[ED: A lot of this is borrowed word-for-word from the Nashville guide we put together at the start of the season. Y'all remember that, right? How we played Vanderbilt in Nashville to kick off the 2013 season? Anyway, here's that guide, plus some new additions I've added to include (per request) downtown music venues.]
Nashville's a great Southern city. It's got a good food scene, plenty of places to drink and revel, and one of America's finest live music scenes. If you're lucky enough to be spending this Monday afternoon watching Ole Miss take on Georgia Tech in the 2013 Music City Bowl, then do your best to take part in what Nashville has to offer. With some much appreciated help from our Commodore SB Nation Colleagues at Anchor of Gold, here are five highly recommended eating or drinking establishments for college football fans, Rebels and Yellow Jackets alike:
- Pancake Pantry - Yes, you will wait in line for 90 minutes. No, you will not care about this fact once you have your food. I've made this wait before myself and, trust me, it's worth it. "But, y'all, it's just pancakes," you may be saying. Well you're an idiot. These aren't just pancakes, they're the pancakes. And they come in literally dozens of varieties. My personal favorite are the sweet potato pancakes, which are like fluffy round sweet potato pies that you, naturally, douse in maple syrup.
- Rotier's Restaurant - Like the Pantry, maybe a bit overrated in terms of how often it gets recommended - but it's still really good. It's a burger joint, and people really seem to dig the cheeseburgers on French bread. They've also got a lot of fried stuff, which is sort of a prerequisite if you're going to market yourself as a burger joint.
- The Villager Tavern - Do you like beer drinkin'? Of course you do. Who the hell doesn't? For a divey place at which to do so, then head to the Villager. This place is an old school dart bar shrouded in a thick cloud of cigarette smoke. They've also got foosball tables and other bar games. Definitely a good spot for pregaming. If it happens to be your birthday, you can get a free 48 oz beer served to you in a dog bowl. Not an especially clean one, mind you, but it's not like you're going to care.
- Lonnie's Western Room - This is a Karaoke bar in
Painter'sPrinter's Alley. You'll have fun, but be embarrassed if you can't nail whatever Elton John song you're trying to emulate. "Fuck, all these people are way better singers than I am. Much prettier, too."
- The Edgefield Sports Bar and Grill - Once a lovely townie dive with some of the best bar food in the city, the Edgefield has since been taken over by hipsters and borders on intolerable many nights. But, they've got a good darts setup, lots of TVs, and the frostiest beer glasses I've ever seen. Here, look:
From Great American Country's list of Nashville's best Honky Tonks and Dive Bar's, here are five places right on Broadway that you should duck into if you're looking for good food, drinks, and live music:
418 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203-3931, 615-726-2799
This one is easy to find on Broadway. Just look for the large storefront window with a drummer's back pressed up against the glass. The Bluegrass Inn has a reputation of being a favorite spot of local Nashvillians, so you know the music is going to be top notch. Don't let the name fool you. The bands play plenty of traditional country and rockabilly tunes as well as bluegrass.
428 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203-3931, 615-248-6334
Only a few feet from the front door of the Nashville Convention Center, there's a good chance Legend's Corner will be your first stop on a tour of Lower Broadway's honky tonks. The atmosphere is top-notch with hundreds of classic country album covers and memorabilia adorning the walls, including five original 78 RPM Elvis Presley Sun Records and a 12-string autographed guitar once owned by Johnny Cash. Keep your eyes open for real life legends on the bar stool next to you. Vince Gill, Bill Anderson and Little Jimmy Dickens are just a few stars known to drop in from time to time.
Robert's Western World
416 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203-3931, 615-244-9552
A boot store by day and a honky tonk by night, Robert's Western World is pure Nashville. One can find a healthy mix of tourists and locals bellying up to the bar to enjoy a PBR, a burger and some of the world's greatest rockabilly music. The stars who have ducked in the doorway are almost too many to name (OK, we'll give you a few - Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakam, Tom Petty, Kid Rock and Rascal Flatts). Come in wearing your dancing shoes but do not be surprised to walk home in a new pair of boots.
412 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203-3931, 615-726-0504
The Stage is one of the newer faces on Lower Broadway's legendary live music scene, but it is fast becoming a fan favorite. Home to the Roy Acuff Museum in the '60s and '70s, this hangar-like honky tonk now provides plenty of space to enjoy a line-up that features Nashville's hottest up-and-coming country stars. For a bird's eye of the action, look for prime real estate up in the balcony and as you're coming or going, be sure to look up. Above the front door is a gorgeous painting of the Highwaymen the owner bought from Waylon Jennings himself.
Tootsie's Orchid Lounge
422 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203, 615-726-0463
As other music venues have come and gone, this historic honky tonk has remained... and it has decades worth of publicity shots tacked to the wall to prove it. The list of regular customers and performers from the early days is a who's who of country music legends - Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Roger Miller, Waylon Jennings, Patsy Cline - and more recently, it helped launch Terri Clark into stardom. Even today the magic of the Tootsie's stages still brings out the very best in the performers who take its stage. Be sure to head upstairs for a look at the back door where the Opry stars of old entered after performing at the Ryman.
Have fun, party hard, don't drink and drive, and don't embarrass us too much this weekend, y'all.