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Thursday, February 2, 2023

A Speakeasy

I first learned about The Patterson House, a speakeasy in Nashville, from Laura Mathis, creative director at Tucker Publishing Group. Recently, the Wall Street Journal included The Patterson House in its story, “A Pitch-Perfect Long Weekend in Nashville” in the recurring column, “Take Monday Off.” Following that advice, I met my sisters in Nashville for three days of fun.

I had read up on The Patterson House. We arrived early, taking a taxi to 1711 Division Street. It’s open seven days a week, 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Patrons waited on the steps and porch of the historic-looking house. Only the small letters on the door identify the establishment. A nattily dressed host in a vest and a Windsor knot greeted guests in the library waiting room.

Two women were in front of us.

“Table for two, please.”

The host, peeking behind the blue velvet curtain separating the library from the bar, told them “It shouldn’t be too long; we’ll seat you as soon as we can.”

“How long?”

“Not too long, it’s hard to say.”

“Can we wait in the bar?”

“The bar is what you’re waiting for. You can have a seat here; we’ll let you know.”

“Can we go in to get a drink?”

“No, that’s what you’re waiting for.”

They hadn’t read up on the protocol: guests wait in the library — we sat on stools by the velvet curtain — to be escorted into the 30-seat bar that’s attracting national attention. Once inside (our wait was 20 minutes), you’re treated to the complete attention of the authoritative wait staff and bartenders, who put on a real show shaking and concocting the inventive cocktails — 50 are described on the pressed paper menu.

I enjoyed “Blood and Sand,” a classic whisky drink, and “Around the Bend,” made with bourbon.

Consider adding The Patterson House to your Nashville must-see list; I’ll definitely return.

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