Nashville, Tennessee 2.0
Feel the Beat of the Music City
It’s hard to resist Nashville’s effervescent showbiz energy. But while its nightlife is certainly exceptional, there’s more to Music City than country tunes and generous pours of Tennessee whisky. Nashville’s creative residents have introduced a slew of independent art galleries, quirky stores full of retro curiosities, and a buzzy culinary scene that exceeds the city's famous hot chicken and fluffy biscuits.
No trip to Music City is complete without a visit to Robert’s Western World. This honky tonk/western apparel store hosts live bands in the front, and boasts shelves full of cowboy boots at the back. The neon strip of Broadway is packed with country music acts, but you’ll be hard pressed to find an atmosphere that rivals Robert’s. The venue opens with the first band at 11am and grows steadily more boisterous until 3am, when management ushers the last revlers off the dance floor and out the door.
Following the success of Urban Cowboy Brooklyn, design-savvy hotelier Lyon Porter opened his second bed and breakfast in hip East Nashville in 2016. It’s a renovated Victorian mansion with sleeping nooks inside turrets and pitched ceilings positioning skylight windows above clawfoot bathtubs. Each suite is uniquely decorated with screen-printed wallpaper, artistic woodwork, and furniture salvaged from antique fairs, but all have a distinctly Southwestern feel. In the backyard, a former stable now serves up hot food, cold cocktails, and good times until you’re ready for bed.
The Last Call
Pinewood Social is many things to many people. This sprawling multifaceted venue has library-style tables and squishy arm chairs to please Nashville’s freelance crowd, a patio complete with plunge pools, a chrome airstream cafe, and a retro six-lane bowling alley that comes into its own during the evening. The cocktail menu at Pinewood changes according to the season, with warming bourbon-coffee concoctions in winter and fruity tiki blends during the steamy summer months.
You’ll certainly eat your fill of late night hot chicken while in Nashville (Prince’s or Hattie B’s is the move) but for a truly memorable meal reserve one of 22 counter spots at the Catbird Seat. Diners surround an open kitchen where chef Will Aghajanian and his team prepare and artfully plate a 10-12 course tasting menu. Expect totally unique dishes like frozen artichoke with salted bergamot and artemisia, or duck tartare prepared with rose and cashew – all presented as if they belong in an art gallery. Seats are sought after, so have your finger hovering over the “book” button when reservations open up for the following month.
A back-to-back sauna and float session at Pure Sweat + Float Studio is the ideal way to wrap up your Nashville jaunt. Start with the infra-red sauna, which provides a quick and effective detox by penetrating your cells, heating you from the inside out (much needed after a late night on Broadway). Then soothe the parasympathetic nervous system with an hour in a sensory deprivation floatation tank, cultivating a deep sense of zen before your journey home.