Hopefully you’ve heard of Max and Ben Goldberg by now, the co-owners of Strategic Hospitality. These two grew up in Nashville and have continuously done an excellent job identifying what the city is lacking. They’ve filled these gaps with their projects including Patterson House, Catbird Seat, and now Pinewood Social.
Pinewood Social is referred to as a “place to meet” and it’s designed so that you could spend your whole day there. From grabbing a cup of Crema coffee at 7AM and working at one of the community tables to eating dinner and watching the bartenders chisel ice for each cocktail at 12AM, this place is catered for your every need. They’re currently still constructing the bowling alley, karaoke rooms, and an outdoor swimming pool.
I visited on the second day of operation and it was busy.
The menu was created by Josh Habiger who was previously co-chef at the Catbird Seat and Alinea. If you’re unfamiliar with Alinea, it’s a restaurant in Chicago that has been internationally recognized by the Michelin Food Guide and repeatedly referred to as the best restaurant in North America. You can expect to have a fantastic meal if you hear the name Josh Habiger.
John and I started off with the Shrimp Cocktail and I really enjoyed it. The shrimp was very fresh, especially for being served in land-locked Nashville. The chefs took care to gut the shrimp thoroughly.
We continued on with the Fried Chicken and the Pork Chop. I had initially ordered the Mushroom Pot Pie, but they sold out… I guess that’s all the reason to make a trip back!
The spätzle with the pork chop was my favorite part of the dish. It has a dough-like consistency for those unfamiliar with it. As for the pork itself, it was slightly dry, potentially due to the amount of salt. The fried chicken is very traditional. Don’t expect the seasoning to be like Prince’s or Hattie B’s, but the meat is cooked to a juicy perfection. It’s an honest dish, well worth the price.
There’s a wide variety of drinks including wines, beers, cocktails, and mocktails. The bar is ran by Matt Tocco who previously worked at Patterson House and Rolf & Daughters. One of the coolest things about Pinewood Social’s bar program is that the bartenders chisel ice for each drink and you can watch it happen by the bar.
Pictured is a Sidecar Named Doug.
In addition, they have a coffee bar which is basically an extension of Crema Coffee. They serve all of your standard coffee and espresso drinks and coffee cocktails.
ALWAYS LEAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT
Pinewood Social currently only has two desserts available: Apple Pie and Pear Custard Pie. Once I hear the word pie, I immediately thought of pie and ice cream; however, they haven’t started serving the desserts with ice cream yet. I’ve heard that Catbird Seat pastry chef Mayme Gretsch who is trying to open Utterly Soft Serve in Nashville may have some of her soft serve featured at Pinewood :)
We all know service makes or breaks the experience. Even though I had to wait for my reservation, the staff was very courteous and escorted us to the cozy waiting area with water and menus. I had about three employees come and apologize for the wait, this speaks for itself. We had wonderful service thanks to Chris G., who was working over a 12 hour shift and still made sure we had a great time. If you look closely, all the males are wearing ties with the logo and even have custom shoe laces.
The bowling lanes, karaoke rooms, and swimming pool are still in the works. The bowling lanes look fantastic! They’ve used reclaimed wood and it gives off a very vintage, authentic feel. Better yet, there won’t be any ball or shoe rental fees!
All in all, I’m still very excited to see what the rest of Pinewood Social will develop into. There is no doubt that this gathering place will be successful, just like any of the other Goldbergs’ projects. Take the time to check it out. It’s in one of the Trolley Barns at 33 Peabody Street right next to Emma and the Entrepreneur Center. The hours are M-F 7AM-1AM and Sat/Sun 9AM-1AM.
P.S. Make a reservation. John and I got a private room in the back of the place with a booth and TV in it. We weren’t expecting it but it was a pleasant surprise!