People pack the streets around Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on game nights. The city’s famed Downtown and Riverfront commercial districts bustle with activity as tourists mingle with locals for an evening out near Nashville’s latest sports sensation. Now that the Predators have become a household name after nearly winning the Stanley Cup in 2017, the streets around Bridgestone Arena will be even more packed before and after the game, as everyone looks for entertainment, food, and fun during their time in Nashville.
Get Ready for the Ice
For pre-game meals, the options around Bridgestone are boundless. Along Broadway, the main street that runs through Downtown, there are restaurants of all kinds within walking distance of the ticket counter.
Locals and tourists think Robert’s Western World is the spot that captures the popular conception of what the city is all about. It features casual American cuisine and a constant stream of live country music. If you’re in the mood for a quieter dining experience but still want that Southern cooking experience, walk down a block to Merchant’s Restaurant. It’s in an historic hotel where the country music legends used to walk the halls. Today, it’s a post-modern diner with elevated Southern cuisine.
You can also venture down to the Riverfront area. If you’re lucky, you can catch pop, rock, or jazz at the outdoor concert arena before you stop in one of the hip new restaurants along the Cumberland River. Acme Feed & Seed serves innovative takes on American standards. You’ll love the view from the rooftop if you want to hang out. However, you’ll want to sample the food on each floor, as each floor celebrates a different style of cooking. Luigi’s City Pizza has a great reputation in the city for New York-style slices and friendly service. The area is also home to Nashville’s Hard Rock Café.
If you haven’t noticed, Nashville-style hot chicken has become increasingly popular over the years. While many eateries near Bridgestone Arena have a hot chicken item on their menu, the only spot that specializes in the dish is Party Fowl. It’s a bit of a hike from the Arena, but it’s far from the maddening crowd of Broadway and, well, you probably parked nearby anyway.
If you didn’t get tickets for the game but want to be near Bridgestone, you can hang out at one of the many sports bars along Broadway, have a few beers, and watch the game on the big screen.
After the game, you may be surprised to see that the streets around Bridgestone are still packed. Join the masses and try to get in one of the crowded, legendary “Honky Tonks” on the Broadway strip, like Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge or Nudie’s Honky Tonk. You can even run back to Robert’s for more beer, food and music.
Headquarters Beercade is a unique alternative to the Nashville standards. It is exactly as it sounds -- a place where you can play old school arcade games and drink. Tired of country? Go to the bars in the SoBro (South of Broadway) district like the Big Bang Piano Bar or Bar Sovereign. If you are looking to dance the night away to something other than country music, you’ll have to venture to The Gulch or Midtown.
You shouldn’t overlook the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman Auditorium, or the Schermerhorn Symphony Center as pre-game or post-game entertainment options. It will take some planning and coordination, but those places are some of the best the city has to offer, all within walking distance of Bridgestone. For other options, there are several hotels with posh bars in the Downtown neighborhood, but the drinks tend to be on the pricier side. Go ahead, live it up, it isn’t every day you get to see one of the best pro hockey teams in the league in person.