Hi, I’m Krista, and if you enjoy exploring new cities, let’s be friends because I live for visiting unique spots, eating good food, and experiencing the best of each city’s nightlife.
A few years ago, I visited every bar on lower Broadway in Nashville and shared my top 15 with y’all, but Broadway is just a TINY SNIPPET of all the city has to offer. And not all just country music!! Anyway, when I heard about this event called Red Bull Unlocked that was bringing some of the city’s top bars, food venues, and music all to one spot, no one had to twist my arm — I was ready.
The cool thing about this event is that it was located in East Nashville which, according to Google, has a “quirky vibe and a buzzing food and nightlife scene.” It also is known for its really historic homes — and the event took place in a sectioned-off block, featuring multiple homes that were decorated inside and out by participating venues!
Before we get into what the experience was like, let’s highlight what places were there and why they are definitely worth a visit next time you’re in Nashville.
The Dive Motel: This is actually a motel with 23 uniquely designed rooms that you can stay in. If you just want to visit, you can stop by for a dip in the pool or enjoy a drink at their world-famous bar.
Lipstick Lounge: This is a queer lounge that features cocktails, live music, karaoke, trivia, and really fun ~lipstick~ decor!
Pearl Diver: Known for its exotic flavors and authentic recipes, Pearl Diver offers a great atmosphere while dining (or just grabbing some drinks).
Play Dance Bar: This place offers some of Nashville’s best drag shows. ‘Nuff said.
Rosemary & Beauty Queen: Located in a historic Victorian home, this sophisticated cocktail spot offers indoor, patio, and rooftop dining.
Whiskey Jam Winner’s Bar and Grill: This place has good live music and really good bar food (I can attest to this because I’ve been there before)!
White Limozeen: Located on a hotel rooftop, this spot offers a pool and all things pink! Definitely a great spot for photo ops.
Woolworth Theatre: This theatre experience is opening this fall!
Eleven Eleven: And this bar is opening 2023!
Martin’s BBQ: This is one of the best BBQ spots in Nashville. How do I know? I’ve been there, and also, every time I get in an Uber, they suggest I eat here.
Wild Cow: They offer delicious vegan food options!
King of Pops: You can find this popsicle cart circling around Nashville.
Burger & Co.: They’ve won Nashville Scene Burger week multiple years in a row!
Nashville Sweets: Just a really good bakery.
(They also had free tattoos and teeth gems!!!)
OK, so here’s what the pop-up event was like! The first thing that caught my eye was on the corner — Lipstick Lounge.
While the inside of the home wasn’t open, they did have a cool setup in the front yard with trivia and cool photo ops.
White Limozeen was on a rooftop, and the decor was just really neat.
They had fun props (like paper umbrellas and light-up mini cowboy hats for the drinks), but the Dolly Parton and Jack Nicholson lookalikes were probably the best.
Rosemary and Beauty Queen was another fave of mine because it was inside one of the homes, and it had all those old-time photos which I LOVE (they also gave free tattoos inside)!
Here is my husband with his light-up Red Bull drink on the dance floor:
The Dive Motel has great DJs and a realistic-looking FAKE pool. The outdoor setup was a vibe.
And as the night went on, the DJs were really great and played a mix of today’s top hip-hop hits.
Eleven Eleven isn’t open until next year, so it left me feeling very intrigued as to what type of spot it will be…
All I can assume is that it will be ~mysteriously freaky~!!!
Wrapping things up, I loved the tropical feel of the Pearl Diver spot.
And the Tin Roof was inside one of the old homes, so that was also really neat.
During this event, the food kind of seemed to take a back seat — but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. (Martin’s BBQ is definitely worth it, IMO.)
So, while the concept seemed confusing at first, it made more sense once I was there: You get to see each business bring its atmosphere to life in a different space.
Final Thoughts: I love that it gave me a feel for what each place was like without having to drive (or Uber) around the city. Also, as someone who’s been to Nashville more than once, this introduced me to some new spots I had never heard of. Even though you don’t visit the actual place, it helps give you an idea of each one’s aesthetic to know if you might want to visit it in the future. In my opinion, this is a unique experience that introduces out-of-towners like me to some of the city’s top-rated spots all at one time! (If you’re a local, I think it would still be something fun and different to do.)
Please note: This trip was provided free of charge, but BuzzFeed was under no obligation to write about the experience or positively review it.