3 Days in Nashville: Drinking in Honky Tonks, Classic Bars, and Creative Cocktail Dens

Having a few in Nashville was a natural. It’s a great walking city, and venues were to be had everywhere. Here’s how we went about it:

To get immersed in the “spirit” of Nashville our first drinking stop was at Nudie’s Honky Tonk, who claim to have the longest bar in town (as advertised at the airport). Nudie’s is named after Nudie Cohn who was famous for dressing the country music stars and giving them their signature looks—including Elvis’ $10,000 gold lame suit. Some of his outfits grace the space, housed in glass cases, in addition to a full-sized Cadillac hung on the second floor. The car is adorned with silver dollar coins, as is the length of the bar. We thought it only fitting to have some shots of bourbon here, which was served in plastic cups, while listening to the band play covers of Let’s Give ‘em Somethin’ to Talk About, and more favorites.

Skulls Rainbow Room came to us by word of mouth, and what a find! Classic and worn just so, this bar had the vibe of a Sinatra hangout, and according to our Uber driver, was once a strip bar, hence the catwalk that surrounds the sunken dining room in the front. Today, that same catwalk features burlesque shows, so the fun lives on! We met a lot of friendly folks here when we stopped around 4pm on a Saturday and managed to grab the last two bar seats. Cocktails were nicely made by our host Brian Buscher, who was also great at recommending other cool spots for us to visit. Cocktails in the photos: The Carousel with tequila, dry curacao, grapefruit, lemon, and salt. The Rainbow Room with vodka, ginger, pineapple, orange bitters, and cava.

We ran up quite a tab at The Hermitage Hotel sipping on mini bottles of Moet, but it was worth it to get out of the cold and cozy up in a comfortable space and soak up some history. (see our Nashville SCENE post for more photos). The piece de resistance, though, according to locals, was in fact, the art deco styled Mens’ Room. I won’t spoil it for you, but it is worth a peek!

Before dinner at Husk, a cocktail was in order and this one had a nice herbal flair to it. Seen in the photos: the Alley Cat.

Patterson House, located downstairs from The Catbird Seat was a hot spot. We thought we could grab a cockail before our dinner upstairs (see our Nashville Eats report) but the wait was just a little too long. Next time for sure! It definitely was THE place to go.

We rang in the New Year at Gertie’s Bar in the 404 before heading off to parts unknown in East Nashville, escorted by our new buddies. After midnight took us to Lipstick Lounge, Duke’s, Rosemary’s & Beauty Queen, but alas, my camera battery died, midway, so no photo evidence. Probably just as well!

Marsh House in the Thompson Hotel was our morning savior hangover eradicator. Each day we had the same revitalizing custom breakfast: scrambled eggs, one of their house-made English muffins, a side of sausage, and a fresh green salad. All served up in soothing, matching denim style by a host of pleasant servers. (see more photos of the hotel in the Nashville scene post).