Some out-of-town friends came to visit and wanted to go honky tonk-ing, so we went to downtown Nashville. Broadway is known as "Honky Tonk Row", and so we walked into the Whiskey Bent Saloon as the band was playing a song we liked. We were able to get a table after not too long, but seeing how crowded it stayed, I think that was just dumb luck. We stayed for two band sets - the bands were not great, but they were good, and it was a fun environment. Unlike most of the bars on Broadway, the Whiskey Bent is NON-SMOKING, which is perfect for us. Drink prices were a little high (but then, they are at all the downtown bars), and I was annoyed that they charged for my husband's Diet Coke (usually, colas for the designated driver are complimentary). But we had fun, and I would definitely go back again.
Dress Code: Shoes and shirts - pretty much anything else goes. :-)
A very nice and very large Irish Pub right on 2nd avenue a few doors down from Coyote Ugly and a few of the other bars and eating establishments in Nashville.
I have had a few beers here and one late lunch of French Onion soup which was really good. So I can only recommend that.
Dress Code: casual
rippy's smokin bar & grill is a combination bar and restaurant located in the broadway entertainment district. the main attraction of rippy's is their second floor out side patio. the patio is a fun place to have a drink if the weather is nice. the downstairs bar offers live entertainment and televisions for sports watching. one disappointment was the food. i ordered a sliced pork sandwich which was tiny considering the $ 7.50 price. rippy's is a great place to drink but take a pass on the food.
Dress Code: casual.
No cover, $6 pitchers of beer, great live band, Mark Collie stoppin' by just for the heck of it (on 6.07.08), good friends, & dancin' on the tables with complete strangers - a good time was had by all!!!
This bar/restaurant is a humorous & tacky version of a trashy trailer park. They serve up live music with burgers/fries/corndogs and plenty of beer to wash it all down with.
Dress Code: You'll see everything: tennis shoes, flip flops, cowboy boots, jeans, shorts, ball caps, cowboy hats... how the H*LL'd she get into THAT!!! Again, the theme is trashy trailer park, so pretty much everything works.
Yeah you've heard the usual places to go, Tootsie's, 2nd Ave, etc. Tourists go to Tootsie's & the honky-tonks on Broadway (fun to take out-of-town friends there on their 1st trip just to say they've been). Go to the Boogie Bar in Printer's Alley (just off Church Street between 2nd & 3rd Ave in the heart of downtown Nashville) when the house band (Stacy Mitchhart & Blues You Can Use) is playing, you'll see leather-clad bikers partying alongside bankers in suits, & Gretchen Wilson served me drinks many times when she was a bartender there. Cool place. Historic 2nd Avenue is all tourists & now seems to draw crowds of drunk punk kids.
Hip locals don't hang on 2nd Ave or Broadway. The new hip areas of Nashville are: The Gulch (11th Ave S along the railroad tracks behind Union Station, just park & head for the party), 12South (12th Ave S, south of Wedgewood, has some cool shopping & eclectic boutiques), Hillsboro Village (very cool bars & restaurants on 21st Ave S, just down from Vanderbilt Univ), Elliston Place aka "The Rock Block" (cool bars & live music on Church Street between 21st Ave & Centennial Park), West End (several unique restaurants & bars, plus a couple of cool spots hidden a block or two off the main road). East Nashville @ Woodland Street is in a renaissance, with several hip watering holes known only to the locals. However, after dark, try to park in well-lit parking areas, lock your car, & pay attention to your surroundings if you're out late.
As for music, pick up a copy of the Nashville Scene & check out the music section; you'll find any type of live music imaginable. And if you get the opportunity to see a concert at the Ryman, DO IT. The old church (just off Broadway on 5th Ave N) & former home of the Opry is beautifully restored, acoustically perfect, serves liquor, only seats @ 3500 people & artists like Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders, Willie Nelson, & Etta James have graced the stage.
Welcome to Nashville, y'all ;)
Dress Code: Apply common sense. Going to a nice restaurant? Look nice. Going to look at the beautiful people? Dress hip. Going to the honky-tonks? Jeans & boots are fine. DON'T WEAR A COWBOY HAT ANYWHERE!!! Nothing says "I'm a tourist" in Nashville more than a cowboy hat!! But, sometimes a hot girl in tight jeans & a black lace teddy top can pull off the beat-up straw cowboy hat look....dudes, don't even bother.
