Party Culture In The Music City (3 of 4): Nashville’s “New & Improved” Gulch District

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For years we’ve been promising our viewers an update on the progress being made in Nashville’s newest luxury and entertainment district “The Gulch.” What started around 2005 is now complete with luxurious condos, cosmopolitan culture and trendy, upscale nightlife. And with downtown Nashville only a hop, skip and a jump away, you’ll never find yourself with nothing to do…. Our Man About Town has the scoop on this sparkling, new nightlife and entertainment playground.

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The next stop on our Nashville tour: The Neighborhoods

Click here for Part 2 of 4: Midtown & Broadway

The Gulch District: Nashville, Tn.

There’s Velocity In The Gulch:

For many reasons, Nashville is a city that has endeared itself to me again and again over the years. Maybe it’s because Nashville is big enough to be cosmopolitan and yet still friendly. Maybe it’s the down home feel and southern charm of a Dixie tourist town. Maybe it’s the fact that I was able to experience so much change as I got to know more about this wonderful, bustling party city.

I don’t know…. But I do know that the Music City is someplace I find myself coming back to again and again and again.

For me the love affair started back in 2004. It wasn’t my first time there, but it was the first time that I truly got to know the city from the inside. It was then that I got to know just how much this city really has to offer. It was then that I got to know “The Gulch.”

I’m talking about Nashville’s historic Gulch District. An area of downtown filled with distinct industrial history that originally housed the downtown railroad terminal.

An area that until the 1950s saw more than 100 trains coming and going daily.

The trains…. That’s what drew me to its then decrepit urban charm. But back then, the Gulch was just beginning to emerge as a high-class, luxurious living and entertainment neighborhood.

Oh, how the seasons change….

Today, the Gulch has become a magnet for young hip and trendy urbanites. Old warehouses renovated into residential and office space along with upscale restaurants and a vibrant, decadent nightlife have transformed The Gulch into the hottest new party district in Nashville.

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The Watermark restaurant offers uniquely American food with a distinct Southern twist. The experience offers luxurious dining in a chic setting featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and a breathtaking view of the downtown skyline.

Just below there is Sambuca. Known for its eclectic dining and nightly live music, Sambuca is where you’ll want to go when you’re looking to dine, drink, and dance the night away.

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If you’re looking for a more low-key place to fill your tummy, Ru Sans Sushi & Seafood offers lunch and dinner buffets and an outrageous sushi bar with a wide variety of rolls and some pretty distinctive names (ex. The Sinking Titanic).

Every hip city has at least one local brewery and Nashville city is no different. And if you’re the kind of person that can appreciate a fine brew then you’ve got to check out the Yazoo Brewing Company on Division Street. This local brewer has a taproom that’s open Wednesday through Saturdays. And as an added bonus, you can often find one of Nashville’s many food trucks in the parking lot serving dinner. Last, but not least, Brewery tours are available on Saturdays.

Another noteworthy establishment on Division is the eccentric retail store that is “fueled by the Desire and Passion of Urban fashion.” Located inside The Icon, Bullets & Mullets, their goal is to inspire their clients to “Be Your Own Model.”

Fashionistas can go from there and get manicured at the Cashmere Salon spa or grab a hot cup of java at Casablanca Coffee. From there it’s time to hit the boutiques also in the heart of The Gulch. I’m talking about places like Urban Outfitters whose focus on vintage, bohemian, retro, hipster, and kitschy apparel and furniture for men and women has become legendary.

Across the street from there you’ll find the Two Old Hippies shop. Laced with rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia and filled with unique apparel, accessories, novelty and gift items, the interior features a cool “Magic Bus” smack dab in the center of the shop and an 8,000-square-foot stage for local performers!

The Lucchese Boot Company, Nashville’s newest brand of high-end, custom made boots is a hot commodity in the Music City and a favorite among the American luxury and western boot fanatic. This being their third flagship store, Lucchese offers the best of the best in high-end signature boots featuring classic designs made of the finest materials and an in-house working design center for custom boot making.

Apricot Lane, though I’m not sure if it’s actually considered part of The Gulch is also close by and features a wide selection of urban chic and well-known styles and brands including clothing, soaps, home accessories, stationery, and candles.

And that’s just the beginning!

When I first became acquainted with The Gulch it was little more than an urban prairie and a place to watch the trains pass. Now new restaurants are sprouting up like blades of grass including the Music City Flats, located inside The Icon in The Gulch. This fine establishment offers an eclectic fusion of ancient world style flatbread served up in a modern urban setting. Cantina Laredo serves authentic Mexican dishes in a sophisticated atmosphere.

A firm part of the Gulch since 74,’ The Station Inn is Nashville’s foremost home for authentic bluegrass with live acoustic music nightly. A million miles away in profile from its upscale and trendy neighbors, the Station Inn has managed to keep things simple with pizza, beer, and some of the best Americana and bluegrass music around. In a city of decadence who could ask for anything more (or less)? The doors open nightly at 7 p.m. and music starts around 9 p.m.

If you’re a health food nut then you’ll want to take a trip to the Turnip Truck Urban Fare. An organic grocery store featuring a deli, bakery, and a salad bar. Serving deliciously healthy foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this is the place for those on a health food kick.

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Velocity In The Gulch:

The national restaurant and bar chain Bar Louie is on the first floor of the Velocity in The Gulch. A friendly cross between casual and upscale, their motto and mantra is “a progressively hip neighborhood restaurant and bar with a lively atmosphere.” Their menu includes sandwiches, salads, and pizzas as well as a few items with some international flair. And to wet your whistle, they have a variety of hand-crafted cocktails available.

Making our way out of The Gulch and toward downtown you’ll find a nifty complex of upscale and trendy restaurants operated by Nashville nightlife developers M Street Entertainment. And if you’re the kind of person who wants to be noticed then the Whiskey Kitchen is the place for you to be. With its tavern style concept, it’s a favorite place to “see and be seen” in the Music City.

Right next door is the sister property Virago, a part upscale Japanese restaurant and sushi bar and a part late night cocktail lounge.

The newest trendsetter and the crown jewel of this social circle is Kayne Prime, a fine dining steakhouse that features modern and upscale interpretations of classic American fare with a market-driven menu and bastion of fine cocktails.

Click Here For The Printable Version Of This Article

Click here for Part 2 of 4: Midtown & Broadway
Click here for Part 4 of 4: The Neighborhoods

VelocityInTheGulch.com

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Author:The Man About Town

Aaron Cupil (a.k.a. The Man About Town) is an avid traveler and good time thrill seeker. A former trucker and the founder of Partyclique.com, his cross country hauls were the inspiration for this website. When he's not writing or running his company, you can find him circling the globe in search of new adventures to report on.

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