Gettin’ Kicky, Music City

by Dara Klatt

Size up Nashville’s trendy Art Deco hotels, burgeoning culinary scene, slick retail shops and creative music spaces. 

Courtesy Photo

Harmonies, beats and string-accompanied lyrics buzz all around Nashville – from bluegrass, country and folk to rock, pop and R&B. Wherever those Lucchese boots take you, from the 12 South neighborhood to Hillsboro to Germantown, there’s a song lyric and twangy sound in the air to get you grooving, eating, relaxing and shopping. Boutique hotels offer chic country spunk while bustling restaurants blend hipster personality with delicious Southern fare. Retail shops vaunt vintage leather jackets and instrument-inspired home accents. Plus, on any given night, an incredible Grammy-winning songwriter could be performing off the beaten track for the price of one Tennessee whiskey on the rocks. It’s like Lil Nas X says, grab your “cowboy hat from Gucci/ Wrangler on my booty” and “ride ’til you can’t no more” in Music City. There’s lots to cover.


The Hutton (1808 West End Ave)

Designed with Nashville’s creative culture in mind, the Hutton blends elegance and serenity with special touches that include brass trumpet lamps, a record library and songwriter’s spaces. ($399 and up).

21C Museum Hotel (221 2nd Avenue North) 

Blocks from Broadway, this re-imagined historic building boasts a 10,500-square-foot contemporary art museum. ($349 and up)

Holston House (118 7th Ave N)

A modernized Art Deco hotel by Hyatt with leather and velvet décor, and a rooftop pool and bar to take in the skyline. ($359 and up)


The Listening Room Café (618 4th Ave S)

While the Bluebird Café usually gets the hype, this intimate hot spot in the “sobro” district attracts talented singers and songwriters – from the fresh-up-and-coming artists to hit-making veterans.

City Winery (609 Lafayette St)

Similar to the franchise location in Washington, D.C.; the Nashville venue values live music as much as its in-house winemaking facility and makes for a great date night spot.

Analog (1808 West End Ave)

Set the grounds of the Hutton Hotel (see previous entry), this relaxed 300-person venue offers high-design interiors, a Bose sound system and a hand-crafted cocktail menu.

Photo Credit, Tim Williams


Acme Feed & Seed (101 Broadway)

This big, multilevel casual venue offers burgers downstairs, sushi upstairs, plus a rooftop patio.

Pinewood Social (33 Peabody St.) 

Overlooking the Cumberland River, this trolley barn space includes a coffee bar, vintage bowling alley and private karaoke rooms and simple but sophisticated food.

Loveless Café (8400 TN-100)

Drive outside of town for this Southern café with quaint country charm and savor the biscuits and fresh brewed sweet tea.


Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint (multiple locations)

On a mission to spread a “Whole Hog” gospel across the South, Martin’s smokes a whole hog each for day good ol’ down home BBQ.

The full spread at Martin’s

Hattie B’s (multiple locations)

Every single local (*Every.Single.One.) will steer you here for a hot chicken sandwich, which ranges in spice level from “hot!” to “shut the cluck up.”


12 South neighborhood – a walkable neighborhood chock full of bakeries, bars, retail and more. Visit Urban Grub, the Lebanese bistro Epice, Savent Vintage, Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James boutique and White’s Mercantile.

At The Gulch & Hillsboro Village, check out Biscuit Love, Fido coffeehouse, Jen’s Ice Cream plus Two Old Hippies (for clothing, instruments and home accents;) and Kristin Cavallari’s Uncommon James jewelry boutique.

Related Articles