Holland House Bar And Refuge | Nashville, Tenn.
When a deal falls through--whether it's because your prospective partner was a flake or the funding wasn't there--the last place you want to go is somewhere everybody knows your name. You want to go to a place dark enough that you can wallow, with a drink menu to take the edge off and a bartender skilled enough to craft whatever you want and serve it up with discretion. A refuge, so to speak.
The word refuge is in the name of East Nashville's favorite bar and the country's best stop when things have taken a detour south, at least metaphorically. Opened in 2010, Holland House Bar and Refuge is a "cross between a saloon and a contemporary industrial bar," says owner Terry Raley. This is the kind of place that takes its cocktails seriously without taking itself too seriously.
The upscale, swanky environs are dark enough to give you some privacy after a setback, but not depressing enough to make you feel like you've failed. And if you're not the kind to drown your sorrows solo, well, there's a good chance your next business partner--with a great, creative, only-in-Nashville kind of idea--is sitting on the next stool at the bar.
Order like a regular: A Daisy, shorthand for the bar's bestselling Four Roses bourbon-based Daisy If You Do.
Go: 935 W. Eastland Ave.; (615) 262-4190; hollandhousebarandrefuge.com
Margaret Littman is a journalist who covers small businesses, travel and all manner of other topics, with a sweet spot for anything relating to stand-up paddling or Music City. She is the author of the Nashville Essential Guide iPhone and Android app and many travel guidebooks. Her work has appeared in many national magazines, and she is the editor of Entrepreneur magazine’s Start It Up section.