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Restaurateurs Mike and Taylor Monen hadn’t planned on a second location for their artful mashup of bar, eatery, and grownup playground in Chattanooga, known there as Clyde’s on Main. But the size and retro-industrial vibe of the old plumbing supply building in Nashville’s Midtown was a natural locale for their concept. At Clyde’s on Church, patrons have more than a hang for craft beers and savvy cocktails, although the cushy leather sofas and coffee tables could easily become your home away from home. But the Monens designed the place for games of active play, with areas of the 7,500-square-foot building devoted to foosball, shuffleboard, and ping-pong.
The foremost characteristic of the place is the dedication to inspired pub grub that goes beyond the predictable line-up of burgers, wings, and nachos. Whether a diner chooses from big and small plates, soups, sandwiches, salads, and snacks, everything is made from scratch. The Monens call it “unexpectedly good food.”
“We made a commitment to having the same food quality and prep that would go into a fine dining menu and deliver this in the setting of a super casual, super fun bar setting,” Taylor Monen says. “We make our own dough and hand roll and bake pretzels every day. All of our barbecue items are slow smoked in our smoker in the kitchen with our own unique homemade rubs, marinades, cures, and sauces. We butcher, cure, glaze, and smoke our own bacon.”
That means double-stacked grilled cheeseburgers with house-candied bacon; brined, spiced, and smoked chicken wings with a selection of house sauces (like Alabama comeback); and nachos mounded with smoked beef brisket, pickled jalapeños, red and green onions, and Clyde’s own version of Cheez Whiz. But look further: The menu is replete with tasty, globally influenced dishes, such as fried chickpeas dusted in Mediterranean spices, Vietnamese glazed pork ribs, and jerk chicken dinner with red potato salad and power greens.
It’s worth noting that all of the bar drinks are made with fresh juices, using the same equipment you’d find in a juice bar. Popular concoctions include the High Tea (bourbon-spiked orange-mint tea) and Gin and Juice (gin, chartreuse, St. Germain, and cucumber.)
“We want to ensure that our cocktails are super fresh and unique,” Taylor adds.
Whether you’re there for Vinyl Happy Hour (the old Wurlitzer juke box spins oldie-goldie 45s daily, from 4 to 7 p.m.) or one of the epic ping-pong tourneys, or simply to gather with friends for good food and drink, the Monens and their staff want to make sure your time at Clyde’s is pure pleasure.
1700 Church St., 615-432-2928; clydesonchurch.com