Long known for their Southern hospitality and penchant for producing some of the biggest names in music, Nashville remains the down-to-earth jewel of Tennessee.
While Music City has plenty of, well, music, we found the fun in finding some of our other favoriteâ€”and lively!â€”vices to explore. From mixing up Moonshine cocktails to learning the ropes at the rodeo, the South is rising is again. And with a host of distinct and talented personalities from the seemingly omnipresent Imogene + Willie team to DIY sweethearts Old Made Good, our #GFTravel Nashville guide is filled with the who to know, where to go and what to do.
Explore the interviews, videos + maps below. This is #GFTravel’s Nashville. >>
Donâ€™t threaten us with a silly time because weâ€™re all about F-U-N at G&F. We giggle with Kate Mills and Ashley Sheehan of Old Made Goodâ€”perfectly abbreviated to O.M.Gâ€”who craft and source amusing vintage finds at their East Nashville outpost. Their cross stitch pieces are a perfect combination of antique goodness with sarcastic attitudeâ€”lovingly called Naughty Needlepoints. We catch up at their glittering emporium of tantalizing treasures and cool finds and sit down with the duo to try our hand at our very own Naughty Needlepoint. And although they aren’t going to bring us on as copywriters for this project, we get to know the Nashville-based duo:
OLD MADE GOOD, 3701B GALLATIN PIKE, NASHVILLE. 615.432.2882
Hours: Tuesdayâ€”Sunday, 12-5PM
Weâ€™re challenging ice cream with Las Paletas as our new favorite summertime treat. Irma Paz-Bernstein, alongside sister Norma, has been making these fruity, gourmet ice pops for twelve yearsâ€”crafting each and everyone by hand. We chat with Irma about making these cool, sweet treats.
These aren’t just sweet treats. Give us the back story.
In Mexico, there are paletas shops every other block. They are made with real ingredients, no color or flavorings added. Each region [of Mexico] is so amazingly rich in food and everything is very healthy. Part of the cooking culture in Mexico is made for scratch. We wanted to highlight that aspect.
Youâ€™re always coming up with unique ingredient combinationsâ€”what inspires those flavors?
Weâ€™ve made more than 100 different flavors throughout 12 years! It’s a collaborative and creative process. And it’s not just the people behind the counter, but the customer too. It’s instant gratification seeing people’s reactions!
Lick vs. bite vs. suck? Any strategy on the best way to enjoy paletas?
I am a diverse and flexible Paletas eater! The icy onesâ€”like hibiscus and limeâ€”those are little bites and little sucks. The chocolate based ones with raspberries or hot peppers, that’s a total lick… and possibly a chew whatever is inside, too!
LAS PALETAS, 2907 12TH AVENUE SOUTH, NASHVILLE.Â 615.386.2101
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 12-6pm
Imogene + Willie is the definition of Americana. Founders Carrie & Matt Eddmenson run their denim mecca out of a restored gas station in the hipâ€”but not overrunâ€”12South neighborhood. Selling unique vintage pieces and hand crafted denim, Imogene and Willie is storytelling the American Dreamâ€”and then some. We asked Â½ of the stylish duo to dish on what theyâ€™re packing in their daily bags (we spy the Imogene + Willie pencil case and bandana, Stevan Alan beach blanket)Â and more. Carrie sounds off for G&F:
What is the perfect Nashville night out?
My favorite night out is to stay in! But for a real Nashville night out? We usually have friends over for a cocktail prior to dinner. Then, head to Margot, without a doubt. There are new, amazing restaurants and chefs setting up shop in Nashville left and right, however, Margot is the queen of fine, albeit laid back dining.
When you travel, what are three Nashville foodie items you crave?
Chicken Tortilla Soup from Mas Tacos. Chicken Tortilla Soup from Mas Tacos. Chicken Tortilla Soup from Mas Tacos.
Can you pick a favorite pair of jeans?
I do have a favorite pair. It was my first favorite pair and most likely my only favorite pair forever. The original Imogene. I love it because of the fit and the way that it has worn over time. But Iâ€™m in love with it because it was the first.
IMOGENE + WILLIE, 2601 12TH AVENUE SOUTH, NASHVILLE. 615.292.5005
Store Hours:Â Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday 1-5pm
ONE: PINEWOOD SOCIAL //Â Pinewood Social is a distinguished space that takes social gathering to the next level (just check out #PinewoodSocial on instagram to get a serious case of FOMO). Â The sophisticated playground is a hot spot for tasty food, divine drinks and shameless funâ€”cue the karaoke and bowling. Weâ€™re mixing up a cocktail with some Nashville roots with Pinewood Social’s beverage director Matt Tocco. The Marathon Manhattan is a smokey delight featuring whiskey by Corsair, the first post-prohibition distillery in Nashville. Snag the recipe below:
Stay tuned for more recreation coming to Pinewood Social this summer. Theyâ€™re expanding to their back patio complete with a pool, bocce ball courts and an airstream. And in case you’re curious:Â Matt’s go-to spot in Nashville when he’s not at Pinewood? Tenn SixteenÂ in 5 points for a cold brew complete with quiet and peaceful vibes. Spot on.
