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Merchants is one of downtown Nashville’s not so hidden gems. Offering great food, drinks and a convenient location, it’s a great place to stop for lunch.
Taking a stroll down lower Broadway in Nashville can take you from the Riverfront through the heart of the city’s entertainment district. Everywhere you look, there’s someone strumming a guitar at one of the areas bars or honky tonks. A diamond in the rough is lurking in the middle of all the neon lights, bars selling moonshine, and crowds. And this diamond is called Merchants.
Merchants has a colorful history
Merchants has a colorful history as well. Rumors of hauntings by a confederate soldier are popular among Nashville storytellers. The building was initially a pharmacy. It also took turns as theater and a hotel. Dating back to 1870, Merchant’s has a long history in Nashville. With it’s location just a short walk from the Ryman Auditorium, Merchants saw quite the heydey in its time.
Merchants is a delightful restaurant and bar. It captures the perfect mix of southern glam and charm. When you enter through the revolving doors, you are greeted by a gorgeous curved staircase, the grande dame of southern architecture. Looking around, you’ll see marble tabletops and a gorgeous copper bar. The ambiance sets it apart from the more casual offerings along this stretch of Broadway.
Dining at Merchants
One of the great things about dining in the South is that you can be surrounded by elegance that is welcoming, refined and relaxed all in one gorgeously wrapped package. Merchants makes use of this atmosphere by being the exception rather than the rule on Broadway. Situated among chains like the Hard Rock Cafe and Margaritaville and a series of bars and honky tonks, Merchants looks unassuming from the outside with its lack of neon and music pouring out the door.
Once seated, you’ll find a silver julep cup full of garlic popcorn waiting for you on the marble tables. The mixologists behind the bar are ready to make anything your heart desires. The sweet tea is delicious, particularly on a hot day. However, if the tea had been any sweeter, it would have been too sweet. Consequently, any less would not have been enough. Do you desire a cocktail? I suggest the Pimm’s Cup. It’s a delicious drink that hits the spot.
Lunch at Merchants
The lunch menu offers traditional Southern fare. The lunch selection is terrific. My husband is a Texan, so he loves to sample the local barbecue any chance he gets. His sandwich was piled high with pulled pork on a delicious bun. Fried onion straws topped off the sandwich nicely. The sandwich was served with coleslaw and homemade potato chips.
I ordered the blue cheese burger. The cheeseburger was served exactly the way I ordered it. It was cooked to perfection! I have food allergies, and I always appreciate when a restaurant is able to accommodate my allergies with ease. It was delicious. I also ordered it served with homemade potato chips.
Don’t miss dessert!
For dessert, my husband ordered the root beer float, and I ordered the butterscotch pie. The root beer float was so cold that the air around the chilled glass made a cold mist. The chilled treat was perfect on a hot day. The butterscotch pie had a pretzel crust that was light and flakey, yet slightly crunchy. This butterscotch was smooth, creamy with just the right amount of richness.
The Merchants Experience
Merchants offers the perfect blend of local favorite mixed with convenience for tourists looking for something with sophistication.Click to tweet
The service we received was attentive and friendly without being intrusive.
Around us, we could hear overhear snippets of conversations about record deals as well as families enjoying their vacations. Merchants offers the perfect blend of local favorite mixed with convenience for tourists looking for something with sophistication.
Whether you want to stop in for a drink or a meal, I highly recommend that you drop in to Merchants the next time you visit Nashville’s Lower Broadway area. The menu for the downstairs seating is more casual than what you will find for their upstairs dining experience.
The downstairs area is open from 11 am to 11:00 pm Sunday through Thursday. Additionally, on Friday and Saturday they are open until 1:00 am. The second floor serves dinner beginning at 5:00 pm.
You can find Merchants located at 401 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203. It is only a short walk from Nashville’s Riverfront, 2nd Avenue nightclubs as well as the Ryman Auditorium. Also nearby is the Country Music Hall of Fame and the home of Nashville’s Symphony.