9Elsewhere, August 2016

Across the river from the bustling bars, honky tonks and boot
stores of Nashville's touristy Downtown area, you'll find East Nashville: the city's leafy 'burb of eclectic stores, hip eateries and low-key dive bars.

The locals will tell you, if Main Street in Downtown Nashville was Times Square, East Nashville would be the East Village – and at it's centre is Five Points, the nickname for the area's central hub. Home to the artists, musicians and creative cliques of Music City, this borough is the cool, chilled-out alternative to the country-music clichés of the west side, proving there's more to this town than cowboy culture.

Stay: Urban Cowboy

Turning the dinky tropes of old timey bed and breakfasts on their head, this grand Victorian manor stay is located behind the town centre, in a gorgeous leafy backstreet. For lack of a better word, it feels like a hipster's oasis – and I use that term in the most endearing way.

The character-filled communal lounge is littered with musical instruments with an open invitation to play, soft leather couches to relax on and, often, an offer of whiskey paired with great conversation.

The rooms are stunning, with each boasting a gorgeous Victorian claw-foot bath designed to help "slow you down" (of course, that also means no TV). If the bath isn't enough, Urban Cowboy also offers an in-room spa service of deep tissue massages, including one for couples.

Rooms start at $335 ($250USD) per night.
1603 Woodland Street, Nashville, TN 37206E: nashville@urbancowboybnb.com

Drink: Holland House Bar and Refuge

While the food at Holland House is up there (it's also farm-to-table), this dimly-lit, wood-heavy bar is a very sexy drinking spot. The bartenders welcome you to throw flavours their way, knowing they'll whip up something 100 percent on-point. That being said, the classic and house crafted cocktails are hard to turn down.

Tequila-lovers will fall for None More Black; Gin drinkers should try a Sgt Pepper's Club, and for those with a sweet tooth, opt for Just Be Simple. During happy hour, between 4pm and 6pm, a selection of cocktails and wine is on offer for USD $6 (approximately AUD $8).

Holland House is open Monday to Thursday, 4pm to 10pm, and Friday to Saturday, 4pm-12am.
935 West Eastland Avenue, Nashville TN 37206T: +1 615 262 4190

Eat: Treehouse

Hidden in an alley, with only a wooden structure among the trees as a giveaway (hence, the name), this restaurant should be in any foodie's Nashville bucket list. It boasts a super-fresh local farm-to-table menu (the venue has its own property out of town) and an ex-Noma chef, Jason Zygmont, heading up the kitchen.

Try the dry-aged beef tartare with salmon roe and a unique mix of herbs and seeds, or the lamb belly with English pea porridge, and see for yourself. For vegetarians, the asparagus with toasted almond aioli is life-changing.

Treehouse also offers a late-night menu until 1am, for night owls seeking a mid-eve bite (hint: the pork belly ramen). The bar's whiskey collection isn't bad either.

Treehouse is open Monday to Saturday, 6pm to 1am.
1011 Clearview Avenue, Nashville, TN 37206T: +1 615 454 4201E: thetreehousenashville@gmail.com

Do: The 5Spot

The most-loved club in East Nashville, The 5 Spot is a damn good time. However, if you're in town on a Monday, you're in for a treat. Nashville's hippest set ascend on The 5 Spot on Mondays for weekly Motown and soul-heavy dance party, Keep On Movin'. Grab a partner and join the dance floor of jives, two-step and swing dancing, or sit back and watch the show.

Throughout the rest of the week, The 5 Spot plays host to a bevvy of rotating bands and DJs, spanning country and western, to rock'n'roll, soul and a rotating Friday night roster which includes the wild Queer Dance Party, which is on every third Friday of the month, and a Strictly 80's night on the first Friday of the month (Lady Gaga famously performed here on her dive bar tour last year).

The 5Spot is open daily between 5:30pm and 3am.
1006 Forrest Avenue, Nashville, TN 37206T: +1 615 650 9333E: booking@the5spot.club

Shop: The Hip Zipper

Image: Noelle Faulkner

stores of East Nashville. Is it the fact it's the oldest standing one? Maybe. Is it Texas-raised owner Trisha Brantley's eclectic taste, meaning there's something in here for everybody? Likely. Or is it the fact it's affordable, where others seem overpriced? Definitely.

It's not a huge store, but it's styled in a manner that makes trawling through racks less of a punish. If cute dresses, cool western-esque jackets and vintage tees are your jam, make a point of stopping by.

The Hip Zipper is open daily between 11am and 7pm.
1008 Forrest Avenue, Nashville TN 37206T: +1 615 228 1942E: hipzipper@comcast.net