PINEWOOD SOCIAL, 33 PEABODY STREET, NASHVILLE. 615.751.8111
Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-1am and Saturday-Sunday 9am-1am
TWO: JACKALOPE BREWING COMPANY //Â Beer usually means dude. But for Bailey Spaulding and Robyn Virball, they didn’t let the man-centric industry keep them from starting a female-owned brewery in the city limits.Â With an affinity for starch and fermentation, Jackalope Brewing Company distributes draft-only beer to restaurants, bars and markets in Nashville. And, bonus! The East Nashville tap room is open to the public for tastings and tall cold one.Â Some brews youâ€™ll find on the menu? Bearwalker, a maple brown aleâ€”an ode to Baileyâ€™s Vermont rootsâ€”and Thunder Ann, an American pale ale full of hops and tropical notes.
JACKALOPE BREWING COMPANY, 701 8TH AVENUE SOUTH, NASHVILLE.Â 615.873.4313
Hours: Thursday 4-10pm, Friday 4-8pm, Saturday 12-8pm and Sunday: 2-6pm
THREE: AMERICAN BORN MOONSHINE // Moonshine conjures up some serious imagery (read: hillbillies with ceramic jugs marked XXX, right?!) But for the crew behind American Born Moonshine, the goal is to create Moonshine that is totally sippable and still holds true to its Southern roots. We catch up with co-founder Sean Koffelâ€”who is one tall glass of Moonshineâ€”at Paradise Park to taste test the lovable liquid:
Want more? We knew you did. We asked Paradise Park bartender Sam DouthitÂ to mix up three quick American Born Moonshine recipes. The result? Easy drinking:
AMERICAN BORN MOONSHINE
Shot on locationÂ at Paradise Park Trailer Resort, 411 Broadway, Nashville.
Producing over 2,000 to 3,000 posters a week, Hatch Show Print has been cranking out letterpress posters for 135 years. And according to Hatch manager Celene Aubrey, with each poster running through the press for each color and each poster having at least two colors, that’s a whooping 4,000 to 6,000 times that the printing press is running per week. It sort of makes your mind numb, huh?
Any act, show or concert that has taken place in the past centuryâ€”chances are Hatch has made a kick ass poster to accompany it. From Johnny Cash to John Mayer and Patsy Cline to Pearl Jam, they’ve printed the greats in two colors only. While the printing press is off limits (unless you book a totally rad tour), The Hatch Gift Shop is a must when traveling through Nashville featuring plenty of paper goods and prints, both new and old. A browse through the store gives a snapshot of what it might have been like walking the streets of Nashville decades earlier with color prints vying for your attentionâ€”we have to admit that we stayed way too long.
HATCH SHOW PRINT, 224 5TH AVENUE SOUTH, NASHVILLE.Â 615.577.7710
Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 9am-6pm;Â Thursday-Saturday 9am-8pm
After her friends dubbed her marshmallows, â€œswallowing god in velvet pantsâ€ Sarah knew she was on to something real sweet. The Bang Candy Company operates out of a cafe in Marathon Village, Nashville, where you can see confections being made to perfection or hang out to nibble on a salad. But with so many sweet choices, a salad might not be the best choice. Sarahâ€™s creations range from artisan syrups to liven your libations to boozy bourbon caramels. We catch up with the Queen of Marshmallowsâ€”we proudly dub her this titleâ€”to learn the art of ‘mallow eating:
THE BANG CANDY COMPANY,Â 1300 CLINTON STREET, NASHVILLE.Â 615.953.1065
Hours:Â Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm
Opened since 1951, Loveless CafÃ© has been dishing out southern hospitality and serving up a lip-smacking and shocking 5,000 to 7,000 biscuits a dayâ€”still using the original recipe! But the Southern fare menu isnâ€™t all just biscuits. General Manager Bert Hardesty sets the record straight on the southern protocol of the meat nâ€™ three.
