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Oct 28, 2012 07:19 PM

drinks and tasty snacks before CMA;s at Bridgestone Arena? Or where to go after for late night dinner?

First time to Nashville and heading straight from airport to hotel to change, and then to Arena for Country Music Awards. Hoping to have some drinks and small plates in the neighborhood before we go into the Arena, and then afterwards any suggestions? Late night dinner at a cool bar? Thanks

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  1. Just a few blocks away from the Arena is Merchants. Good vibe, nice scene, food can be a bit uneven, but it seems like the kind of place you are looking for.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Thanks Merchants sounds perfect. We will be staying through the weekend and trying to decide between City House and Capitol Grille for one night. We won't have a car, but want to cab to a different area the other night for drinks and dinner. We like meat, not fish, and like more of a local scene than a tourist scene (though I want to try The Pancake Pantry for breakfast). Any suggestions would be welcome!

      1. re: big a.

        I would do City House over Capitol Grille. I would also consider Southern Steak & Oysters, Kayne Prime and Flyte.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Ipsedixit, know your work from the LA board. Any additional feedback/opinions on Southern Steak & Oyster?

        2. re: big a.

          City House and Capitol Grille are both tops, but really different. City House is urban, high-energy, a little loud, with patrons of a wide range of ages and style choices -- everything from business attire to jeans. CG is elegant, in an historic building, and old-school without being stuffy or boring. The food in each place is locally sourced and prepared by chefs with national credentials. CG is upscale Southern, CH is rustic Italian-by-way-of-the-South.

          One way to have the best of both worlds would be to eat at CH and do drinks (before or after) at the Oak Bar, which is CG's bar.

          Other restaurants / bars that are downtown or an easy short cab hop are Etch and Silo.

          For after CMA, a lot of places that are primarily restaurants close at 10. Places that stay open later in the immediate downtown area are going to be the honky tonks. I hear Robert's Western World has a good burger. If you want to go a small bit further afield from the core downtown strip, check the hours for Patterson House, Whiskey Kitchen, Virago, Holland House, ChaChah.

          P.S. I find Merchants ok sometimes but never great. The downstairs restaurant is different from upstairs ... downstairs will probably suit your purposes better.

      2. Thanks! City House sounds more our style, but since we are staying at the Hermitage we can have drinks at the CG befoer the CMA's and then eat at City House on Friday or Saturday. I will check out your other recommendations. Have you heard of a place called The Southern?

        1. Just read the menu at Silo and that is right up our alley. they don't list their hours so I will give a call.