Remember the name, and you’ve got the address: 404 Twelfth Avenue South, a short walk from downtown Nashville, where nobody’s afraid to get crazy making the world’s greatest music. Well, it just so happens that Nashville’s 404 Hotel and Kitchen are doing their own kind of great-and-crazy on the hospitality side of things. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you ate from the hand of an award-winning chef in a shipping container?
Uh, yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. Great. And crazy. Combined.
It’s cozy, but there’s seating both inside and out, a full bar, and lots of doesn’t-feel-like-a-shipping-container-to-me ambience. Eclectic is the word. You have stepped into the back of an eighteen-wheeler or a railway car and, wand waving and magic happening, the inside of the pumpkin is a royal carriage to transport you to some of the South’s finest dining. How fun!
And that’s just the beginning. The food follows this great-and-crazy motif as well. For starters, there is a frequently-morphing menu listing Chef Bolus’s own innovative versions of traditional European/Southern dishes—from Truffle Burrata to Skillet Cornbread—made exclusively from locally-grown, seasonal ingredients. How locally-grown? Try this: the herbs you are eating were likely grown in The 404’s own rooftop garden. That local enough for you?
Of course, they are not so wild (yet) as to have cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and ducks roaming the premises—so for beef, bacon, and eggs, or chicken, duck, and lamb, as well as a wide assortment of Eden-fresh veggies, the team at The 404 find best pickings at such local-area sources as central Tennessee’s Bells Bend, Bear Creek, or Bloomsbury Farms.
The result is something to come back for again and again.
The 404 Kitchen is soul- as well as palate-satisfying. For soul-soothing, however, and every bit as “out there,” is the restaurant’s building buddy, The 404 Hotel. Self-described as an “urban oasis,” The 404 offers wayfaring folk lost in the heart of Music City USA nothing but King Suites. There are five of them—two come with a get-away loft—and if you want to rent the whole shootin’-match, as in the entire hotel, that’s certainly fine by them. It’s got a contemporary but cozy feel, with both custom and vintage furniture as well as photographic artwork by local pro Caroline Allison. Bathrooms come with Turkish-T robes and Malin+Goetz toiletries, and Provence Bakery pastries in the morning round out the spoil-me-for-a-night experience.
So there you have it. Top-notch dining, European yet Southern. Shipping-container-esque architecture modified for the most discerning of tastes. A tiny hotel with only the biggest of beds in big, two-story rooms. Sounds like the kind of outfit that would work nicely in a place like Nashville—and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if there were places just like The 404 Hotel and Kitchen popping up before long all over these Southern United States.
Lots More Photos of The 404 Hotel and Kitchen