Recently I found myself in Nashville, Tennessee for all of about 48 hours. That’s not much time in a city as renowned for it’s music, drinking and party culture as Nashville, but you make the best of what you’ve got. (I should mention that I was there with good people from Jack Daniel’s and that they chose me at all makes me feel really special, thanks y’all!).
While one might think of Nashville as a place to drink cheap beer and whiskey on patios all night long, there is a burgeoning cocktail and craft beer scene coming together as well. I only got to dip my toes in it, but what I saw I loved. Here are a list of some of the places that I got to pop into while in Music City.
1/ Henley (2023 Broadway)
This spot a little out of the way from touristy areas is a gorgeously designed room. The cocktail list (as well as the food menu, eat something here) is designed with locally sourced produce and herbs in mind. This makes the list evolve continually as what is available in “the buckle of the bible belt” changes not so much seasonally as monthly.
2/ Pinewood Social (33 Peabody Street)
On the other side of the tourist heavy Broadway area, you have Pinewood Social. Another very big space with great food and drinks to offer. The day I was there they had just done a new cocktail training so I was lucky enough to taste some as yet untested drinks. This place also has bowling lanes, and a huge patio with an air stream trailer parked on it, a bocce ball court and not one but two pools (!!!).
3/ The Crying Wolf (823 Woodland Street)
A quick jaunt over the Korean War Veterans Bridge will get you to The Crying Wolf. There are so few places that can really nail “dive bar with cocktails”. Upon walking into The Crying Wolf, hearing music as loud and dirty as you had hoped and being able to get a 5 ingredient, perfectly balanced drink gives me the warm fuzzies (that is not the name of the drink I had). Plus their logo is cool enough that you can imagine it on the back of a jean jacket.
4/ Attaboy (8 Mcferrin Aveue)
Just 5 minutes down the street is Attaboy.This bar, an extension of the New York City bar of the same name, runs with no menu, no sign to advertise and is so dark you can’t see who else is in the room. While much bigger than the NYC location, the intimacy isn’t lost. The bar staff is knowledgeable, welcoming and super friendly which you need for a bar like Attaboy to run.
BONUS! If for some reason you need another drink after these spots (or say, you are in Nashville for a few nights) it is totally worth it to check out Tootsie’s (422 Broadway). Tootsie’s is a multi level (3?4?) spot with several bars, stages and dance floors scattered throughout. If this was any other city, these floors would all be playing varieties of dance music by DJs, but not in Nashville. In Music City, you are treated to some of the best musicians on the planet playing originals and covers that are usually better than the writers of the songs could have played them. I have no idea what the name of the band was that I saw at Tootsie’s but their soundcheck was more impressive than basically every other bar band I have ever seen. Only drink bottled beer here.
Note: As with all Bar Hops, we are not encouraging getting inebriated. This is a list of great cocktail bars that we suggest visiting while in Nashville. We want you to have fun and play safe. Check out How to Do a Good Bar Hop for some hot tips.