Eighth Avenue / Melrose
Not far from downtown, antique stores line both sides of Eighth Avenue South. A collector’s haven, the area has become known as a premier antiques district. Monthly, a local auction house in the center of the district at Douglas Corner opens its doors for one night of auctioning mayhem to a standing-room-only crowd.
You’ll find a dozen shops on Eighth featuring fine antiques at stores like Á la Maison, the Corduroy Horse, and Fine Offerings Antiques to eclectic stores like Pre-To-Post Modern, Classic Modern, FLIP, and Cane-Ery Antique Mall.
You have to stop by Nashville's premiere hat store, HatWRKS. Gigi Gaskin is the owner, and hatter/milliner of hatWRKS. Her hats are loved by the local community including the many musicians in town. If you are looking for a hat to show your character before you speak, then look no further than Gigi Gaskin.
Voted the “Best Thai Restaurant in Nashville” by the Nashville Scene, The Smiling Elephant serves authentic Thai cuisine. From rice paper rolls and steamed dumplings to Pad Thai and Thai fried rice, The Smiling Elephant prides themselves in their recipes and flavors.
The best comedians in the world frequent Nashville’s comedy venue, Zanies Comedy Night Club, located at Douglas Corner. For more than two decades, Zanies has been making Nashville laugh with headliners like Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Tim Allen, Jeff Foxworthy, and Paula Poundstone. Performers appear Wednesday through Sunday. Zanies offers non-smoking shows, is an 18-and-older crowd, and requires a two-item food or drink minimum.
Across the street from Zanies is Douglas Corner Café, one of Nashville’s most popular listening venues. The venue boasts live music six nights a week ranging from country to rock to Americana, and many of the early shows have no cover charge.
Get your caffeine fix at Eighth & Roast, a craft coffee roaster, café and breakfast spot. Or check out The Urban Juicer, a lifestyle brand and fresh juicing company. Find a selection of smoothies, juices, wraps, salads, and snacks and see why their tagline states Healthy, Raw, Natural, and Organic.
Any true music lover must check out Grimey’s New & Preloved Music. Grimey’s has a wide selection of CDs, DVDs and vinyl. From indie to vintage, from mainstream to obscure, the knowledgeable staff at Grimey’s will help you find what you are looking for. Grimey’s has added an annex into a second location two doors south on Eighth Avenue called Grimey’s Too. Grimey’s Too features local Frothy Monkey coffee, a “full-service Indie bookstore” by the name of Howlin’ Books and more records. There is a full acre in the back lot for more parking, bigger music events and local vendors interested in offering regular food-truck food courts.
After visiting Grimey’s, head down to The Basement, another great music venue located in the basement (where else?) of Grimey’s. This venue’s small setting lends to its intimate “underground” feel. The Basement, often filled with its musically-inclined regulars, offers a consistently good music lineup of classic jazz, blues, rock, and solo acoustic performances.
Two of the city’s finest guitar shops can be found on Eighth Avenue. Gruhn Guitars has relocated from their longtime home on Lower Broadway to the former Emma building. The space now has free, ample parking for visitors and is easily accessible to and from interstates. Carter Vintage Guitars offers everything from mandolins, banjos, ukuleles, electric and acoustic guitars, and more. Buy, sell, trade, and appraise classic guitars here. Free parking is available beside the giant guitar mural.
Further south on 8th Avenue is the rapidly developing Melrose area. With an unassuming, local feel, you can grab a craft beer with friends, catch some live music, or go for an evening of fine dining. Your first stop should be M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers for some cheesy waffle fries and an excellent selection of more than 80 beers. Head across the street and down the stairs for a game of pool at Melrose Billiards, longtime resident of the Melrose area. In the very same building, but up at ground level, organic coffee drinks await at Fenwick's 300. Live music and great food can be found inside The Sutler. And Sinema offers an eclectic American menu unique to Nashville.