This old dog has as many tricks as it needs.
The great dive bar is one of the most sought after pieces of Americana for any traveller and Dino’s Bar is just that. Located within walking distance of the hippest part of town, Dino’s roots go deeper than any other bar in East Nashville. Two doors down there is an ominous advert for an “end times drummer” and the connecting music studio looks like it hasn’t been opened in centuries and next door lies a rustic barber shop giving what I can only assume as the most manly single blade shave ever. The entrance to Dino’s fits right in, the clouded window and old fashioned Coca-Cola sign bigger than the actual restaurant logo subtly informs you on exactly what you can expect – no-fluff, down-home, purely-American eats and drinks. Inside, the kitchen is right there for all to see; everything on the menu is exactly as you’d expect and at a price point that keeps you comforted to come back for more.
The well renowned burger followed this same pattern, but actually housed a thick patty with exceptional quality beef that dripped ever so gently on the fries. It was actually the first time I’ve had the classic lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle combo since I can remember, which was a memorable experience all in its own. Now, the fries I ordered, were definitely something truly unique and will probably be the major reason I come back regularly. I’m not sure what they are called on the menu, but they were doused in hot chicken oil and Velveeta cheese sauce. Oh my goodness were they good! Nashville hot chicken spice mix is one of those mysteries locked deep inside a town’s culture and its no surprise that a classic place like Dino’s would do it just right.
All-in-all, as a new resident in East Nashville, this will definitely be a stop on my weekly rounds. You can feel the mutual appreciation from the guests and crew for this refuge from all the pop-ups coming from out of town. When restaurateurs Miranda Whitcomb Pontes (Burger-Up, Josephine, and Prima) and Alex Wendkos pruchased this place in 2014, locals were concerned, but they made a point to respect Dino’s atmosphere and the old-school diner menu which is a testament to just how special (and successful) a great dive bar can be. So as the new Nashville emerges, we can all rest-assured that we will always have a place to call home as long as Dino’s is around.