The Wildhorse Saloon is not just a bar, it's a restaurant, concert hall, and dance hall all in one! The saloon always serves food and drinks, but they also have a stage where country singers perform. Performances begin at 7:00 pm. You can watch the performance from your table, or you can dance to the music on the dance floor in front of the stage. If you don't know how to line dance, at various times throughout the evening, they will teach a simple everyone a simple dance. These dances can be applied to any song, so don't be ashamed that you can't do anything fancy! Once you know how to line dance, you can dance to any of the songs at any time! It's actually a lot of fun, and it's a big part of Southern culture!
If you're underage, you may still enter and have fun, but all minors are required to leave the saloon by 10:00 pm, unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. For special events, minors need tickets and must leave when the show is over!
Dress Code: Wear comfortable clothing, because the Wildhorse Saloon offers the opportunity to try line dancing. Jeans and a T-shirt are completely acceptable!
We had a bit of a fraught journey to Nashville, the plane from London left late, which meant we had to dash to catch the connecting flight in Atlanta, which was then also delayed. So we arrived at the hotel after a 15 hour or so journey feeling rather jaded. A cup of coffee and a sticky sweet chocolate creation given to us on arrival at the hotel revived us enough to dump our bags, head to Broadway and into the Bluegrass Inn.
We got to the bar early, about 6.15pm, fearing that jet-lag would have us staggering to bed by about 9.00pm (I think we made it to 9.30pm!) sat down, ordered a beer and – for the first time in about 15 hours – let out a sign of relaxation. The bar itself is saloon like with a small stage at the front by the window – so passers-by can get a taste of the music – a raised bar at the rear and tables in between. This early start meant that, for a while, there was only us, a couple of other people and the band in the bar. The latter soon launched into their set including an unsurpassed cover of Orville Crouch’’s “Hello Trouble” (not that we knew at that point that it was an Orville Crouch cover – we discovered this fact the following day – see my Ernest Tubb Record Store tip) however, as the evening drew on the place become fuller, the music became louder and the atmosphere became even livelier. When the band asked “Where y’all from” we replied – in accents that suddenly sounded incredibly upper class English! – “London, England” to which we received a “Hi England, welcome and thanks for coming all that way”! We had arrived in Nashville. And it was great!
Fri iday: 6pm-2am
Dress Code: None that I noticed!
....a bit smoky for me but the folks there were having a great time.
It was an evening of taping the CMT television show Most Wanted Live with the special guest being Sara Evans.
The place is big.....there's three levels of seating around the stage and bars are off to the sides of the stage. There are tables for dining as well.
Dress Code: ....like cowboys and cowgirls!
A quaint Irish Pub. Expect it to be noisy on the weekends. But the bartenders are good and some are Irish. My family in Nashville (one a former bartender) recommend Mulligans and I've enjoyed it there
Dress Code: no problem
Open-air dining or drinking. Where people from Nashville go to enjoy a drink or some light food.
If you are going to Nashville for the Country Music Scene then don't go here. This is 'cosmopolitan' Nashville.
Dress Code: no problem
Mulligan's Irish Pub & Restaurant
Nashville's original (and most authentic) Irish pub. A definite must if you're looking for something downtown, but not touristy. Live Irish music every weekend by Sportin Paddy draws a regular clientele. Singing along is permitted, requests are permitted, drinking is encouraged. Grab a Guinness, get a seat up close and join in! (Be sure to ask about buying their CD as a souvenir, it's well worth it.)
Dress Code: Dress code is casual.
Wild Horse Saloon on 2nd avenue, downtown excitement with large live concerts. Lot of great dancing, good food and drinks. A must in Nashville. They also have a souviner store.
Dress Code: Casual
Nashville is full of bars, side to side, across from one another, all the way downtown, lining the river. Tootsies to Coyote Ugly, there is a place for everyone.
Dress Code: anything casual or reveiling..lol
Many different clubs, with a variety of musical styles, all within a few blocks and short walking distance! All with the best musical talent!