â€œMeat nâ€™ three dishes are typically served in small, Southern diners. Our meat nâ€™ three dish includes a Southern protein like BBQ Pulled Pork, Fried Chicken or Pork Chops, as well as an assortment of home cooked sides like our Creamed Corn, Fried Okra, Hashbrown Casserole or Turnip Greens.â€
If youâ€™re looking for a serious combo of southern charm, Bert recommends fried chicken (he boasts that itâ€™s the best in the city!), green beans, mashed potatoes and fried green tomatoes. Now what about the competition?
â€œBeing from Nashville, Iâ€™ve enjoyed Wendell Smithâ€™s restaurant on Charlotte Pike since the 1970â€™s. Much like Loveless, some of their servers have worked there for over 15 years, so we all know each other by name and feel like family.â€ Now if that isnâ€™t feel-good food, we donâ€™t know what is.
LOVELESS CAFE,Â 8400 TENNESSEE HWY 100, NASHVILLE. 615.646.9700
Hours: Open Daily 7am-9pm
What do you get when you put together 276 cowboys and a thousand apple pies? A darn good time at the Franklin Rodeo! From steer wrestling to mutton busting, a trip to Nashville would not be complete without getting down to some southern rodeo roots. Billed as the largest rodeo in Tennessee and happening once a year just 20 minutes outside of Nashville, the Franklin Rodeo hosts over 16,000 attendees a year and is run by the local Rotary club to raise money for community causes. We got to celebrate their 65th anniversary Tennessee-style with some Strawberry shortcake, cowboy hats and some hootin â€˜n hollerin.
Executive director Bill Fitzgerald roped us in before this yearâ€™s rodeo to talk steer ropinâ€™. The result? Weâ€™ll let the professionals do this from now on:
FRANKLIN RODEO, 4215 LONG LANE, FRANKLIN.Â 615.394.9292
Stay tuned to FranklinRodeo.com for the 2015 dates
ONE: KATY K’S RANCH DRESSING // Weâ€™re lucky to have run into such an idiosyncratic personality in Nashville. Katy Kattelman owns and curates a shop of unique western finds with a side of ranch dressing and brassy baubles (and we pulled a few pieces from her western wear bazaar for our Nashville Fashion editorial). We dish with Katy K on her distinctive wares, the piece that got away and famous customers.
You’ve had plenty of country western star bump-in’s. Who has been the best?
I think Porter Wagoner was one of the best. He always had the best Nudie suits and had quite a reputation with the ladies. He put James Brown on the Opry and discovered Dolly. There have been a lot of non-country folks visiting store as well, like Paul Reubens, Chelsea Clinton, Annie Lenox, Deborah Harry, the B-52s and Elvis Costello.
How do you describe your store’s offerings? Who are your style icons?
As a classic burlesque fan and a avid 1980’ss club gal, I like glitz, naughty and shocking mixed in with the ranch wear. My style icons are Sally Starr (google her!), early Dolly, Candy Barr and Â Jayne Mansfield.
If you could take back one piece of clothing you’ve sold over the years, what would it be? The one that got away!
A Nudie suit belonging to the murdered Skull Schulman who owned a burlesque club in Nashville called Skullâ€™s Rainbow Room. It had huge embroidered French Poodles all over it surrounded by rhinestones.Â
We have to ask:Â Is Kattelman your real name?Â
Yes, Kattelman is my real name. My father once told me it was really Kattelthief but it was changed at Ellis Island. Then again, he also told me that the goldfish in the park fountain was where lox came from so I donâ€™t know if I should believe him.
KATY K’S RANCH DRESSING, 2407 12TH AVENUE SOUTH, NASHVILLE. 12th Avenue South.Â 615.297.4242
Hours: Monday-Friday 11am-6pm, Saturday 12-6pm and Sunday 1-5pm
TWO: MOLLY BEDELL OF TWO OLD HIPPIESÂ //Â Nashville brings together an eclectic mix of Americana aesthetic, but Two Old Hippies brings style through their liberating philosophy of life to their store. Founded by two veterans of the original hippie culture, Molly and Tom Bedell feature travel discoveries, interesting textiles, diverse wares and artwork in the shop. A non-native, Molly invites us over to her home to take a peek into the fineries of Southern fare. We talk style and savoriesâ€”two of our favorite things!â€”with consummate hostess:
And because we just couldn’t get enough, Molly rounds up her top three shoe picks from the storeâ€”a trio, trifecta, the mÃ©nage a’ trois of summer kicks for Nashville explorin’.
