Merchants Restaurant

401 Broadway,
Nashville, TN 37203
615.254.1892
websiteMerchants Restaurant (Nashville, TN)3 starsFor over 25 years, Merchants Restaurant has served downtown Nashville, Tennessee. This beautiful bar and nightlife spot exudes class; the ample bar hosts space for mixed drinks and the interior alludes to the namesake of this restaurant, Merchant’s Hotel, which opened in 1892. The spot holds much of the historic marble and some of the decor that brought that hotel to life, with a much more modern American cuisine menu. The food to be tried here has a great allure to it as a lunch spot or cocktail shop.

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Among the great stuff I have tried:

  • Wings: The wings here are fried and dry-rubbed with a set of spices that give them sort of a cajun flair, and then served alongside three sauces; a house buffalo, barbecue and blue cheese. I love those wings, but with that rub I feel like they might be better grilled. They’re greasy as-is, still a messy finger food.
  • Cheeseburger: The burger menu features third-pound burgers topped with veggies and ingredients of your choice and served with a side. The cheeseburger is great with smoked gouda or something of that nature. I would say though that it could use some kind of sauce? Some of the cheeses double as that, but not all. Burgers are also cooked to a well-done by default. Which is a shame, I bet the same burger cooked medium rare would be absolutely fantastic.
  • BBQ Pulled Pork: The pulled pork here comes exclusively as a sandwich. A sweeter barbecue sauce on the side complements the sandwich, with the pork itself having a great texture and a light smoke to it. Great overall.

The atmosphere of the place is sort of old-timey, with a definite sense of historic value, and a simple black and white design that permeates the whole place and gives it an aura of simplicity. Service is good and quick, and the restaurant is impeccably clean. Price points are high-normal, but the spot is a very distinct change-up from the feel of the rest of the street, with its loud music and distinctly more honky-tonk feel.

All told it’s a place where you can go to enjoy some drinks and get a real sense of history, even close as this spot is to many of the high profile music establishments of Broadway. It’s worth a try.

Recommendations

  • The beer menu here is relatively small, this is instead a place you should go to enjoy some mixed drinks.
  • There are plenty of sandwiches and burgers on the menu for brunch, and I’d put this as an ideal spot for business lunches and lunch-hour connections.
  • Wings are great, but even dry-rubbed, they’re a very messy finger food.

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