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Maybe you’re keen to get out and enjoy a staycation away from home, but you don’t necessarily want the kind of pampering and luxury you’d get at a resort or the like. Maybe it would be nice to enjoy Nashville like a tourist? Well, let’s not go that far... But maybe enjoy an authentic Nash-trash weekend?
Well, there are plenty of options, and as you’d expect in Nashville, some of them are in strange places. For instance, I bet you didn’t expect ME of all people to open with suggesting you and your besties might want to check in to the DoubleTree Suites Nashville Airport! I know, I know, but hear me out...
Let’s say you and your friends want to get together and enjoy a night or a weekend of Nashville-hot fun... DoubleTree sports a solidly nice pool with cabanas and a patio bar (weekends only in the off season). There are also cabanas to reserve—which are complimentary and reserved to your use if you get a suite. Which brings me to the real reason I thought of the DoubleTree... Gambler’s Suites.
What’s more Nashville than that? A suite sporting a bedroom, a living room, two bathrooms, and a HUGE extra space centered on a large, competitive poker table. The room comes stocked with a sanitized poker set, chips and cards included in plastic! You and your friends can play poker (strip, anyone?), fix drinks or enjoy champagne in the provided flutes, and have an all-around good time, before crashing on the sofa, or a bed big enough for a few, depending on how you roll!
The hotel is conveniently next to Briley Parkway, near Opry Mills for shopping and the wedding chapel for … life choices. And, of course, the location offers easy access to East Nashville and Downtown. A weekend based here allows you and your guests to be apart from everyone, together, and enjoy all the fun Nashville has to offer: dealer’s choice!
I’d suggest a NashTrash tour, which is great fun even for locals, but COVID. Maybe next year. But for now restaurants are reopening, and some venues away from Music Row have some interesting options. If you want to add a taste of the sea to your Nashville gambler’s weekend, try Marsh House. And if you want a taste of Nashville’s live music and food, try a brunch experience at The Listening Room!
There are, of course, many other options, for other tastes, but these are the two we are going to take closer looks at!
Seafood is back! Well Marsh House, known for its delicious seafood, elevated Gulf coast cuisine, stellar cocktails and wine, has reopened. Marsh House was also among the countless restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s reopening demonstrates an awareness of the pandemic. They are accommodating guests at 50% capacity and are adhering to all safety protocols: social distancing between tables, masked staff, and temperature checks for customers are all on the menu. Guests can enjoy their meals indoors or on the patio.
Seafood Tower at Marsh House
Marsh House’s reopening brings some exciting updates, including the appointment of Executive Chef Vu Vo. Marsh House has received rave reviews and accolades since opening in 2016, and many favorites are returning to the menu, as guests can enjoy the famed seafood towers, as well as delights such as Shrimp Toast, Deviled Crab, Tuna Orecchiette, Thin Fried Catfish, and Fried Chicken (choice of half or whole).
I tried the smallest tower and for me the star were the Smoked Fish Dip and lovely Shrimp, but the Tuna Tartare and Oysters were equally impeccable. At Marsh House, the more you eat, the more you can taste the sea.
Chef Brian Landry expressed the restaurant’s philosophy: “One of the main philosophies in the Marsh House kitchen is to start with great ingredients. If we start with a great natural ingredient, then we will not need to manipulate it in order for it to taste great. Anything we do to the final dish will simply enhance the natural flavors of the product. We take that approach with all of the ingredients we source, but especially the seafood. Knowing when an oyster was harvested or when a fish was caught helps us ensure we are only receiving the freshest possible seafood. With the advances in shipping routes and sourcing, we are able to procure seafood from just about anywhere that was in the water just a day or two before. We focus on the great variety of seafood found in the Gulf of Mexico, but also venture out with oysters from both the East and West coasts, and Canada depending on the time of year and availability.”
Marsh House deserts are quite stunning. In my opinion, taken individually, some elements could seem overpowering. But they work in combination to create impeccable flavors.
“I like to craft my desserts to be experienced as a whole,” said Executive Pastry Chef Kate Siegal. “Generally, I’ll take an ingredient or flavor I’d like to work with, make a list of flavors it pairs well with, then figure out how those flavors can best be made into components that complement each other. I’m not a fan of extremely sweet desserts, so I try to dance right on that line of sweet and savory ... so that each bite takes the palate on a little adventure.”
At the time of writing, Marsh House hours were Wednesday and Thursday from 5p.m. – 9p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 5p.m. – 10p.m. For current information visit marshhouserestaurant.com.
The Listening Room
This legendary live music venue recently reopened its doors for brunch service with two ticketed Saturday brunch shows at 10:30 AM and 12:30 PM. Guests can enjoy a menu of warm biscuit sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, egg frittatas, and a wide variety of cocktails, all while listening to some of Nashville’s most talented singers and songwriters.
The Listening Room
I recently popped in for a visit and enjoyed a delicious “hot chicken” biscuit with pimento cheese, with a basket of fried pickles. The fried chicken was great, though whether it was hot is up for debate. However, the flavor melded well with the pimento cheese. But the fried pickles were to die for: not only did they stay crunchy throughout the show, they were a unique experience for me. I’ve never had sweetish pickles fried before.
The music was a truly Nashville experience, as the performers were songwriters performing their own works, some of which have been recorded by famous entertainers. If you aren’t a country fan, this may not be the highlight of brunch, but it’s a worthy experience.
NOTE: If you are looking to be loud with your friends over mimosas, this isn’t the place for you! It’s a listening room, and no one else is there to listen to you. Sorry to tell ya!
Click here for more from the Staycation issue!
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.