Last week, we introduced you to the cool kid of Nashville neighborhoods: East Nashville. The scene across the river is booming with hip coffee shops, trendy bars, and nationally recognized restaurants, while still maintaining its laid-back, local vibe.
But there’s so much more to East Nashville than just eating and drinking. The love for all things local on east side means eclectic shops, clubs and even out-of-the-box barber shops and gyms. This is the sort of neighborhood where the most niche of concepts can thrive: a natural beauty shop, a bouldering gym, a vintage home goods store. Add in plenty of parks and entertainment, and you could spend a weekend without ever leaving the east side.
In Part 2 of our guide, we explore our favorite places to shop, places to go and things to do in East Nashville.
Fanny’s House of Music
Located in a literal house, Fanny’s House of Music has everything a musician needs under one roof. The shop’s main inventory is made up of new and used instruments and music gear, but they also feature vintage gear and a vintage clothing line for those looking for something truly unique. With a mission to make gear buying a comfortable experience for all musicians (including women), Fanny’s is a kind and cozy neighborhood alternative to the corporate music scene.
Marketed as “not your granny’s flower shop”, FLWR Shop focuses on natural, beautiful flowers and creative, organic floral design. Send a loved one an arrangement described with adjectives like “earthy”, “vivid”, “amorous” and “celestial”, or stop by the store to shop for succulents, houseplants or even a bouquet for yourself.
Vinyl records, vintage finds, art, and unique clothes. These are a few of East Nashville’s favorite things, and they can all be found at Fond Object, a self-described “psychedelic department store.” In addition to the hodgepodge of items for sale, Fond Object has a sister record label and is known to host shows and movie nights in its backyard.
Can we all just take a minute and mourn the decline of the physical bookstore? The Bookshop in East Nashville helps fill this little hole in our hearts with their selection of beautiful books, all carefully displayed in a brick and mortar shop. With the shop’s selection intentionally chosen for design and presentation, this is one place where it’s ok to judge a book by its cover.
A beauty shop that focuses solely on natural beauty and wellness products, Lemon Laine carries clean makeup and skincare products along with supplements to make you glow from the inside out. Make sure you make a stop by the oil bar, where they will blend a facial oil totally customized to you and your skincare needs.
Lucaya Clothing Co.
Nashville might be a Southern, landlocked state, but Lucaya Clothing Co. is all about outfitting your beachy, boho looks – whether for an escape out of town or a night out on the town. Think dresses, rompers, kimonos and fun jewelry at prices that won’t break the bank (or cut into your mojito budget).
Old Made Good
The ladies at Old Made Good are masters at curating and reconstructing vintage pieces in a way that will make you say “OMG”. Their inventory of old clothing, jewelry, and home goods are either carefully selected or refurbished by the shop’s owners, and are mixed in with eclectic items from local makers. Each visit brings a new fun thing you didn’t know you needed.
Wheat & Co.
Finally, something for the guys. Wheat & Co. is a men’s outfitter featuring high-quality clothing, home, and personal care items, all with a minimal, Americana aesthetic. Candles with earthy fragrances, beard balms, bomber jackets, and tongue-in-cheek Nashville t-shirts are just some of the gems you’ll find for him here.
The quintessential neighborhood record store, The Groove sells used and new vinyl and CDs out of an old house. Laid back, with stacks that are easy to sort through, The Groove is a cozy shop where you can get lost for an afternoon, hunting for your favorite tunes.
Apple & Oak
Vintage Turkish rugs, candles, wall art, and the cleverest greeting cards; Apple & Oak carries all the things that give us all the heart eyes. This cute home goods store is a treasure chest of unique finds – and they even have a blue vintage Ford pickup named Loretta Lou that will bring rugs to your home to try out.
A women’s boutique with affordable clothes, everything at Whiskey Water is curated by the owner – including their original line of t-shirts, with cute sayings like “La Croix Me A River” and “Support Your Local Dive Bar”. Expect standard boutique finds along with pieces with a little bit of edge for the “whiskey drinking rebel in all of us.”
Scout’s promises a good haircut and a good hang – at about half the price of normal salon. A barbershop for both guys and gals, Scout’s has it all, from straight razor cuts and fades to full cut and color. The best part? No appointment is necessary. Simply put your name on the list and grab a local cold brewed coffee or beer on tap while you wait.
East Nashville’s community park, Shelby Bottoms, has sports fields, a nature center and a paved greenway that stretches for miles along the Cumberland River. A popular spot for bikers and runners, we love early runs along the river before exploring the city.
An expansive rock climbing gym, Climb Nashville offers tons of indoor climbing space along with a fitness and yoga studio. Where the west Nashville location focused on top ropes and lead climbing, the East Nashville gym is all about bouldering, with over 4,000 square feet of bouldering space.
Affectionately called “The Beast” by the locals, The Basement East is the latest venture from the Grimey’s record store owner – a spacious club hosting local and national acts, including record release shows sponsored by Grimey’s. Craft local beers and the wrap around porch elevates The Beast above the average rock club and makes it a popular spot for industry chats in between sets.
The 5 Spot
Though The 5 Spot is a great place to catch live bands, this club is best known for its weekly dance parties. We recommend Motown Monday, a dance party that kicks off at 10 p.m. each Monday night. Who said Mondays have to be boring?
What are your favorite things to do and see in East Nashville? Let us know in the comments!
----------------------------------------Kristen Shoates is a Nashville-based writer and marketing strategist and one of the writers at The Nashville Guide. She is passionate about telling stories and helping entrepreneurs and world changers turn their visions into reality. Kristen co-owns Sky Studios, a Nashville music lessons and recording studio, with her husband, and in her free time, loves travel, music, books, being outdoors, and any chance for a new adventure. You can find her at www.kristenshoates.com or on Instagram @kristenshoates.