A NATIVE'S GUIDE TO NASHVILLE
When Richard gave me his hometown recommendations, he suggested I ask folks familar with Nashville to weigh in with their own. One friend, Nashville native Rebecca Shockley, came back with a guide so extensive and so cool, it deserved its own page.
Attaboy - Speakeasy with a lounge atmosphere and a patio. No menus, the bartenders ask you a few questions and make you a drink based on your answers. Pearl Diver - You’ll think you’re on an island, it’s gorgeous and the drinks and food are good. Great photo ops too. Dive Motel - Remodeled hipster hotel with a cool bar and events like Punk Rock pool parties. It’s a blast and every room is decorated in a unique way. *Chopper Tiki - Robot themed tiki bar (yes, that’s right), it’s exactly what you’d expect. Food and drinks are amazing. It’s small but it’s such a cool experience.
*Laylas - One of the last few ACTUAL Honkey Tonks left. Woman owned and has been for a long time. Layla is a real person and a musician, you’ll find her on stage there quite often! Lots of talented musicians here as well, you’ll find original songs here on some sets, not just covers for tourists. **Acme - Newer but three levels, great music, food, and atmosphere. *Paradise Park - This place was an absolute legend, fun bar astroturf and all. They closed and made it something else but people wanted Paradise back so they reopened. In the attached photo collage I send, the guy playing the weird bass is my friend Shane Chrisholm, he makes them out of old car gas tanks! He plays a few other places and I can get his schedule if needed.
*Boro Bar & Grill - Not in Nashville but a place that’s been around for almost as long as I’ve been alive. When I managed here I once had to drag a grown man outside by his shirt collar because he tried to make love to an ATM machine. When I say the place has stories, it has STORIES. That one made Letterman. Also dog friendly.
**Viv & Dicky’s, Joleton, TN, 15 minutes from downtown. Great vintage stores without the east Nashville high prices and the couple that runs it loves what they do. They are some of the most authentic people you will ever meet. McKay’s, West Nashville, two stories of used books, vinyls, dvd, and anything nerdy you can think of. Prepare to spend all of your money. **Asphalt Beach Skate Shop - Go see Steve, he outfits all the Roller Girls and there’s a rink inside the shop to try out skates.
Basement East- Newly rebuilt, still my favorite venue. Perfect size and set up. Ascend Amphitheater- Large outside venue, walking distance to Broadway
Umami- Amazing Sushi and Korean BBQ. Loungy/Kpop on screens when important sports games aren’t playing. Quinn’s Neighborhood Pub, Franklin. Music themed menu. I’m biased again, I’m the bar manager here, but we really do have the best fish & chips & reuben in town. Plus half the staff and a bunch of customers are Supernatural fans. One of my favorite things to do is wear a SN shirt and watch people’s faces light up as they talk about it. Such a cool fanbase. Joey’s House of Pizza- Only open for lunch but the line is out the door and the slices are bigger than your face.
**Cuiro, Franklin. Great beer AND coffee. Cool spot to meet with people or read a book **Black Abby, Nashville. Great beer and a Nashville staple. Also they have a Girl Scout Cookie and beer pairing event once a year, what’s not to love? Tailgate, 3 locations- West, Music Row, East. Great food and a big beer selection.
Other Cool Spots
Third Man Records - Jack White’s record label. Take the tour and be prepared to buy some vinyl, they have some good ones. **Smoker’s Abby - My favorite cigar bar. Cool spot and close to good eats. Very inclusive, people don’t feel out of place when they walk in here and I think that’s important.
Adult Skate Nights at Rivergate and Brentwood Rinks, 2x a month, adults only and throw back jams. Nashville Fashion Week **Fashion is for EveryBody fashion show. Inclusive fashion show highlighting local designers on models that represent inclusivity. MTAC, Middle Tennessee Anime Convention. Very fun con! The strip tease contest is probably the most interesting. **Roller Derby! I’m biased here but games are at the Nashville Fairground (When Post-Covid allows) and are not to be missed. Tennessee RenFaire, post covid allowing, another great event. The man that runs it literally built his own castle that his family lives in and gives you a tour.