“I feel sorry for people that don’t drink, because when they wake up in the morning, that is the best they are going to feel all day-”Frank Sinatra
Day four of our trip and our third actual day in Nashville. We are feeling it. You can’t start a party at 11 am, go into the night and not have it catch up to you. Add to this the fact that we no longer spring chickens and it’s compounded. However, we are troopers, we soldier on.
We hit brunch at the Butcher and the Bee. We decided to sit outside. I don’t know why we decided to sit outside. We are northerners and I am one third too much, add in some July Nashville heat and humidity, and those variables make for a bad equation.
Pinewood Social (yesterdays brunch spot) and this place had a similar vibe if you back out the fact that Pinewood was much larger, had a pool, and had a bowling alley. In all seriousness there was a strong hipster vibe. The food at both places was well attended to, as were the drinks. This is far from your assembly line/industrial revolution inspired chain restaurant. We enjoyed both spots.
Adding to our joy at Butcher and the Bee was that our waiter looked like the illegitimate son of a teacher four of us in the group had in high school. That particular teacher has not married, and was somewhat morally straight laced, so it was likely just an odd doppelganger scenario, but it made my morning.
The girls in our group seemed to enjoy our day drinking session yesterday, but lacked the intestinal fortitude to do it two days in a row. For that one needs testosterone (probably not) and a lacking of a desire for anything culturally intriguing (probably). All that said they went to a museum to learn about the legend that was Johnny Cash, and we headed over to Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge. The rooftop had a very talented duo, with a girl on guitar and vocals and a guy on drums. As great as they were, we ended up leaving for Jason Aldean’s rooftop (adjacent).
Jason Aldean’s was a bit more hopping at the time, but the rooftop sun made it very hot, so we continued to crawl down Broadway.
Eventually, the girls tour was over and they met up with us at a bar called The Stage. We had moseyed in and grabbed a table and by the time the girls arrived, the place was starting to really pick up.
For those that have never been to Nashville, these bands basically play for tips. Essentially, $20 in the tip jar gets you a song. This is problematic because people tend to request the same songs over and over again. You will hear Garth Brooks “Friends in Low Places” many, many, many, many times a day. When the band started to play that song at The Stage, as I rolled my eyes, I happened to notice a group of girls that collectively rolled their eyes at the same time. A new song is a joy.
Keke and I were getting hungry and broke off for an early dinner. We had wanted to hit up Ole Red, Blake Shelton’s bar.
We had wanted to go to Ole Red every since we knew we were going to Nashville. We had gone to Ole Red in Blake Shelton’s hometown of Tishomingo, Ok on the way back from the Texas leg of The Great Baseball Ride. We loved that spot, the venue, the music, and the food, and were looking forward to what Nashville’s version had to offer.
We were mildly disappointed when we found out that the menu in Nashville is not the same as the menu in Tishomingo. The redneck tacos that I so enjoyed, and the fried green tomatoes that Keke and I both loved in Oklahoma were nowhere to be found in Nashville. We were forced to improvise and I moved swiftly from the redneck cuisine of the American South to the culinary glory of the Canadian South (pountine’s Canadian right?).
Our meal was probably around 4ish in the afternoon, so the rest of our crew went to Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row while we were at Ole Red. After our meal we met up with them. They were on a high because they had seen some amazing drummer for the band that was playing that afternoon. Their attempts at giving us FOMO were unsuccessful since none of them got cornbread and we had learned that guy was going to be playing in another band later that night.
The next band up at Whiskey Row was a bit more organized. They had a laminated sheet of commonly requested songs and they tip amounts that one would have to give to get them played. Most expensive song on the list? Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker for $100. One of our crew decided to barter and got the band down to $60 for Wagon Wheel plus a blaze orange trucker/hunting hat with the bands logo on it. He’s going to help me buy my next new car.
One final note on Whiskey Row. Each time I bought a round I was charged a “technology fee” (I think that’s what it was called). I am guessing it was because I was using my credit card, but I never saw that fee anywhere else we went. Kinda soured me on going back there.
After Whiskey Row the rest of the crew was getting hangry and needed to eat. Saturday night in Nashville on or near Broadway is packed, and as you may expect, getting into a restaurant requires a wait. After and hour wait and some mild drama we ended up at FGL House (Florida Georgia Line). Keke and I had already eaten, so we were drinking our second dinner.
After dinner, it was back to Broadway for more music and more beverages. I don’t know that it’s possible to not have fun in Nashville, but you can certainly have too much fun. I think we were starting to toe that line and we eventually grabbed an Uber and headed back to the Airbnb.