Nashville has no shortage of live music venues. In fact, it sometimes seems like Nashville itself is a giant live music venue, with musicians playing on street corners, in parks, at bars and even in Laundromats.
Locals sometimes joke that it's easier to find somewhere with music than somewhere without!
But when City Winery restaurant/concert venue opened in late 2014, "Music City" embraced it as if it weren't just another in a crowded category.
Music and wine take the stage at this Nashville venue — Photo courtesy of City Winery
The venue near downtown (in a neighborhood now being referred to as "So Bro") is a hybrid restaurant/wine bar/live music venue that's part of a chain, which also has locations in Chicago, New York and Napa.
Founded by Michael Dorf – who created New York's iconic Knitting Factory club earlier in his career – City Winery has great connections. That means even in a city like Nashville, where everyone is a musician, the lineup of acts booked is impressive.
On any given night, City Winery, which is housed in an old warehouse, welcomes nationally known performers from all genres. The concert space seats 300, and shows here often sell out.
Designed for wine and food as well as music, tickets typically include seating (at communal tables, so you'll get to know your neighbors), so you can eat and drink and not crane your neck to see the acts.
This can lead to a more laid-back vibe; it's unusual to see a crowd jump to their feet and dance here. But it's not unusual to see a crowd appreciating restaurant-style amenities.
City Winery makes (and not just sells) wine, with 14 different options on tap. Wine is served from kegs, an environmentally friendly way to enjoy some vino, thanks to the reduction of use of corks and bottles.
In fall 2015, City Winery plans to add wine production in Nashville – up to 14 varietals – and winemaking classes are also in the works.
The menu is Southern inspired, and the executive chef came from local favorite Holland House in East Nashville, giving the kitchen some Nashville-specific cred within the City Winery formula.
City Winery is open for lunch on weekdays, dinner daily and brunch on weekends. Brunch is particularly popular.
The bar stays open one hour after each show, and the kitchen typically opens two hours in advance.
Parking can be a challenge, even with the on-site valet. If you have a choice to park near Music City Center or to walk, then do so.