One of Nashville’s historic neighborhoods is bringing people closer to town to live and play. Germantown, so named because of the influx of German immigrants in the mid nineteenth- century, was Nashville’s first suburb. The district is one of Nashville’s most architecturally heterogeneous neighborhoods, containing a significant concentration of Victorian building styles. It has been designated as a city Arboretum by the Nashville Tree Foundation because there are more than 100 species of trees in the area. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979, the neighborhood is now being restored to its original grandeur.
The year-round Nashville Farmers’ Market is divided into three distinct areas. The North and South Farm Sheds house up to 100 farmers and artisans. Any day of the week, you can get the freshest fruits and vegetables from local farmers. The Market House is home to 16 restaurants and shops serving cuisine representing countries from all over the world. The Craft & Flea Shed is open Friday-Sunday with more than 50 merchants selling clothes, jewelry, home goods, and more. The Farmers’ Market also hosts special events throughout the year like cooking demos and classes, supper clubs, and dance parties. Batch now has a new retail shop where you can purchase Nashville-made artisanal products, select from specially curated and thematic box selections, or build your own Batch box. Jeni’s Ice Cream has recently joined the lineup at the Farmers’ Market.
Just across the street from the Market is Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, where you can explore Tennessee via a 200-foot granite map of the state, a walkway featuring the 95 counties, 31 fountains representing the major rivers of Tennessee and an extraordinary wall depicting the history of the state. The park also includes the 95 Bell Carillon, the World War II Memorial, Court of Three Stars, a 2,000-seat amphitheater and a visitor center.
Germantown Café specializes in straightforward traditional cooking with a subtle twist. Featured in Bon Appétit, this unpretentious restaurant serves bistro fare with the menu changing seasonally. Nearby in a restored Victorian home, Monell’s is a staple of the Nashville food scene. A traditional meat-and-three restaurant, meals at Monell’s are served family-style. Seated at tables of 10 or 12, patrons pass the bottomless bowls of fried chicken and hot rolls to the diner on their left. Get there early as Monell’s doesn’t accept reservations.
Matching the décor of the quaint residential neighborhood, City House, located in a house built in 1901 that was at one time sculptor Alan LeQuire’s home and studio, has been turned into a space that’s both chic and rustic. The kitchen is open, bounded by a chef’s bar that lets diners watch the action.Also new to the scene is Rolf and Daughters, named in Bon Appétit’s “Best New Restaurant” list. Rolf and Daughters brings an Old World, heritage feel to the Germantown line-up with 18-foot ceilings, exposed brick and concrete and beautiful iron windows.
Silo features a creative, farm-to-fork menu with a focus on the bounty of regional farmers, ranchers, dairymen, and producers in a lively, welcoming setting. Tables, chairs, and lighting are influenced by local craftsmen and artists. Five time James Beard Award semi-finalist Daniel Lindley has opened 5th & Taylor, a 250-seat restaurant offering up a “regional and seasonally focused American menu,” in the Warehouse at Taylor Place development. Butchertown Hall, Germantown’s first ‘biergarten’ in over 100 years, totals 7,000 square feet. The front section houses the beer hall and bar, while the beer garden wraps around the rear. Cochon Butcher is a butcher shop, a sandwich counter and bar. Inspired by old-world meat markets, Cochon Butcher specializes in house-made meats, terrines and sausages.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at The Cupcake Collection. Featuring made-from-scratch daily cupcakes and icings, they do not use lard or shortening. At only $1.50 each, this is a cost-effective cupcake. Grab a coffee or savory crepe at The Red Bicycle Coffee and Crepes, or grab a croissant, danish or scone at the neighborhood bakery.
Take time to shop at Peter Nappi, where every product is made of the finest material, not manufactured. Main products include various styles of boots for men and women, bags and dry goods – all made from small, limited-edition batches that feature individual attributes. Each bag, boots and other goods are made of the highest quality of leather available and give each piece its own unique character. Close by is Nisolo, a shop that designs products you want to live in featuring handmade leather shoes, bags, bracelets, and more.
New to the Germantown scene is Wilder, a contemporary design shop featuring furniture, lighting, tabletop, artwork, fragrance, and jewelry. Wilder features luxury design and a varied selection of household items for those looking to create a ‘provocative’ space.
First Tennessee Park is the new home to the Nashville Sounds, AAA affiliate to the Oakland A’s. Located near the Bicentennial Capitol Mall and Farmers’ Market, First Tennessee Park is set between Third and Fifth Avenues, between Jackson and Harrison Streets. A portion of the ballpark is located on the land on which Sulphur Dell Ballpark sat from 1870 to 1969.
Also, just North of Nashville are three universities worth paying a visit. Fisk University, home of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, began in 1866 and has graduated leaders like W.E.B. Du Bois, Elmer Samuel Imes, and more. Around the campus are various statues, buildings, and monuments to pay homage to Nashville’s contributing citizens. Meharry Medical College was the first medical school in the South to offer four-year training. Their first graduate, Dr. James Monroe Jamison, was the first African-American physician to formally be trained in the South. And then stop by Tennessee State University to cheer on the Tigers. They, too, have a campus filled with history to expand the mind on Music City’s past.
***ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY VISIT MUSIC CITY