ACME Feed & Seed, Downtown Nashville
The Acme Feed & Seed building has stood at the corner of 1st and Broadway since the 1800s, but since the mid-90s, had been empty. Then Tom Morales (The Southern, Saffire, TomKats) came along and transformed the historic space into an incredible new dining, music and event venue.
There are 4 floors (well, 3 + a rooftop), and each has its own purpose and vibe. Let’s tackle first things first: the 1st floor. This floor houses a shop, restaurant (with open kitchen), bar (28 regional craft beers on draft), and a stage (for live music. Duh).
When you enter the front door off of Broadway, to your right and left is the ACME Farm Store, with quite possibly the best selection of local goods in all of Nashville. (This has not been thoroughly researched, but I honestly cannot remember a store I’ve been in that carries this many local products!)
Seriously, they have the coolest stuff. Follow the store on Instagram to see just a few of the things you might find there.
Some of the local goods at ACME Feed & Seed
Take a few more steps and you’ll be at the front counter staring at the giant menu board featuring street-food inspired cuisine. This is where you’ll place your order and be given a number to take to your seat, which you choose yourself. I love this concept of fast casual because I now have a great downtown spot to go for quick business lunches- quick being the key word here. There are a handful of downtown restaurants that I love to dine at, but often I’m in a hurry and don’t even have an hour to spare. I’ve found that I can be in and out of Acme for lunch in 30-45 minutes!
Don’t go thinking that the fast service is the only thing that has kept me coming back though. Not even close. You know the food has to be good, or I wouldn’t bother.
I am obsessed with one dish in particular, and can proclaim it to be my current favorite vegetarian dish in town. The Hatchery is a bowl of curried chickpeas, creamy coconut rice, cashews, and cilantro, topped with a fried egg and served with fry bread.
I love it so much that I had to share two photos of it. One just would not do.
The Hatchery at ACME Feed & Seed
Executive Chef Matt Farley, who also oversees the kitchen at The Southern, really did an incredible job crafting this menu, as there truly is something for everyone. There are creative dishes (the kinds of things that I tend to like) but also dishes that my mom would order (she’s the least adventurous eater I know) like catfish and hushpuppies, or a simple cheeseburger. And there are vegetarian options (other than the absolutely amazing chickpea dish I’ve already raved about) in addition to the big, meaty dishes for carnivores.
I’ve shared bites of the Hot Chicken Sandwich and the Griot with Ti Malice & Pikliz (translation: seasoned fried pork with black beans, plantains & sweet habanero slaw), and can recommend both, but I’m not sure I’ll personally ever be able to stop ordering The Hatchery because– did I tell you? — it’s SO FREAKIN GOOD. Oh well, hopefully friends/dining companions will let me keep taking nibbles of their dishes so I can eventually try the whole menu but never give up my favorite!
The 2nd floor lounge of ACME Feed & Seed
Okay, now on to the 2nd floor. When I walked into this space for the first time, I was smitten. The details!!!
Featuring lounge seating (some super cool retro chairs that I want to steal), intimate group spaces, vintage games, and seasonally-inspired handcrafted cocktails, this will be a cocktail bar that locals are sure to love.
I’ll be honest. I don’t really like to go out for drinks downtown at night . But there are times when I have friends visiting from out of town and they want to go downtown. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? Until now, I’ve always been filled with dread when that part of the evening comes. I’m a bit claustrophobic, so fighting the drunken masses is not my idea of a good time. (Unless, of course, I’ve already had several cocktails and dancing at Robert’s actually sounds like a fabulous idea).
I think that’s a big part of the reason I’m so enamored with the 2nd floor of ACME. I definitely see it as a place that locals will enjoy going to – and will satisfy our out of town friends’ need for a taste of downtown.
The 2nd floor will also have a menu of its own, and before long, its own sushi bar. You may have heard back in the spring that longtime downtown fixture Sam’s Sushi closed for business in the spring. Well, apparently some people could not imagine downtown without him, so someone worked some magic, and voila – he’ll soon have a corner of the 2nd floor at ACME!
View of Lower Broadway from the roof of ACME Feed & Seed
Third floor, here we come. Called The Hatchery at Acme, this space is said to be the largest one-level event and music venue on lower Broadway. Available year-round for event rentals, they will also use the space for music series and concerts. Even though I don’t have a photo of this floor, I was fortunate enough to recently have attended one of the very first events held there, and I have to say, it’s an awesome space with incredible views of Broadway and the Cumberland River from the floor to ceiling windows that flank the space.
In fact, if I were getting married all over again, this floor and the rooftop above would definitely be my space.
Which brings us to the rooftop. Oh. My. Goodness. This is the best rooftop bar in Nashville, hands down. With sweeping views of lower Broadway, the river, the bridges, the stadium…there are really no words.
So there you go! That’s the new ACME Feed & Seed in a nutshell. As you can tell, I’m a fan and hope you will be too. If you’d like to stay up to date on the latest happenings there, follow ACME on Twitter or like them on Facebook.
Nashville, TN 37201
Hours of Operation:
Daily 11 am – 2 am