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Nashville’s Best New Bars

Whether you like a French bordeaux or good draft beer, it’s officially happy hour in Nashville. With as many new spots as there are cranes in the air, from neighborhood pubs to craft cocktail bars, it’s easer than ever to get a great drink in Music City. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite new places below.

Written By:  Nathan Diller

Photographers:  Supplied

Henrietta Red
Photo courtesy Andrew Thomas Lee


Attaboy gives its guests clear instructions: When they walk up to the nondescript grey building in East Nashville, marked only by the image of a chicken riding a motorcycle, there is a sign on the door that reads, “Please knock gently.” Once inside the dimly lit speakeasy, though, this offshoot of a New York bar by the same name is relaxed, and the bartenders tailor the experience to the patrons—they’ll ask a few questions about what they like and concoct something special. 8 McFerrin Ave; attaboy.us

The Back Corner

Appropriately located in the back corner of 5th & Taylor, this late-night complement to the Germantown eatery was opened by chef-owner Daniel James Lindley. Customers order drinks at a diamond-shaped bar beneath gothic chandeliers and hear live music and DJ sets. There’s space to lounge and dance, and plenty of craft cocktail offerings—one to try is the Half Past Midnight, made with Four Roses bourbon, Aperol, Averna, and flamed orange-to sip along the way. 1411 5th Ave N, 615-242-4747; thebackcorner.com

Barroom at Henrietta Red

Just past the front doors at Henrietta Red in Germantown, preceding the main dining room, is an oyster bar on par with any in well-known waterside cities. Along the marble bar top or at communal wood tables, guests can enjoy fifteen varieties of oysters, plus drinks that are meant to complement them. The wine list features many organic and biodynamic wines, along with beachy cocktails, like the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, made with Plantation 5 Year rum, lime, Croele Shrubb liqueur, Falernum, and Angostura bitters. 1200 4th Ave N, 615-490-8042; henriettared.com

The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club 

Fit for a fox, this intimate space on the ground level behind Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen in East Nashville is elegant, yet homey. Seated at the bar or in booths with blue velvet seats, guests can order shareable plates, like lavender goat tartine and vegan pimento cheese, to pair with an extensive list of drinks. The beverage program, designed by Will Benedetto, formerly of William Collier’s, features wine, beer, cider, Tennessee whiskey drinks, and spirited selections, like the Lemon Verbena Swizzle, with Cosair gin, absinthe, and Peychaud’s bitters. 2905B Gallatin Pk, 615-678-6541; thefoxnashville.com

Gertie’s Bar at The 404 Kitchen

Now that The 404 Kitchen, which was nominated for a James Beard Award, has moved into new digs in Watermark’s old space, chef and restaurateur Matt Bolus is serving up something different. Gertie’s Bar, located downstairs, has a standalone menu, and beverage director Christina Cabrera has designed a themed cocktail list that will change quarterly. Among the first round are signature drinks, like the 404 Old Fashioned, made with brown butter-infused bourbon, pecan syrup, bitters, and a lemon ghost twist with dehydrated apples. 507 12th Ave S, 615-712-8572; gertiesnashville.com

Nations Bar & Grill

Just down the street from OCP, a bright neon sign signals the arrival of another new neighborhood bar. Housed in a renovated auto repair shop, this laidback joint aims to retain the integrity of the area, and the menu features comfort foods, like gumbo and the New Nashville burger, a portabella-lamb-black angus burger with Swiss, spinach, and cranberry-onion jam, alongside local spirits and beers. Drinks, like their Old Forester mint juleps, reflect their objective: down-to-earth done well. 705 51st Ave N, 615-873-4755; nationsbarandgrill.com

The Original Corner Pub in The Nations

Music City and The Original Corner Pub go way back, and now the Green Hills institution has expanded, opening a second location inside a historic church in The Nations. The menu features old favorites—burgers, wings—but the new space seats 140, has a beer garden with games and picnic tables, and boasts a recently added BushWacker machine. They’ve also got a two-for-one Sunday draft special, making it the perfect place to savor the end of the weekend. 1105 51st Ave N, 615-760-5282; originalcornerpub.com

Rosemary & Beauty Queen

This cozy bar inside a house on the edge of Five Points feels like hanging out at a neighbor’s—if that neighbor made really great cocktails. Owners Andrew Mischke and Jim O’Shea keep things casual: The space is decorated with built-in bookshelves and antique furniture, and the drinks are unfussy, but original. The Black Tip Sunday is Fernet Branca and Diet Coke on ice, and the Davey Baby is a shot of Four Roses bourbon with a ginger beer chaser. A companion bar, Beauty Queen, is also slated to open out back. 1102 Forrest Ave, 615-730-7700; facebook.com

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