An Insider’s Guide to Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee, USA downtown skyline on the Cumberland River.

Two stylish, homegrown entrepreneurs leading the Music City’s revival offer a local’s take on where to drink, stay, eat, and shop in this resurgent, red-hot destination.

Max and Benjamin Goldberg in their restaurant Merchants

Don’t let the twangy stereotype

fool you: The country-music capital is teeming with trendy restaurants, effortlessly cool cocktail joints, and bespoke tailors giving throngs of creative transplants a jolt of rock-and-roll flash. Throughout the city’s renaissance, two of its most successful native sons have been Max Goldberg, 30, and his brother Benjamin, 34, whose ventures include the Patterson House, a speakeasy-style bar, and the Catbird Seat, a luxe 32-table dinner hot spot and celebrity hangout. Their latest project, opening this fall, is also their most ambitious: Pinewood Social, a restaurant, bar, café, and large living-room-style workspace with six vintage bowling lanes rescued from a Bowl-A-Rama, all housed in an old trolley barn with an outdoor pool, complete with a retrofitted 31-foot Airstream trailer for a bar. Here, the Goldberg brothers provide a list of can’t-miss spots that every traveler to the Music City—and fan of the ABC show—needs to know.

__The Shoe Store

Peter Nappi__

One of Benjamin’s favorite pairs of shoes comes from this leather-goods studio. “I wear my lace-ups everywhere,” he says. “It takes me 35 minutes to get through security at the airport.” The studio occupies a repurposed abattoir on a rock bluff overlooking the Cumberland River.

peternappi.com

culture-trends-critical-eye-201310-nashville-guide-get-the-boot-peter-nappi-620x430.jpg
Photographs courtesy of each location.

Inside the Peter Nappi studio

__The Restaurant

Rolf and Daughters__

Housed in a renovated factory in Germantown, this neighborhood restaurant serves stellar dry-aged meatballs with a garlic-scape gremolata—but it’s the inventive cocktail menu that makes it worth a trip. Says Benjamin: “I order the Man Around Town,” a mix of Weller Special Reserve Bourbon, Campari, and chocolate bitters. “Then I order another one.”

rolfanddaughters.com

The Hermitage and the Hutton__

Boutique options are limited, but two venerable spots make the Goldbergs’ cut. The Hermitage is classic southern-genteel luxury, while the Hutton is flashier. “The wedding is at the Hermitage,” Max says. “The bachelor party is at the Hutton.”

thehermitagehotel.comhuttonhotel.com

(Right: The lobby of the Hermitage hotel)

__The Foodie Destination

Beacon Light Tea Room__

Forty miles west of Nashville in Bon Aqua is a southern roadside classic that serves succulent fried chicken with garden-fresh okra and green beans. “Our mom asked the waitress if they got them at the farmers’ market,” Max says. “She replied, ‘No, ma’am, we grew them in the backyard.'”

beaconlighttearoom.com

__The Record Collector Spot

Nashville Flea Market__

Benjamin says vinyl aficionados can get their fix at the Tennessee state fairgrounds, where you can buy a stack of vinyl for as little as $25. “It’s so cliché,” he says, “but the last one I bought had a Hank Williams record on top.”

nashvilleexpocenter.org

Robert’s Western World__

“I send all my music-snob friends here,” Benjamin says, even though this honky-tonk sits on the tourist-choked sidewalks of Lower Broadway. “There was a 17-year-old guitarist who melted our faces our last time there.” robertswesternworld.com

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