If you Google Germantown, TN, you will find a community shy of 40,000 sitting just east-southeast of Memphis, TN. However when I visited Nashville this week, I discovered another Germantown, Tennessee. It was incorporated into the Nashville city limits in 1865 and is part of the 9th Ward, north of downtown. It is not it’s own township but a suburb of Nashville.
The European immigrants flooded into this area in the early 1800s and many of the brick facades date back to those early days. This is not an area dotted with Bavarian chalets but upscale apartment buildings that are much sought after in today’s market. You are not likely to find tourist-attracting lederhosen or Oompa-pa music strolling the streets here. This is considered a walking paradise for dog-friendly residents who can experience city life with a neighborhood feel.
The 18 square blocks of Germantown sit north of the Tennessee State Museum, the Bicentennial Mall. and the state capital. East Germantown buffets the Cumberland River. It is no wonder the rent prices here are 25% higher than the average prices in the Nashville area.
Many of the original garages and warehouses have now become hip restaurants and bars. There are more than 20 sought after eateries in Germantown. They are not all beer halls either. You can find anything from pizza, to biscuit sandwiches, to Texas BBQ, to Italian, and Chinese food to your liking.
If you are looking for something of the German ethic flavor that the area’s name suggests, there is Von Elrod’s Beer Hall and Kitchen ( https://vonelrods.com ). Although you will find a long list of beers on tap, a sausage house and, home made pretzels, the cuisine also captures the southern BBQ culture and chicken biscuits and gravy.
The history here is rich. George Dickel, born only 40 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, became a major whisky distiller in the area. He claimed his whisky was “mellow as moonlight”. His business even survived prohibition when they received government permission to sell their brew as medicine. It is still available today.
Germantown also houses Fisk University which is the oldest place of higher learning in Nashville. The historically black university dates back to 1866.
Nashville is known as Music City but there are many roots here that do not owe their claim to fame in the Country Music industry. Here you will find a popular Farmer’s Market and beautiful Gothic churches. After an evening where you are crowded off the Broadway streets where the tourists and bridal parties thrive, this may be the pace for a reprieve.