Discover Downtown Nashville, TN

Downtown Nashville attracts new residents through its restaurants, urban lofts and honky tonks

Kevin Litwin
On Monday, January 28, 2019 - 15:06
Nashville TN

Ask any downtown Nashville resident to list the advantages of urban living, and you will get many answers.

Downtown living offers easy access to entertainment and sports venues and more than 150 restaurants are within a short walk or cab ride. In addition, if you live and also work downtown, a five- or 10-minute walk might replace your daily driving commute.

Plus there are excellent skyline views from several venues throughout the city.

“People enjoy being where the action is,” says Thomas Turner, president and CEO of Nashville Downtown Partnership, a nonprofit management organization whose mission is to ultimately make the Nashville district the most compelling urban center in the entire Southeast.

Nashville TN

Many Honky Tonks

Downtown Nashville is categorized as a 16-block dining and entertainment area that is home to, for example, the Ryman Auditorium, Nashville Symphony, Tennessee Titans, Nashville Predators and the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. And true to its nickname, live music dominates the nightlife scene in downtown Music City, with thriving and famous venues like the Wildhorse Saloon, Hard Rock Café, Robert’s Western World, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, BB King’s and a whole slew of celebrity-owned bars and restaurants.

Live It Up

Meanwhile, residential options are also plentiful downtown, with currently more than 50 rentable buildings to choose from and that number is literally growing every day. They include 320 Broadway, Capitol Towers, The Cumberland on Church, District Lofts, The SoBro, The 505 and Terrazzo.

“Young professionals, empty nesters and discriminating buyers appreciate the wide range of housing choices in this dynamic urban neighborhood,” Turner says.

Nashville Downtown Partnership officials say most apartments consistently have occupancy rates of 90-95 percent, and many locations have waiting lists. At the end of the second quarter in 2010, there were 3,700 downtown residential units and almost 400 planned or under construction.

Step Up to the Plate

As for dining, Nashville is much more than barbecue and Southern fried chicken, with restaurants that specialize in American, Cajun and creole, Chinese, Mongolian, Greek, Italian, sushi, Mexican, southwestern and seafood dishes. Some of the popular dining destinations include Merchants, Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant, Acme Feed & Seed, The Palm, Husk and Whiskey Kitchen.

Back to the Future

Meanwhile, recently completed plans for the downtown district include a greenspace Riverfront development on both sides of the Cumberland River, a new convention center and the Omni Hotel. The Nashville Downtown Partnership is also focused on projects such as implementing a remote shuttle program, increasing on-street parking, filling any vacant commercial space and increasing the residential base.

But bottom line, Turner says, it is the country music industry – and will always be the country music industry – that continues to bring most residents and tourists to downtown Nashville.

“We have a brand and we reinforce it every day, because there’s music every day in Nashville,” he says.


Kevin Litwin is the author of Crazy Lucky Dead and a freelance feature writer with a career spanning more than 20 years.