Eighth Avenue South
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.
Known as Nashville’s Antique District, 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.
Many diners converge on Eighth Avenue for Southern cooking at Arnold’s Country Kitchen. Open for breakfast and lunch, Arnold’s serves some of the very best of Nashville’s indigenous cuisine. Called a meat-and-three, this style of restaurant refers to the meals served for one price – a choice of meat plus three vegetables. Proprietor Jack Arnold stands behind the buffet counter and barks your order as you slide through the long line.
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.
Flyte World Dining and Wine is a casually elegant, fine dining restaurant specializing in creative food and beverage menus and fresh, organic, and humanely raised ingredients. Flyte aspires to offer diners an opportunity to engage in an exploration of world cuisine, interesting wines and finely crafted beers. Pour House is the new Prohibition Era-themed restaurant that offers one of the largest Bourbon selections in the city. Walls are made out of garage windows that open in the summer and offer live music, while a rooftop patio/bar awaits you on the top level.
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. Also new to the Eighth Avenue scene is Sinema Nashville. Top Chef Season Three runner-up Dale Levitski brings his eclectic American food to Music City in the historic Melrose Theatre building that features an upstairs bar with lounge seating and a restored grand lobby.
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.