When I started Draper James, I knew more than anything, I wanted to honor my Southern roots. This is why I named the company after my grandparents, Dorothea Draper and James Witherspoon. It’s also the reason we opened our first store in my beloved hometown of Nashville. Should y’all be lucky enough to find yourselves in Music City, here’s my list of go-to spots—don’t miss them!
I don’t even consider myself awake until I drink that first cup. It’s a good thing Nashville has a thriving coffee scene. Among my faves are Barista Parlor, which serves up house-roasted coffee alongside wares from local artisans. After all, what could be better than simultaneous caffeine and commerce? I also love Crema, for its perfectly prepared espresso drinks, and The Well, a nonprofit coffeehouse that sponsors the building of wells for communities in need of clean drinking water.
Robert’s Western World is a true honky tonk (and it has the best fried bologna sandwiches!). For unforgettable bluegrass and country music any night of the week, go to The Station Inn, a no-frills joint known for nurturing up-and-coming talent.
The local food scene is exploding in Nashville, but when I’m home, I like to go traditional: the fried chicken at Hattie B’s and the chicken salad and frozen fruit salad at The Picnic. I get hungry just thinking about them!
I love Pinewood Social because it encourages friends to gather any time of day—for breakfast, lunch, or dinner; bowling or bocce; cocktails or coffee; even a dip in the pool. Genius.
Of course I love to hang out at Draper James in the 12South neighborhood. To me, it’s more than a store—it’s like being at a good friend’s house. I also always send people down the street to my dear friend Holly Williams’s shop, White’s Mercantile. It’s a modern-day general store full of Southern-made art, gifts, and food.
I will soon be moving into a Nashville house of my own, but for now, I stay at my mom’s house. When there isn’t room for everyone, we stay at the historic Hermitage Hotel or The Hutton, a hip boutique hotel conveniently located near Vanderbilt and Music Row.
Know the best spots in Nashville? Share your can’t miss destinations.
Opening Image: Paul Costello