Nashville, TN's Patterson House Creates Upscale Bar Atmosphere

The Patterson House in Nashville's Midtown area is a prohibition-like speakeasy bar that creates upscale cocktails.

On Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 23:26
Nashville, TN Patterson House

The Nashville nightlife scene is much more than just honky-tonks. Case in point: lauded midtown speakeasy The Patterson House.

Located in an understated former residence at the corner of 17th Avenue South and Division Street, The Patterson House specializes in complex, lovingly made concoctions that recall pre-Prohibition era cocktail culture.

The bar was recently named one of the country's 10 Best New Cocktail Bars by Bon Appetit magazine and has also been featured in The New York Times and GQ magazine.

The lounge features more than 50 different cocktail recipes, including both classics and new inventions, all crafted with house-made syrups and bitters and cooled by eight types of of twice-filtered, specialized ice. Unique speciality drinks are plentiful, but one favorite is an old-fashioned crafted with bacon-infused bourbon, maple syrup and coffee pecan bitters.

The venue is named in honor of former Tennessee Gov. Malcolm R. Patterson, who vetoed the return of statewide prohibition in 1909 (his veto was overridden).

The dark wood-filled space operates on a first-come, first-served principle and allows in only as many patrons as can have a seat, leading to an intimate vibe once past the velvet curtain-ensconced waiting area. A Patterson House highlight is the long, 30-seat bar, where patrons can marvel at the tiny droppers of handmade bitters and witness the precision necessary to craft their libations.

The bar also offers a small, seasonal menu to complement the artisanal drinks. Small plates of finger foods like fried green tomatoes and shrimp corndogs with homemade curry ketchup are meant to be shared. A dessert favorite is the Elvis panini, with peanut butter, banana and bacon.

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