even a hookah lounge to tempt residents, visitors, and commuters to linger in Joplin long after the sun goes down.
Known for its happy hour and casual fine dining, Club 609 is the place where professionals flock to after work. A staple in downtown since 1990, Club 609 has established itself as an urban gathering place. Unwind with a Key Lime Martini (or two – during happy hour) and try the flavorful Chicken Bijan for dinner. 609 S. Main Street
Key Lime Martinis at Club 609
Appreciate the art of the cocktail at Infuxn Kitchen + Cocktails. New concoctions are featured each week at this upscale lounge. With its ultra-cool, Vegas-like vibe, you’ll want to stay past happy hour, so order a few small plates to share, or choose an entree from the dinner menu. My favorites here include the Last Summer cocktail and the Crab Stuffed Mushrooms. 530 S. Main Street
Hear it Live
Sure, you can hear music anytime you want thanks to the magic of cell phones, but there’s something special about listening to it live. Here are some places in Joplin where you can do just that, plus venues where you can sing your own songs along with a karaoke machine.
There’s nothing like listening to music while sitting outside on a patio on a warm summer night. Add some juicy burgers and beer on tap, and you’ve got the ultimate setup at Tropicana Bar & Grill. Try the Buddha Gouda burger here: it’s life-changing. 2402 S. Main Street
Two stories of outdoor dining await you at Tropicana
The Buddha Gouda at Tropicana
More live music can be heard downtown at Blackthorn Pizza & Pub. In addition to live music performances, there are comedy and trivia nights at this Irish pub. Grab a beer on tap, sit back, and be entertained. 510 S. Joplin Avenue
Me Like Bees performs at Blackthorn
Where do you go when the live music has ended but you still want to have fun? Whiskey Dick’s, of course. The friendly, relaxed atmosphere here welcomes a mix of age groups, with everyone being united by one thing: karaoke. Whether you’re belting out your favorite songs next to your buddies on stage, or sitting in the audience and watching others channel their inner Beyonce or Jay Z, you’re bound to have a good time at this easygoing bar. 516 S. Joplin Avenue
For a different kind of live performance, check out the schedule for Siblings Improv, Joplin’s own improv and sketch comedy company that performs at various venues throughout the city.
Maybe you’ve had your share of live music and bars and are seeking a recreational outlet where you can express your creativity. Well, Joplin’s got something for you, too.
Gather a group of friends, or just your special someone, and go paint. You can even sip your favorite adult beverage while you color your canvas at RSVPaint. Bring your own refreshments or purchase some at the studio’s bar. Loosen up and let RSVPaint’s teachers guide you through the process. You’ll leave feeling relaxed and proud of your new artwork. Click here for RSVPaint’s schedule. 223 Third Street
Ladies, do you want a night out with your friends? Firehouse Pottery welcomes you every Tuesday night for Ladies’ Night. Here, you can choose a piece of pottery to decorate – a mug, plate, figurine – and add your own flair to it. You don’t have to be crafty to make something artistic here; the staff at Firehouse will demonstrate different painting techniques for you. 112 S. Main Street, Suite A
Do Something Different
How about spending the evening at a hipster hangout? The back room at Joplin Avenue Coffee Company is a dedicated gathering place for open mic nights, poetry readings, and live music performances. Click here to see JACC’s upcoming schedule. 506 S. Joplin Avenue
Bites & Pipes, Joplin’s only hookah lounge, offers a bit of everything: tasty American and Middle Eastern food (fried mac and cheese, falafel, kofta), alcoholic beverages, board games, a pool table, and hookahs. A hookah is a small water pipe used to smoke flavored tobacco. Bites & Pipes’ air filtration system is top notch, so even if you’re not a hookah smoker, you can still have fun hanging out with your friends – and making new ones – at this unique recreational spot. 110 N. Range Line Road
There’s another one-of-a-kind night spot in Joplin: El Guapo’s Cigar & Pipe Lounge. Choose from a variety of cigars and tobacco flavors, then settle into the lounge area, or gather here with friends on Poker Night or Comedy Night.
Looking for even more action?
Visit El Guapo’s second floor for Joplin’s only axe-throwing experience. 532 S. Joplin Avenue
Now that you know what happens in Joplin after the sun goes down, stick around and be a part of it.
To read more about my adventures in the area, visit JoplinMOLife.com.