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Posts Tagged ‘Nashville’

They say don’t shoot the messenger, so don’t be mad at me or Retro Roadmap Reader Mike Hauer, who was kind enough to update me that the Elliston Place Soda Shop in Nashville, TN is scheduled to close on August 1 because they are unable to pay their rent.

You can read the details here in the article Mike sent me.

We visited the soda shop – which has been open since 1939 – during our short visit to Music City and just had not written about it yet. The Elliston Place Soda Shop is the oldest continually operating (in one location) restaurant in Nashville. Elliston Place Soda Shop Vintage Sign Nashville TNThough we were fit to burst (well, I was anyways) we could not resist the call of the neon ice cream soda and air conditioned comfort. Retro Roadhusband also liked that it was right next door to a music store. Counter Elliston Place Soda Shop Nashville TN

They had your usual lunch counter style fare – award winning burgers, “Fresh Fruit Ades”, milkshakes and more. There was a table of sweet old ladies sitting right next to us who ordered the luncheon special – we ordered some fries and RRH got a chocolate milk shake.

Here’s the ladies enjoying their luncheon…

Ladies Who Lunch at the Elliston Place Soda Shop Nashville TN

And here’s wacky Retro RoadHusband, enjoying his milkshake (and maybe not enjoying my constant photo taking!)
Milkshake Surprise Elliston Place Soda Shop Nashville TN

There was a big juke box in the back of the soda shop, music professionals “talkin shop” at a nearby table and some cool (though not working) table top juke boxes.
Elliston Place Soda Shop Nashville TN  Table Top Juke Box
One of the understandable reasons the Soda Shop is closing is because business is down. Makes sense, as more people are eating at home.

But if we all don’t occasionally go and spend at the cool old places we love so much they won’t be there. And with places like Elliston Place Soda Shop the prices are reasonable, so it won’t break the bank for each of us, but it would make a difference in the long run.

So if you’re going out for a splurge or just a sundae remember, the money you spend locally is really investing in the kind of world you want to live in – small independent cool old places still existing and not being replaced by chains.

Best of luck to the Elliston Place Soda Shop folks, and thanks to Mike for the heads up.

Elliston Place Soda Shop
2111 Elliston Place
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 327-1090 ‎

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Union Station in downtown Nashville TN is one of a handful of beautiful old train stations converted into hotel space (remember the Lackawanna Train Station Hotel in Scranton we went to a few months back?) Built in 1900 it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977. It’s quite a grand sight along popular Broadway in Downtown Music City USA.

Union Station Hotel Nashville TN Exterior
While RetroRoadhusband and I were not able to stay at Union Station the folks there were very gracious in letting me snap a few photos, and gave me some brochures detailing the amenities of this luxury Wyndham Grand Hotel (also one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s designated Historic Hotels). You can tell the scale of the architecture by just looking at how dwarfed RetroRoadhusband is when compared to the fireplace and clock above!

Union Station Nashville TN Fireplace (more…)

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As we make plans for our retro road trip to Austin TX next month I can’t help but compare the process to what it used to be waaaay back in the 90’s when I took my first road trips out of the North East. Books, maps, guides and payphones have been replaced by the internet, GPS and social networking, and I think it makes the process even more fun!

Planning a Retro Roadtrip - Old SchoolI’ll still be referring to my books, but I also want to take advantage of the internet – where I can shout out “Does anyone know of a good place to eat in Jackson MS?” and perhaps I’ll get a local person who will give a recommendation that I might not have been able to find with the limited resources of days of yore.

That being said, anyone know of a good hotel/ motel /restaurant / vintage business / classic sign / old theater / cocktail lounge / drive in / dive bar / BBQ joint / ice cream stand / bakery / roller skating rink / diner / souvenir stand / tourist trap / roadside attraction that we should not miss on our journey?

How about a bologna factory?! We’re pretty much game for anything along our route!

Seltzer's Lebanon Bologna Palmyra PA 1996

Here is the plan so far:

We’ll be heading from PA to Austin via 81 /77 / 85 with a stop in Atlanta so Retro Roadhusband can play some gigs, and we can eat at The Varsity and Mary Mac’s Tea Room.

From Atlanta we’ll head through Birmingham AL and Jackson MS – neither of which state is represented on the Retro Roadmap! Whaddaya got?

We go south from Jackson, taking the coastal route west, with Baton Rouge LA and Houston TX being the biggest dots on the map before we head to Austin, where we’ll be for a few days for the SXSW music convention. (While we’ll be oh-so-close to New Orleans, I want to save that for its very own trip later this year)

Then when we leave Austin we’ll be hitting such high points as Graceland in Memphis, Hatch Show Prints in Nashville, Wigwam Village #2, The American Sign Museum and the home of Fiestaware, before we reluctantly swing east across PA to head home.

While we’ve got these pins in our map already please let us know if there are any places to eat, visit, photo, people we should meet, regional foods to eat, souvenirs to buy along the way. If we can cram it into this trip we’ll do it. And if we don’t get it all done, that means we need to take another trip!

I look forward to any suggestions that you have, and promise to share the trip with “y’all” while we’re on the road and when we return.

Thank You in advance,

Mod Betty & RetroRoadhusband

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