As a local, I’m seriously digging the hotel trend of late, which is personable and unique. Gone are the days of avoiding a hotel if you actually live here. If you want true evidence of this, let’s just look at the new hotels that have recently opened north of Lower Broad, blocks away from the honky-tonks, but still close to everything with Printers Alley in spitting distance. With boutique hotels such as Noelle, Fairlane Hotel, 21C Museum Hotel and now Bobby Hotel, each has reasons for locals to try them out for a meal or a drink. The consensus is that if you go, you’ll be back. Plus, you can come in off of Charlotte and avoid the chaos of Broadway altogether.
Which brings us to the newest hotel in this grouping, Bobby Hotel. I happened to be on Fourth Avenue the first Saturday it was open, and my husband and I decided to stop and have lunch there. The cafe is very Parisian the way it juts out onto the sidewalk and is surrounded by an urban garden. Then, our staff ended up having a get together at Bobby, and each of us was taken aback at the level of detail, the food, the hotel dog (yes! Meet Sasha!) and, the piece de resistance, the rooftop, which actually has a full-size bus that you can climb onto and have a drink. In fact, there is so much to take in, and so many details that will delight you, that you’ll discover new things with each visit.
Let’s start with the dining options: there are four distinct places to grab a meal or a drink. Cafe at Bobby is visible from the street as, mentioned before, it actually reaches out onto the front sidewalk. The main dining room is called Tavern at Bobby, and I’ve enjoyed a delicious meal there before a concert at Ascend. There is also Bobby’s Garage, a gritty, fun bar with an entrance on Printers Alley, and the Rooftop Lounge, which is, in a word, amazing. Your jaw will drop when you see it first hand.
As this is a “first impressions” article, I asked a few people from the SB Team who were able to see the space (and stay for food and drinks) what they thought. Here’s the roundup:
Ashly Haugen, Managing Editor: “I love the fact that they have a hotel dog — Sasha — who hangs out. I also loved the fabulous decor — oversized lamps, the bus on the roof … the whole place was super cool. I’ll be back to have a cocktail and sit by the pool. Most surprising thing? Definitely the bus on the roof. Still can’t imagine what that must have been like to get that up there! Bobby is hip but approachable. It’s cool, but not too cool for this middle-aged mom to feel comfortable hanging out there.”
Megan Casey, Director of Marketing: “The most surprising thing for me was the food. Not that I was expecting it to be bad, I just wasn’t expecting it to be so, so good! I was surprised at the interior! With the bus on the rooftop (which is admittedly pretty darn cool when you’re sitting in it), I was expecting Bobby to be a little kitschy inside. Instead, it’s rather glamorous with the grand staircase and the custom furniture pieces. The main restaurant, Tavern at Bobby, was fantastic as well. I would definitely go back for a nice dinner.”
Ginny Staggs, Director of Marketing: “The hospitality began with the valets, who appear to be part of the hotel and not a hired service. I love the French feel of the open air cafe from the sidewalk into the hotel. What a lovely idea to have Sasha, the lobby dog, who is a rescue and actually plays the part of hostess. And the delicious appetizers … my favorites were the lamb chops, the grilled shishito peppers and the roasted honeycomb on the cheese tray!”
Jesse Gillenwalters, Digital Marketing Analyst: “The rooftop was wild … would love to see it at night. The most surprising thing was the dive bar underneath the hotel that connects out to the street! I’d describe Bobby as exuberant and varied — there’s so much to interact with on its own it’s easy to forget it’s a hotel!”
Images we captured on our various smartphones:
As for me, check out this 35-second video from the rooftop:
Are you wondering who Bobby is? It’s an enigma. Bobby may be a man or a woman. But, when you walk around, you know that Bobby is a world traveler with great taste. Little clues into his/her likes and history abound, but enough mystery exists to make it fun.
Embracing our local hotels as a place to get away, if only for dinner or a drink, is definitely a thing to do in Nashville these days. One of our favorites is definitely Bobby, and if you go, we know you’ll understand why, instantly. Personally, I’ve been three times and have plans to go again this week. I’m enjoying it that much.
Bobby Hotel is located at 230 Fourth Ave. N., Nashville, TN 37219. Learn more at bobbyhotel.com.