Are you planning a night out in Music City? Nashville, Tennessee is known for its lively bar scene, where locals and tourists alike can enjoy a range of experiences, from honky-tonk dives to swanky cocktail bars. But before you raise a glass, it’s important to know what time the bars close in Nashville.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the closing times of Nashville’s bars, including weekdays and weekends, as well as some exceptions to the standard rules. We’ll also explore the legal drinking age in Nashville, so you can make sure you’re following the rules and enjoying your night responsibly.
But that’s not all. We’ll also provide insider tips on some of Nashville’s best bars, from rooftop hangouts to underground speakeasies, to help you plan the ultimate night out. So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, read on to discover what time the bars close in Nashville and how to make the most of your night in this vibrant city.
Overview of Nashville’s Bar Scene
Nashville’s bar scene is a vital part of the city’s cultural identity. The city is famous for its live music venues, and many bars and clubs feature local musicians performing every night of the week. From honky-tonk dives on Broadway to upscale cocktail bars in trendy neighborhoods like Germantown and East Nashville, Nashville has something for everyone.
One of the most iconic areas for bars in Nashville is Lower Broadway. This strip of bars and honky-tonks is a must-see for any visitor to the city, with neon lights, live music, and plenty of cold beer. But if you’re looking for something more upscale, head to the Gulch, where you’ll find a range of cocktail bars and upscale restaurants.
In East Nashville, you’ll find a growing number of bars and restaurants that cater to the city’s younger, trendier crowd. This area is known for its craft cocktails and locally-sourced food, as well as its eclectic mix of live music venues.
Of course, Nashville’s bar scene isn’t just about music and cocktails. The city is also home to a thriving craft beer scene, with dozens of breweries and taprooms located throughout the city. From classic German-style lagers to hoppy IPAs, there’s a beer for every taste in Nashville.
Legal Drinking Age in Nashville
Before you hit the bars in Nashville, it’s important to know the legal drinking age. In Tennessee, the legal drinking age is 21 years old. This means that anyone under the age of 21 is not allowed to purchase or consume alcohol in public places, including bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.
It’s important to note that many bars and clubs in Nashville take the legal drinking age very seriously and may ask for ID at the door or when ordering drinks. So, if you’re under 21, be sure to have a valid ID with you and be prepared to show it when asked.
In addition, Tennessee has a “zero tolerance” policy for underage drinking and driving. This means that anyone under the age of 21 who is caught driving with any amount of alcohol in their system can face serious legal consequences, including fines, suspension of their driver’s license, and even jail time.
To avoid any legal issues and ensure a safe night out, it’s important to follow the laws and drink responsibly. If you’re under 21, consider sticking to non-alcoholic drinks or enjoying Nashville’s vibrant live music scene without alcohol. And if you do plan on drinking, be sure to designate a sober driver or use a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft to get home safely.
Standard Closing Time for Bars in Nashville
As the saying goes, “The party don’t stop ’til the cows come home” in Nashville. And while that may be true for some bars and nightclubs, most establishments in the city do have set closing times.
On weekdays, most bars in Nashville close at around 2 a.m. This includes both the popular honky-tonks on Lower Broadway and the trendy cocktail bars in neighborhoods like the Gulch and East Nashville. However, it’s important to note that some bars may choose to close earlier, especially if they cater to a more laid-back crowd or have an older clientele.
On weekends, closing times can vary depending on the establishment. Many bars and nightclubs in Nashville stay open until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, giving revelers plenty of time to dance the night away. However, some bars may close earlier on Sundays, with many closing their doors around midnight or 1 a.m.
It’s also worth noting that Tennessee state law prohibits the sale of alcohol between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m. every day, meaning that all bars in Nashville must stop serving alcohol during these hours. However, some bars may choose to remain open and offer non-alcoholic drinks and food.
Exceptions to Standard Closing Times
While most bars in Nashville adhere to a standard closing time, there are some exceptions to the rule. Whether you’re a night owl looking for a late-night spot or an early bird who likes to start their day with a drink, there are bars in Music City that cater to all schedules.
One exception to the standard closing time is the “Last Call” bar, which stays open until 5 a.m. every night of the week. Located in the heart of downtown Nashville, Last Call is a popular spot for night owls looking for a place to party after the other bars have closed their doors.
Another exception to the standard closing time is the 24-hour diner and bar, Hermitage Cafe. This legendary Nashville spot has been serving up greasy breakfast food and strong drinks around the clock for over 70 years, making it a favorite among late-night revelers and early-morning commuters alike.
In addition to these outliers, some bars in Nashville may also have extended hours during special events or holidays. For example, during the annual CMA Music Festival in June, many bars in downtown Nashville stay open until 4 a.m. to accommodate the influx of country music fans.
It’s important to note, however, that these exceptions to the standard closing times are few and far between. Most bars in Nashville close at around 2 a.m. on weekdays and between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. on weekends. So, if you’re planning a night out in Music City, be sure to plan accordingly and check the closing times of your favorite bars.
Tips for Enjoying Nashville’s Bars Responsibly
Nashville’s bar scene is a big part of what makes the city so special. Whether you’re into honky-tonks, craft cocktails, or dive bars, there’s something for everyone. However, it’s important to enjoy Nashville’s bars responsibly. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
- Pace yourself: Nashville’s bars are known for their strong drinks, but that doesn’t mean you have to drink them all at once. Sip your drink slowly and alternate with water or soda to stay hydrated.
- Eat before you drink: Nashville has some amazing food options, so be sure to fuel up before you hit the bars. Eating a meal beforehand can help prevent overindulging and keep you feeling good throughout the night.
- Plan your transportation: If you’re planning on drinking, make sure you have a plan for getting home safely. Consider taking a taxi or rideshare, or designate a sober driver in your group.
- Know your limits: Everyone’s tolerance is different, so it’s important to know your own limits when it comes to drinking. Listen to your body and know when it’s time to slow down or stop.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Nashville’s bars can get crowded, so be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings. Stick with your group and avoid leaving your drink unattended.
Steven Yeager is a passionate travel blogger and content creator. When he’s not working part-time at a technology company, he can be found exploring the world and documenting his adventures on his blog, SYTraveling.com. With a love for experiencing new cultures and a talent for capturing stunning photographs, Steven shares his travel experiences with his readers in a way that is both informative and visually stunning. Follow his journey as he travels to some of the most exotic and beautiful locations around the globe, and be inspired to plan your own adventures.