Despite what our mothers might say, we think drinking alone is totally acceptable. Well, drinking alone in a bar, that is. Not only do solo bar excursions afford you a few beers worth of time to yourself, they also allow you truly soak up the awesomeness of your rad city—something that can be hard to do when you’ve got a rowdy bunch in tow. In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are our tips on how and where to solo booze without looking like a social outcast.
Best for: chatting up the bartender.
If the idea of sitting alone at a bar without any option for conversation intimidates you, a friendly bartender can help ease some of that anxiety. We always enjoy talking with the dapperly dressed folks at prohibition-era speakeasy The Patterson House (and usually learn a thing or two in the drink-making process). And to us, there’s something about sipping very potent $12+ drinks in a bar with a strict list of house rules (don’t even think about trying to order anything that ends in “bomb” unless you want to be asked to leave) that makes drinking solo feel not at all pathetic. For East Nashvillians with no interest in crossing the river, Holland House and No. 308 are equally great.
Best for: having a cold one with man’s best friend.
Everything in life is infinitely more enjoyable with a dog by your side. This includes drinking beer. And, luckily, Nashville is full of dog-loving business owners who agree. On the first Thursday of every month, Eastland Café hosts “Lappy Hour”—a dog-friendly event featuring $5 cocktails and appetizers, as well as water and gourmet treats for your pooch. When we’re in the mood for a cold beer in a more relaxed environment, we head over to Drifters where they’ll bring out a beer for you and a bowl of water for your furry pal.
Best for: catching up on whatever it is you need to catch up on.
Just because your workday creeps into happy hour, doesn’t mean you can’t partake of the five o’clock fun. Just pack up your computer and head to one of the many Nashville coffee shops equipped with an alcohol license. With cozy couches and several beers to choose from, Casablanca Coffee is at the top of our work/play list (this sweet Scoutmob deal is just another bonus). If your to-do list is extra long, Cafe Coco is open 24 hours a day and has a beer selection that’ll keep you buzzing late into the night, though you might want to alternate those adult beverages with something caffeinated if you want those e-mails you're catching up on to not get you fired.
Best for: people-watching.
If the above suggestions don’t make you feel any better about drinking alone, we suggest heading to one of Nashville’s prime people-watching bars. We’re especially fond of Springwater, where the beer is super cheap (you’ll need to bring cash to partake) and the people-watchin’ opportunities are endless—especially on karaoke Tuesdays. Any tourist-ridden honky tonk on Broadway will also do the trick. Seriously. Just pick one. You’ll feel better about yourself the moment you walk through the door.