Neighborhood Watch: Germantown, Nashville

Once an enclave of German immigrants, this quaint neighborhood embraces its centuries-old Teutonic heritage with sausages and beer halls

It’s not as jam-packed as Music City’s downtown or as hip as East Nashville, but Germantown, to the north, exudes a slower-paced charm, with brick sidewalks, historic homes and a thriving restaurant scene. “German-town does a better job preserving its history than other neighborhoods in Nashville,” says Phil Hyde, a managing partner of Germantown Inn. “It’s important not only to the neighborhood but to the city as a whole.”

Unrest in Europe lured German settlers to the area in the 1830s, where many took up shoemaking, meatpacking and beer brewing; by 1865, four breweries operated out of the 18-block neighborhood. The area took a downturn in the 20th century, as breweries closed with the advent of iced railcars and trucks. By 2000, there were few restaurants, but a post-recession push by local leaders sought to balance new hip loft construction with historic renovations. Today, Germantown boasts the highest concentration of sausages in town, but it’s the carefully restored aesthetic that keeps folks returning.

Von Elrod’s

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

A converted bus depot, this beer hall and garden serves housemade pretzels and bratwurst. Thirty-six tap beers and massive steins of brunch mimosas lubricate convos at communal tables.

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