MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A year after closing its doors, an iconic Memphis dive bar know for its soul burger and a haunted jukebox is back in business.
Earnestine & Hazel’s on South Main reopened Thursday under new ownership, but the new owners promise they haven’t changed a thing.
“A Soul Burger is a Soul Burger, the beer is the same, and hopefully everything else will fall into place,” said Derk Meitzler, who is one of the new owners and co-owner of the Vault.
Earnestine & Hazel’s closed its doors in March of 2020 due to the pandemic, and in November owner Caitlin Chittom announced on Facebook she had made the difficult decision to sell the 100-year-old building.
Earnestine & Hazel’s opened as a bar in 1992 but decades before that operated as a club and sundry store. The bar has been featured in several movies and is considered one of the most haunted bars in America. In fact, on its website, Ernestine & Hazel’s says the jukebox is driven by ghosts.
“I got locked in here right when we got the notice we were chosen to get the place. And we were given a walk through, and I was upstairs walking around doing some stuff, and I came down and everybody was gone,” Meitzler said. “And I said ‘Where is everybody?’ and all the sudden, the jukebox starts—and I can’t even remember the song—started going, and I’m like ‘Uh oh’, and then I ran out the back.”
Meitzler said they decided to open quietly before the weekend to work out all the bugs and get everyone trained. Right now, the bar plans to be open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and for lunch on Saturday and Sunday.