Nashville’s unique neighborhoods are the perfect places to explore small, independent businesses, and local areas are pulsing with the arrival of new shops and restaurants. With this week’s weather calling for temperatures in the mid to high 60s (and a bit of rain that you might have to dodge), we encourage you to get out and explore these five areas that are thriving hubs for boutiques, watering holes, eateries, home stores and more.
The Marathon Motor Works automobile factory was built in the early 1880s and continued to grow in space and size until 1912. What is now a four-block complex of offices, entertainment, dining and shopping was at one time a car manufacturing plant (formerly named Southern Motor Works) that operated until 1914. In 1986, Barry Walker acquired the property and helped convert it into the lively spot it is today.
What to Expect
Those visiting Marathon Village can explore Antique Archaeology, a retail store owned by “American Pickers”‘ Mike Wolfe; enjoy homemade marshmallows from The Bang Candy Company, shop stunning handbags — and now shoes — from Ceri Hoover’s studio, drink beer at Corsair Artisan Distillery or spirits at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, find one-of-a-kind home goods at D. Luxe Home, reboot with a coffee from Garage Coffee Company or catch live music at Marathon Music Works (see the full event calendar here) — and that is only the beginning of a long list of options.
East Nashville is an area that continues to evolve, and it’s budding with shops, restaurants and entertainment. Located near Five Points in East Nashville, the Fatherland District showcases this growth with Shoppes on Fatherland, a retail community that houses more than 20 local businesses.
What to Expect
A visit to the Shoppes on Fatherland offers the chance to check out Project 615, a philanthropic apparel company; Abode Mercantile, a shop filled with home items and gifts; Bakery, a bakery by Frothy Monkey that serves freshly baked bread and pastries; Moxie, a furniture and art store with modern, vintage and new eclectic pieces; The Trunk, a fashion truck turned brick-and-mortar store that showcases men’s and women’s clothing, accessories and gifts (many crafted by local makers); and Eastside Music Supply, a boutique guitar shop with new and used guitars and accessories. Plus, many more businesses.
More than 50 local, regional and national businesses are situated within The Hill Center’s walkable area in the heart of Green Hills. In addition to well-loved eateries, such as Zoë’s Kitchen, Pei Wei, Whole Foods and California Pizza Kitchen, the streets are lined with shops that carry menswear, women’s accessories and clothing, children’s apparel, health and beauty products, and paper and entertaining goods.
What to Expect
There are plenty of places to explore in The Hill Center, but there are a few to add to your must-visit list, for sure. First is The Cosmetic Market, a local beauty shop that carries skin care, makeup, hair, fragrance, and bath and body goods. Additionally, they offer waxing, tanning and facials. Next up, stock up on fashionable eyewear from Barton Perreira, a designer eyewear shop. For the men, check out the area’s newest shop, Oak Hall, which currently has a high inventory of menswear, but as they expand, so will their offerings for women. For the kids, make your way to Snap Girls, which specializes in girls’ clothing in sizes 7 to 16. Be sure to hit the following boutiques for a variety of womenswear and accessories: Hemline, Kayce Hughes, J.McLaughlin and H. Audrey. And, lastly, outfit your favorite canine in something swank from Winston Dog.
Located in the Five Points Area of East Nashville, The IDEA Hatchery offers support to small retail businesses (eight to be exact) by providing affordable spaces for them to set up shop. Since the area’s opening in 2011, the community of businesses has continued to thrive. The concept was executed by Brett and Meg MacFadyen, owners of Art & Invention Gallery and founders of the Tomato Art Festival.
What to Expect
The IDEA Hatchery is currently occupied by small businesses that sell everything from vintage fur coats to homemade oats. Find clothing and accessories at Crescent Moon Jewels, GoodBuy Girls, Hello Boys and Alegria; scour for art at John Cannon Art, shop handmade home goods and children’s clothing items at Fat Crow Press, discover local books at East Side Story, and taste gourmet, artisanal oatmeal (and other pantry items) at Haulin’ Oats.
The Shops at Gallatin & Stratton
Hipster hot spot Barista Parlor, an upscale coffee shop that is packed with personality and local love, helped kickstart the activity on the corner of Gallatin and Stratton avenues in East Nashville. In addition to enjoying artisan coffee and gathering with folks from around town and beyond, you can visit the five local retailers, and one wine and cocktail bar, that call The Shops at Gallatin & Stratton home.
What to Expect
The Fuselage sells urban and industrial decor, great local and vintage clothing finds, jewelry and other odds and ends. In true Music City fashion, the space also doubles as a live music venue. Moto Moda, which was once traveling the city on wheels, has a permanent location where you can find men’s and women’s clothing and accessories alongside motorcycle riding gear. Since opening last spring, KITTY has continued to grow as a boutique and lifestyle brand offering a community for women that showcases unique jewelry and fashion-forward pieces at a variety of price points. If you are on the hunt for vintage clothing, pay a visit to Local Honey (which also has a second location on Belmont Boulevard); and pay a visit to their hair shop either before or after you shop. And if you are looking for something stronger than the coffee at Barista Parlor, stop into Bar Luca, a wine and cocktail bar nestled between Fuselage and and KITTY. Last, but not least, Sisters of Nature, once a mobile boutique, curates clothing, accessories, gifts, home décor and beauty items that show a love of art, music, travel and nature. Kimberly Parker, founder of the boutique, just launched her first collection at Nashville Fashion Week, so keep your eye out for in-house designs.
There are plenty more locally owned businesses to discover all over town. Get started by downloading the free SB App!