â€œIf youâ€™re a bootie girl, Fiorentini + Baker’s Eternity boot in sand is a must. (above, top left, $453) Joie’s pink blush lace up heel is a sexy choice (above, bottom left, $300) and Dkode’s leather and metal stud sandal is funky and fun (above, top right, $192).â€
Keep an eye out for Two Old Hippies next endeavor, Hippie Home, a home goods store following their keen eye and tenets of peace, love and rock nâ€™ roll through interiors. 408 11th Avenue South,
TWO OLD HIPPIES, 401 12th AVENUE SOUTH, NASHVILLE,Â 615.254.7999
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10am-8pm, Friday-Saturday 10am-9pm and Sunday 11am-5pm
What began as a radio show in 1925 has turned into one of the greatest American variety shows known to date: the Grand Ole Opry. Every Friday and Saturday night, a dynamic line-up takes the stage, from newcomers to country music legends. Over 4,500 broadcasts have been logged and the weekly shows are still broadcasted on the radio.
â€œA six-foot circle of wood was taken from the Ryman Auditorium, the Opryâ€™s most famous former home, when the show moved to the Grand Ole Opry House in 1974. Thus, when todayâ€™s superstars take the Opry stage, theyâ€™re standing on the same circle of staging where icons such as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, and Tex Ritter once stood,â€ Thereâ€™s really nothing as idiosyncratic as the Grand Ole Opry: you never know what youâ€™re going to experience.
THE GRAND OLE OPRY, 2804 OPRYLAND DRIVE, NASHVILLE, 800.SEE.OPRY
Seriously. All hail Chef Hal. The recent Nashville Scene mag Iron Fork winner Chef Hal Holden-Bache brings his nostalgic comfort food to the masses at his East Nashville restaurant, Lockeland Table. Hal grew up in West Virginia which he describes as â€œhippie and yuppieâ€”a real mix.â€ And thus, his menu is a delightful smorgasbord based off of comfort food favorites like spaghetti, pizza and steak for his patrons. “Everyone thinks of comfort food as Fried Chicken, but what’s more familiar than spaghetti? Itâ€™s comfort food that everyone can relate to,â€ explains Chef Hal.
While we love Southern classics like their Nashville hot crispy pig ears (a nod to the super trendy Nashville Hot Chicken movement), weâ€™re kind of obsessed with the pizza bar at Lockeland. Chef Hal shares The Woodstock pizza (pictured above) for your food porn pleasure: tomato, Georgia peach, ham and provolone. “If I could eat pizza for every meal for the rest of my life, I would.” We couldn’t agree more.
LOCKELAND TABLE, 1520 WOODLAND STREET, NASHVILLE.Â 615.228.4864
Hours: Monday-Saturday 5-10pm
ONE: VINTAGE CAMPER // An urban oasis? A movie set? A bohemian dream? Touted as a 60’s camper and backyard bathhouse on Airbnb, we’ve officially found our new favorite city retreat that sleeps two. Located in East Nashville, the creative compound sits in the backyard of the owner’s home. It’s outfitted with everything you need (electric stove top and a comfy bed); some things you don’t but are surely welcome (a big clawfoot tub and a firepit); and a few extras that will just make your stay that much better (impeccably designed interior and a short walk to farmer’s markets). Look familiar? We shot part of our #GFTravel fashion storyÂ here.
$625/WEEK. BOOK ON AIRBNB.COM
TWO: HUTTON HOTEL //Â Centrally located with a spot-on staff, the Hutton is a big hotel with a boutique hotel feel. The welcoming artist gallery in the main lobby entrance and coffee breakfast bar are added bonuses. With bright, airy rooms and a coffee machine on each floor, the biggest question you’ll face during your visit is if you actually want to leave.Â
HUTTON HOTEL, 1808 WEST END AVENUE, NASHVILLE. 615.340.9333
THREE: THE 404 HOTELÂ //Â If you like to rest your head somewhere with a little extra panache and style, The 404 Hotel is the place for you. Located in a hip pocket of the city called the Gulchâ€”and right next door to our pals at Two Old Hippiesâ€”this boutique hotel offers five rooms with a mix of vintage furniture and art. Plus, a dedicatedâ€”and invisible!â€”concierge service that makes it feel like you’re staying with good pals who know the city well. Score! And The 404 Kitchen is perfect for a chill dinner during your stay.
THE 404 HOTEL AND KITCHEN, 404 12TH AVENUE SOUTH, NASHVILLE. 615.242.7404
Restaurant Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 5-10PM; Friday & Saturday, 5-11PMÂ
Photography by Diana Lee Zadlo
Marshmallow Image courtesy of The Bang Candy Company
Airbnb Image courtesy of the property via Airbnb
Hutton Hotel image courtesy of Hutton Hotel
The 404 Hotel image courtesy of The 404 Hotel
Katy K image courtesy of Katy K
Pinewood Social image courtesy of Pinewood Social
Fashion Images by Tim Musho; See all here