The Summer of Speakeasies
Nashville’s Best Secret(s)
This weekend, some members of our team went on a speakeasy expedition. Our mission? Find the best secret bars that Music City has to offer.
Speakeasies date back to the Prohibition Era, when alcohol was illegal and Americans established secret bars that were hidden from authorities, often through secret doors or passageways. Although the days of the Prohibition are long gone, the speakeasy culture has remained popular within big cities (like NYC and LA…and now Nashville!).
The list of Nashville speakeasies is quite long, but here’s our experience of the few we visited.
Our first stop: Old Glory. Located behind Taco Mamacita in Edgehill, Old Glory is a beautiful speakeasy only to be identified by its black door, surrounded by a painted gold triangle. Old Glory’s location used to be the boiler room for one of Nashville’s biggest steam cleaning facilities in the 1920s, and retains some of those original features throughout its beautiful space.
Nestled away in a vintage-looking leather booth, we sampled a variety of the drinks on the menu, and were impressed with the creative mix of flavors. The staff were great, and the bar kept a cozy feeling whilst still providing its patrons with ample space. It’s a good place for groups, but it also has some cozy corners if you’re on a date night!
Rudy’s Jazz Room
Rudy’s Jazz Room is located in the Gulch, and usually has two/three nightly jazz shows, along with cocktails and Cajun/Creole dishes. From what we got to see, it looked intimate, and like it would be a great experience, but, we’d recommend coming early for the shows (to ensure space!), and coming prepared to pay a cover charge (although they do take credit cards!). It’s definitely on our list to go back and try, but we thought we’d pass along what we’ve already learned!
Bar Sovereign is just south of Broadway, tucked away on 5th Avenue South, with only a small metal sign to identify it. When you walk in, it’s got a bit of an eclectic feel to it. It’s got the familiarity of a friend’s living room mixed with the elements you’d want in a cool bar. Not to mention, if you’re into “football” (soccer), Bar Sovereign has a big screen for viewings. One of the owners is British, so if you’re looking for a place to watch an England football match (World Cup, anyone?), look no further!
The drinks were great, the atmosphere was cozy but cool, and overall we thought it was a great spot to spend a Friday night.
The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club
Our final stop of the evening was East Nashville’s Fox Bar & Cocktail Club. Overall, this was our crowd favorite. Hidden away on Gallatin Pike, Fox Bar is located behind Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen. Fox Club transports you into a different world it seems, with every detail thought through. From the music to the service, the drinks to the décor, Fox Bar is truly a cohesive escape. You can feel the heart that the management has for this place!
They’ve got cocktails on tap, as well as a long (but not overwhelming!) list of creative cocktails, with scales to indicate the intensity of the drink. They also provide smaller plates of food and charcuterie plates, making it the perfect place to spend a few hours on a weekend night.
While this is far from a comprehensive list of the Nashville Speakeasy scene, we hope this inspires you to join our mission to find the best one the city has to offer. Cheers to a splendid summer of speakeasies!