Randy Rayburn, veteran restaurateur and owner of Sunset Grill and Midtown Café, partners up with two longtime employees—Sunset GM Craig Clifft and executive chef Brian Uhl—to create Cabana, an ambitious project that will put the trio’s legendary talents to the test. Bar, restaurant, lounge and a 2,900-square-foot year-round outdoor patio is the multiple-personality concept envisioned by the team, offering something for everyone—the drinker, the diner and scene-makers looking for a late-night hang. Ten private cabanas—each outfitted with a flat-screen TV—offer the ultimate in private parties. Uhl envisions his menu as playful and spontaneous, with items like chicken-wing lollipops, mini lobster corn dogs, oyster shooters and Tennessee Sliders.
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
This reincarnation of The End Zone sports bar boasts plasma TVs, a covered patio out back and a stage for small acoustic live-music sets. Spanky’s offers both lunch and dinner consisting of the usual bar classics.
It's not exactly bar food, but there's a robust bar scene. It's not ladies-who-lunch fare, but the ladies who lunch in Green Hills should discover the seared tuna salad with miso vinaigrette and Asian slaw, topped with wasabi peas and cashews. It's not exactly a family restaurant, but it would be hard to name a place that treats kids better than Crows Nest, with its $5.95 kids menu. Whatever you want to call it, Crows Nest is a welcome all-purpose addition to Green Hills' working-lunch-family-supper-and-dinner-before-a-movie repertoire. Standout items include the pulled pork plate (with hot-water corn cakes), barbecue ribs and baked stuffed oysters. If you ever hung out at Gameland in the old days, don't worry, the building has undergone a major overhaul, resulting in a clean, smoke-free environment with three patios. — Carrington Fox
A casual, come-as-you-are kind of place, Jackson’s pulls a youngish crowd attracted to its comfortable outdoor seating corral, moderately priced food, small but well-selected wine list, boutique beers and fancy cocktails. The extensive menu offers something for everyone: salads, pastas, burgers, spinach wraps, paninis and bistro dinner plates such as chipotle pork chops and steak frites. Signature appetizers include superb fried green tomatoes, andouille pups and buffalo feathers (pulled white chicken meat flash-fried in hot sauce).
Professional sports fans enjoy climate-controlled viewing for the price of a beer or two at Sam’s. Owners Al Thomas and Sam Sanchez boast big-league credentials in the restaurant industry, and their menu is a notch above most game-day fare. The onion rings are excellent, and the burgers are big and juicy. Gourmet pizzas with a crispy-chewy crust are the house specialty, delivered steaming-hot on big aluminum platters.