Plus, a former Nashville restaurant re-opens in 12 South.
February 8, 2024 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png


Today’s Forecast

63º | Mostly cloudy | 15% chance of rain | Sunrise 6:42 a.m. | Sunset 5:21 p.m.

💪 Our city is flexing its muscles again
A view of a moody downtown skyline in darker hues of blue from a skyscraper's window. You can make out Broadway, the We Work building, and the Batman Building.
We’re charting a course to an even higher-performing city. | Photo by Josh Baker via Pexels
Nashville’s economy has been hitting the gym. That’s apparent after securing a top 10 spot on the Milken Institute’s “Best-Performing Cities of 2024 Index” for consecutive years. The nonprofit think tank provides an objective evaluation of the economic performance and resiliency of over 400 US cities.

The region did drop two spots to No. 6 in 2024, but the ranking still carries weight in its class among other large cities, including Austin (No. 1), Raleigh (No. 2), Fayetteville, AR (No. 7), and more.

How the ranking is determined

The Milken Institute ranks cities based on 12 indicators of economic growth and access to opportunities — namely, employment + wages, technology, housing affordability, broadband access, and GDP growth. (Did you know? GDP stands for “gross domestic product,” or the final value of the goods and services made in an area.)

New this year, the institute took into account two other factors: community resilience, defined by how a city recovers from natural disaster, and income inequality.

Read the full methodology.

Metrics that matter + how we improve

Nashville has maintained its Tier 1 status, meaning the area rivals similar cities in its competitive wage growth and ample employment opportunities. Additionally, it stands as the fourth-strongest high-tech GDP growth in the large city category. Still on the fence of belief? Here are a few recent data points that support this statement:
With wins comes areas of improvement. Comparatively, Nashville lags behind other major cities in its high-tech sector size and marks the lowest ranking among Tier 1 large cities in high-tech GDP concentration.

What’s this mean? Though giants like Amazon and Oracle have broadened the “tech talent pool,” further investments in this area could bolster the city’s competitiveness and strengthen its position in the tech industry.
Thursday, Feb. 8
  • An Evening of Poetry and Prose | Thursday, Feb. 8 | 6-7:30 p.m. | Hodge House, 1905 Chickering Rd. | Free | Compile a couple of your favorite poems and passages and gather around the fireplace to take turns sharing literature that inspires you — registration required.
Friday, Feb. 9
  • Daddy’s Date Nite | Friday, Feb. 9-Wednesday, Feb. 14 | 5-10 p.m. | Daddy’s Dogs, 5205 Centennial Blvd. | $99 | The hot dog shop’s third annual event includes a four-course dinner for two.
  • “The Big Lebowski” | Friday, Feb. 9 | 7 p.m. | Full Moon Cineplex, 3445 Lebanon Pk. | $8 | Sit back and watch the comedy-thriller starring Jeff Bridges as “The Dude.”
Saturday, Feb. 10
  • Mutti Gras: A Canine Carnival | Saturday, Feb. 10 | 10 a.m.-6 p.m. | Baxter Bailey & Company, 1004 Fatherland St. | Cost of purchase | Break out that pawty costume and let your furry friend drink up Mutti Gras muttuccinos + enjoy treat bags and various product specials.
  • Chinese New Year Celebration | Saturday, Feb. 10 | 11 a.m.-3 p.m. | The Fairgrounds Nashville, Expo Center | Free | The ninth annual event features dance performances, crafting and workshops, a puppet truck show, food trucks, and more.
Sunday, Feb. 11
  • Pushups + Prosecco: Galentine’s Day Workout Class | Sunday, Feb. 11 | 10-11:30 a.m. | Kimpton Aertson Hotel, 2021 Broadway | $20 | Crush a circuit-based strength workout with barre and pilates-inspired movement before celebrating with a post-class prosecco toast.
Monday, Feb. 12
  • Valentine’s Day Cookie Decorating Workshop | Monday, Feb. 12 | 6-8 p.m. | Wanna Spoon Cereal Bar, 1111 Caruthers Ave. | $65 | Learn the basics of decorating sugar cookies + take home five completed cookies at the end of the class.
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🏀 Bring the whole fam to experience Bruins basketball
The Belmont Bruin mascot high-fiving a kid in the stands.
Bruiser the Bruin makes special appearances during basketball games. | Photo by Sadie Parker
Want to make your next night out with the kids a slam dunk? Throw on your navy blue and red for a Belmont University basketball game at the Curb Event Center.

While you cheer on the Bruins (a Division I team in the NCAA), enjoy family-friendly activities like:
  • Face painting
  • Balloon artists
  • Photo opportunities (we’re looking at you, Bruiser)
  • Excellent halftime entertainment
Plus, tickets start at just $10 each and include free garage parking.
News Notes
Coming Soon
  • Following Emery’s closing announcement last week, an old concept will breathe new life into the building by mid-March. Nashville Street Taco, which formerly operated on 2nd Avenue, will re-open in the space as a full-service, sit-down restaurant with an expanded menu. (Nashville Business Journal)
  • Whataburger is on the Nashville horizon with permits pointing to an East location at 1201 Gallatin Ave. The news follows the company’s expansion announcement in 2021, which listed nine initial restaurants, primarily in the surrounding Nashville area. (Nashville Business Journal)
  • A new Dunkin’ location is in the works for a Gulch property last home to Starbucks, which closed early last year. No opening date was released, but the coffee chain will operate from the mixed-use building boasting HCA offices at 1040 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (Nashville Post)
  • Save the date. The Kindling Arts Festival returns with live performances highlighting this year’s theme, “Imperfections,” at West Nashville venues on Thursday, July 18-Sunday, July 21. Bonus: Artist applications are open through March 4.
  • Comedian Tim Robinson will bring his “I Think You Should Leave” tour to the Ryman on Thursday, April 18 as part of the Nashville Comedy Festival. Tickets go on sale Friday, Feb. 9 at 10 a.m.
Try This
  • But first, let me take a selfie. The Fairlane Hotel’s newest pop-up, “Decades of Selfies,” lands in the hotel lobby on Monday, Feb. 12. Transport yourself to the 1970s via five themed selfie booths + order accompanying food and drink at the new Union Teller Diner & Bar.
🎸 Whoaaa, he’s halfway there
A rendering depicts a skinny and tall brick build between Merchants and Nudie's Honky Tonk with an illuminated, arched white entrance next to and behind the Merchants building with two rooftop spaces.
Here’s what you can expect the portion of Broadway to look like. | Rendering via Centric Architecture
Rockstar Jon Bon Jovi announced a spring opening of JBJ’s Nashville. It will sit next to Nudie’s and marks the latest artist-branded honky tonk — joining Luke Combs’ Category 10 and Eric Church’s Chief’s just on the horizon.

Construction is underway at the multi-level, 37,000-sqft bar at 405 Broadway, which is touted by the team as being “the tallest and second largest bar by square footage” on Lower Broadway.

Little information has been released, but patrons can expect the five-story building to offer two rooftop decks, as well as dining and entertainment spaces.
The Buy
The Giving Heart pillow — a cream, knitted, heart-shaped pillow that’s weighted to replicate the feeling of a real hug. It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for loved ones who deserve some extra coziness and care.
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The Wrap
Skylar Today’s edition by:
From the editor
In case you missed it, Dino’s will transform into Italian eatery Nonna’s on Tuesday, Feb. 13. The one-night-only event will feature classic dishes, martinis, wine, and more. Pro tip: You can’t reserve your spot — it’s a first come, first served gig.
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