Three Crow Bar covers one corner of East Nashville’s Five Points, with an exuberant clientele that reflects the diversity of the neighborhood. Catch a game on one of the televisions, join in on the weekly and highly competitive team trivia contests, shoot a game of darts, or just shoot the breeze at the bar. Steamed sandwiches on the limited menu.
The Basement books an interesting mix of touring acts, local rock/pop bands, singer-songwriters and more, thanks to the participation of Grimeys partners Mike Grimes and Doyle Davis. Below Grimeys New & Preloved Music lies a small, dark cave, where the music flows like Yazoo brew and the audience sits within spitting distance of performers on the low-rising stage. Run by Geoff Donovanone of Nashvilles best bartendersand Grimeys owner (and Guilty Pleasures guitarist) Mike Grimes, The Basement books everything from indie blog darlings like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah to the Altar Call Old Time Gospel Hour. The Basements 100-person capacity and no-smoking rule make it a great venue to relax and listen rather than jockey for space and a view of the performers
Permanent exhibits include plaques honoring Hall of Fame members, over 3,000 items relating to the history of country music, plus a library & media center. Instrument demos, songwriter sessions, Appalachian clogging, line-dancing, TV tapings, live broadcasts & other events take place at various times. Hours: 9 am-5 pm daily (except closed Tuesdays through March); museum store, 9:30 am-5:30 pm; Sobro Grill, 11 am-2:30 pm; Sobro2Go snack bar, 9 am-5 pm. $16.95; $14.95 sr. citizens, military personnel & students; $8.95 children ages 6-17; free for children under 6.
Everyone has their favorite meat-and-three, but Arnold’s probably tops more lists, as evidenced by the cross-section of Nashvillians who line up daily for the fried green tomatoes, peppery roast beef, turnip greens, bread pudding and chocolate pie. Presided over for two decades by the curmudgeonly but lovable Jack Arnold and his luscious, vivacious wife Rose, the dining room has fewer tables than customers, so be prepared to share. Son Kahlil finally talked his parents into bringing back breakfast, and downtown commuters start pulling into the graveled lot just after dawn, lured by the sizzle of bacon and smell of biscuits. The restaurant used to be cash-only, but it has recently begun accepting Visa and MasterCard and opened for breakfast in fall 2006.
Completed in 1892, home to the Union Gospel Tabernacle &, from 1943 to 1974, home to the Grand Ole Opry. "Revival at the Ryman: Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Ryman Renovation," in the 5th Ave. Backstage tours & live CD recordings now avail. Hours: 9 am-4 pm daily. $8 adults, $4 ages 4-11.
Four generations of Nashvillians have settled into the cozy booths of this family-owned, diner-style restaurant opened in 1945 by John and Evelyn Rotier. Not many places offer American cheese and crackers as an appetizer anymore, but Rotier’s does. Meat-and-three “Night Plates,” short orders from the fryer, and head lettuce salads are staples, but the most popular item remains the patty melt: a cheeseburger served either grilled or on French bread. Special mention goes to the best milkshake in Nashville. It’s the real deal, delivered icy-cold in the classic aluminum milkshake cup.
A Hillsboro Village stalwart featuring foreign, indie and classic films as well as expertly booked live music such as Jenny Lewis, M. Ward and the Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars.
When he purchased the 53-year-old Loveless Cafe in November 2003, new owner Tom Morales faced a major challenge: how to preserve the history of a legend and honor the memories of generations of fans, while restoring faded glory and modernizing the infrastructure? The result is better than anyone could have hoped for. Architect Seab Tuck kept much of the original building—which has been degreased, painted and polished—while adding on to make room for new bathrooms, a new kitchen and expanded seating. Breakfast is still offered daily until 5 p.m. The staples remain—country ham and eggs with red-eye gravy; sausage, bacon and steak; three-egg omelets; pancakes and waffles—and all seem to have a new lease on life. At dinner, meat-and-three classics lead the cast: the excellent skillet-fried chicken, rich chicken and dumplings, country ham dinner, and a meaty, moist meatloaf. A stellar supporting cast includes homemade sides like mac and cheese, field peas, slow-cooked flat green beans, chunky mashed potatoes and skillet-fried shoepeg corn. Making sparkling debuts are the smokehouse platters, which include turkey, pork chops, ribs, pan-fried Bucksnort trout and barbecue shrimp in a big bowl of delectable grits soaked with a spicy red sauce. Save room for a slice of pastry chef Alisa Huntsman’s blue-ribbon pies, among them fresh berry, chocolate pecan, coconut cream and peanut butter.
When it comes to destination dining, Margot is where you want to set your compass. As much as residents in the restaurant’s East Nashville neighborhood would like to keep this jewel to themselves, they would have to secure the perimeter of Five Points to stem the flow of devotees who stream over the river from points near and far to taste Provence and Tuscany in this charming, renovated brick building. From the open kitchen on the first level, intoxicating scents waft through the first-floor dining room, over to the half-moon bar, up to the mezzanine and out to the enclosed patio. Chef/co-owner Margot McCormack sets the bar high, changing her menu nightly based on what comes freshest to the kitchen door that morning. Business partner Jay Fein is in charge of the French/Italian/German wine list, and servers offer informed assistance. Margot’s Sunday brunch—to order, not a buffet—is all the reason many need to get out of bed early and beat the crowds.
Margot McCormack of Margot Café renown strikes another chord with Marché Artisan Foods, a gorgeous lunch-and-grocery spot that could have been plucked from the high-rent sidewalks of New York or London and set down in the alley behind Margot Café. Floor-to-ceiling windows douse the dining room with sun, which gently bounces from marble tabletops to potted palms, to glasses of Perrier, flutes of champagne and bottles of Orangina. In this light, a palette of edible colors—salmon pink, beet purple, arugula green—splashes across the canvases of oversized white plates. With regional products and French- and Italian-inspired flavors consistent with the big-sister restaurant next door, Marché offers a lighter opportunity to explore McCormack’s creative and vegetarian-friendly style—during the day. A simple breakfast roster includes breads, pastries, cheeses, cereals and French toast, while lunch revolves around soups, salads, omelets and sandwiches, with an occasional quiche or crêpe thrown in. Like at Margot, the menu changes with the chef’s whim and the availability of seasonal products.
Cop a squat on the grass along Woodland Street, where residents--with canines and kids in tow--flock to the mustard-yellow VW minibus-turned-mobile-kitchen for hot dogs of the all-beef and tofu varieties. Bring your own lawnchair or borrow a picnic blanket and watch the bustle of Five Points. You won't be alone.
Bartender/entertainment booker/musician Jamie Rubin owns this cozy East Nashville interpretation of a neighborhood pub. Hungry diners will want to try the hefty shepherds pie, available in a meat and a vegetarian version, or the roasted chicken with roasted garlic gravy and mashed potatoes. Live music is featured nightly.
Eastside boasts the Crunkest Fish in Town, and Donald Boatright's got a good argument, particularly when it comes to the Giant King, nearly two pounds of beautifully fried fish filet bulging out of two slices of white bread; for less than $7, it can easily feed a couple of commoners.