Answered: Reminisce on businesses of Nashville’s past

These local hangouts might be gone, but they are far from forgotten. We asked you which defunct Nashville businesses you miss most, and here’s what you had to say.

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Does this image hit all five of your senses?

Photo of Rotier’s Restaurant in 2010 via Google Street View

Alexa, play “Don’t You (Forget About Me).”

As new restaurants, venues, and everything in between flip the “open” neon on in 2024, we couldn’t help but look back with you at a few favorites of Nashville’s past that have left behind big shoes to fill.

🥘 Restaurants + cafés

“Provence! The first place I ever became a regular — this was my favorite study spot as a Vandy senior and favorite place to read over coffee after I graduated.” — MM

  • Provence Breads & Cafe | 22 years in business | The eatery serving breakfast items, sandwiches, soups, salads, and Intelligentsia Coffee also offered a wholesale operation locally for its freshly baked breads and pastries.

“Rotier’s Restaurant because of its cheeseburgers and awesome staff — sure do miss all of that” — Denise S.

  • Rotier’s Restaurant | ~75 years in business | An old-fashioned bar and grill best known for its cheeseburger on French bread, meat-and-threes, and milkshakes. Fun fact: Burgers initially cost 25 cents, before prices rose to 65 cents by 1992 and $7.99 towards the restaurant’s end.

“Becker’s Bakery — best birthday/wedding/any occasion cakes I’ve ever tasted. Best baked goods in general.” — Anonymous\

  • Becker’s Bakery | 89 years in business | According to the Scene, Becker’s first opened as a nickel-loaf bakery with products delivered by truck to wholesale customers. As many know, the bakery eventually said goodbye to this product and expanded its line of sweets.
A black and white image looking down a street with old cars and business signs lining it.

If you look closely, you can see Mills Bookstore’s facade in this archival photograph of Church Street near 6th Avenue.

🛍️ Retail + venues

“I miss Bari-Mor in Hillsboro Village. It was a delightful chaos in which, if you persevered, you could find the perfect birthday card. Speaking of Hillsboro Village, honorable mention goes to Mills Bookstore, a booklover’s paradise.” — Anne C.

  • Bari-Mor Gifts | 43 years in business | The Nashville Scene described the shop in 1997 as being “famous for its clutter and its basset hound greeters.”
  • Mills Bookstore | 98 years in business | According to the Post, the store was one of the first Nashville outlets for photographic services and supplies.

“Opryland USA & Starwood” — Rhonda S.

  • Opryland USA | 25 years in business | The theme park home to the Screamin’ Delta Demon, Wabash Cannonball, and plenty of performances in its theaters brought in over two million visitors annually.
  • Starwood Amphitheatre | 21 years in business | This 65-acre outdoor music venue could hold over 17,000 fans and hosted the likes of The Beach Boys, Duran Duran, Bob Dylan, and more.
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