Location: 407 Gallatin Avenue
Type: Slightly-schmancy literary-themed cocktail bar
Special: Answer their trivia question on their Facebook page, win a free Bukowski shot. We also hear there’s a special for getting shunned 3 times in a row.
Jukebox: We didn’t see one, but the stereo plays always enjoyable oddball eclectic,. Jamiroquai? Mumford & Sons? Ted Leo? Sure, what the hell!
What’s The Crowd Like?: Lots of jaunty caps. And sparkles.
Parking: Practically in the middle of Gallatin Ave or in front of a paint store. Take your pick. We opt for good ol’ Sherwin, even if it gives us parking PTSD from our Muse days.
We’ve done it, friends. We’ve reached that mountain-top after so, so many failures. Our pathetic travels have awarded us whale-shaped balloon hats, a glimpse of our parents’ record collection jammed into a dive bar’s jukebox and probably liver disease from Four Loko. But, at long last, we drove down Gallatin Rd., parked in the Sherwin-Williams parking lot and walked inside of Bar No. 308 without futilely pulling at the locked door and swearing at every god we could think of. And it was glorious. Oh, was it glorious.
If you haven’t been following our pathetic travails over the past month or so, No. 308 is perhaps the fanciest gin joint in all of East Nashville. Situated between Dino’s (which is perhaps the un-fanciest PBR-ery in all of East Nashville) and a paint supply store, 308 is a swank cocktail bar answer to the beer-slinging sports bars that litter Nashville. The first thing we noticed after our ears adjusted to music blasting from all corners of the bar was the distinct lack of TVs. Hallelujah, our prayers have been answered. Look, if we wanted to watch TV, we’d trick our friends with the massive HD set using a six-pack of beer and ulterior motives. We don’t need to be watching The Amazing Race while we’re getting our drink on. Unless it’s this clip run on a loop, because that shit’s hilarious.
Once we outed ourselves as very important bloggers (VIBs, if you will, or, if you won’t, literate jerks with chronic bad timing), co-owners Ben and Alexis treated like we had just come home from war. Which is to say, with a beer and a shot of whiskey. The Bukowski is easily the best deal in the place. For a fiver, they’ll pour you a shot of whiskey and a glass of Dale’s Pale Ale to chase it with. A full can of pale ale is five bucks alone, so it’s kinda like you’re getting a free shot of whiskey. How could you possibly go wrong with that, aside from all of the reasons in the past you’ve gone wrong for slamming too many shots of whiskey? You know what we’re talking about.
We went slightly fancier with our second and third rounds, ordering off the specialty drink listing. We’re not used to dropping $8 on a single drink, but if there was a time to do it, it was during our homecoming celebration. Michelle opted for a daiquiri named after an author (which one, we can’t remember, but it was tasty) while Lance, who was in full-on post-gettin’-dumped mopey loser mode, ordered a Suffering Bastard in a fit of poetic kismet. There’s nothing we like more than drinking booze that describes us. And we’re pretty sure there isn’t a drink called “Awkward Nerd,” so we don’t get to do it very often. We decided to commandeer an entire massive booth while we enjoyed our drinks, which tasted like we got our money’s worth. We felt the same way about round three’s gin fizzes.
If you’re completely clueless, you can drop an extra buck and have them make you something custom. Just tell them the liquor you want and a fruit mixer and they’ll go to town. We didn’t give that a try, but we’re not the most sophisticated drinkers (if you couldn’t tell from our recent Four Loko flirtation) so we’re likely to give that a crack someday. We also didn’t get a chance to try the food, as we crammed ourselves full of fine cuisine at the Madison Steak & Shake earlier. We never claimed to be classy.
No. 308′s bar isn’t that big but they’ve got enough bartenders on deck that we never had to wait long to get our order in and even while we were getting up the nerve to say “Hi, we’re from the Internet,” Alexis was patient with us.
That’s the tricky thing about hipster bars, you never know if you’re going to feel welcome. 308 is about as laid back as you can get without being sprawled on the floor. That being said, we did feel woefully underdressed. Neither of us was wearing a vest for one, and Lance doesn’t own a proper hat, for two. To quote Reid Magette at Rock the Block last night, “this town is all hats and hair, man. Hats and hair.” We’re going to have to work on this if we’re going to be accepted as part of the East Nashville hipster herd. Or maybe we’ll keep wearing Misfits t-shirts on all occasions. Suck on that, fashionistas! But, seriously, if you’re allergic to tie-wearing, haberdashed, scruffy East Nashville twenty-somethings, you may want to find somewhere else to go. Or just suck it up. You should probably just suck it up.
Surprisingly, the place was kinda dead for a Saturday night. Maybe the place really gets hopping around 1am when shows around town are over, but 308 remained comfortable even as we were taking off around 12:30 in the morning. The bar is only a couple months old though. More likely, they just haven’t caught on quite yet, which means you’ve got a moral obligation to support them while they’re carving out their niche. And, good news! They’re open every day between 5 p.m. and 3 a.m. now! We’re going to go ahead and claim our share of the credit for that one.
No. 308 is probably best suited for groups or date situations. And we may or may not know a newly single blogger who’d be more than happy to take you there. Ladies.