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The Nucleus Of Nashville, Broadway

This article originally appeared in the magazine Nashville Notes

Every major city boasts a Strip, whether it’s Beale Street in Memphis, Fifth Avenue in New York, or the original Las Vegas Strip. Naturally, Nashville is no different. The Music City’s main street of madness is called Broadway and, like those other famous streets, it exemplifies the spirit of the city.

If you are looking to let your honky tonk out, there’s no better place. Quite frankly, even if you think honky tonk sounds like a Willie Wonka torture device, you should still take a gander. Visiting “Nashvegas” and skipping Broadway entirely is akin to seeing Sin City and missing the Strip.

Nevertheless, if you are even remotely into music, bars or just bright lights and people watching, it’s incredibly easy to find a place that fits your fancy on Broadway. Without further ado, here's our guide to Broadway.

“Where Words Fail, Music Speaks.”

The Classics

Obviously, you are in Nashville, Music City U.S.A. So a survey of the local music scene probably stands high on your to-do list. Look no further than Broadway’s Mount Rushmore of music: Tootsie’s, Robert’s, Legends, and The Stage.

This foursome is famous for launching the careers of legends like Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Patsy Cline and many more. Tootsie’s recently enjoyed a serenading by none of than Guardian of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt. The A-lister belted out Garth Brooks’ “Papa Loved Mama” to the delight of everyone.


Each of these locations welcomes all ages until 6 PM. After 6 PM 21+.

Tootsie’s: Happy Hour Daily No Cover & 1/2 price drinks 12 Noon - 8 PM

The Newcomers

As Broadway morphed into the monument to music, a few major recording artists decided to get in on the act. Today, four bars on Broadway are owned by someone you’ve likely rocked on your way to work:

These venues offer a modern take on Nashville’s nightlife. According to Forbes, “They’re one part Hard Rock Cafe and another part Margaritaville, and they’re attracting country-music fans in droves.”

“The Job of Feets is Walking, but their Hobby is Dancing.”

All of the previously listed locations extend some real estate for those looking to cut a rug. However, if you are really looking to get loose, Broadway has a few places to boogie.

Three Floors Of Flavor

The Acme Feed & Seed sports three floors and an open air rooftop. Half of the establishment was designed for dancing. The first floor is home to “The Acme funkytonk,” which is essentially a modern take on honky tonk. Every Saturday they host Way UP! a dance party with Coach & Rate until 2 AM.

The Alley Cats

If you’re looking for a little change of pace, check out the French Quarter inspired Printer’s Alley. Way back in the day, Printer’s Alley was comprised of speakeasies, cabaret clubs and all manner of illicit behavior. Today, the Alley is safe as a church but still preserves the boisterous, bodacious fun of yesteryear.

The aptly named Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar is a must visit, especially if you enjoy the blues. More than 100 Blues musicians have graced this historic home to Blues, including James Brown and B.B. King. They also serve traditional Cajun fare with a healthy splash of New Orleans Big Easy Hurricanes and the NOLA Sweet Tea to wash it all down.

If you are feeling a bit devilish, check out Skull’s Rainbow Room, also in Printer’s Alley. Originally opened in 1948, Skull’s Rainbow Room restaurant and nightclub has featured the biggest names in music: from Etta James, The King, and Patsy Cline to Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney, and the preeminent Bob Dylan. The award-winning restaurant also proudly performs unforgettable burlesque shows every Thursday through Saturday


Acme Feed & Seed: Happy hour from 4 PM to 7 PM (on the second floor)

includes $12 domestic pitchers, $20 craft pitchers, $5 frosé, and $7 domestic beer and a specialty shot.

NOTE: The word is you must subscribe to Acme Radio Live's YouTube channel to receive these specials.

In Wine there is Wisdom, in Beer there is Freedom, and in Water there is Bacteria.”

Class With A Hint Of Sass

Once you’ve had your fill of romping and rollicking, Broadway also sports some stylish places to down a quality cocktail. A relatively new and popular spot to wet your whistle is the four-story, speakeasy-saloon mash-up, The Valentine. The Valentine, similar to the Acme, reserves four levels of fun, including a sprawling rooftop bar.

If you’re aching for an ounce of antiquity, Merchants is where you want to be. Carved out of an 1892 hotel, you’ll feel nostalgic for an era you likely never knew. Merchants sports three distinctly different floors, all oozing class.


The Valentine: Happy hour every day from 4 PM to 7 PM includes $4 PBRs, $6 wells, and $5 domestics.

TUE: Specials from 8 PM to 2 AM include 2-for-1 shots.

WED: Specials all day include $10 PBRs and Old Smokey moonshine shots.

THU: Specials from 8 PM to 2 AM include $4 shots and $5 well drinks

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