Nashville’s historical past protected for future generations in new restaurant

One of Nashville’s most important historic areas has simply reopened as a restaurant – and makes an essential effort to acknowledge its previous.

Woolworth on Fifth Image by Nathan Zucker

Woolworth on fifth, a three-story restaurant and lounge in downtown Nashville, is housed within the former F.W. Woolworth, a five-and-dime retailer that served downtown Nashville for a lot of the 20th century. In the 1960s, F.W. Woolworth performed an essential function within the Civil Rights Movement as one of many first websites of Nashville’s history-changing lunch counter sit-ins.

The lunch counter on the principle ground. Image by Danielle Atkins

“The history of Nashville is rich and diverse and should be preserved, yet every day we hear about another building being torn down to make room for something new,” says Tom Morales, proprietor and CEO of TomKats Hospitality, the group that runs the restaurant. “The Woolworth constructing wanted to be saved, and we’re honored to be a part of the subsequent chapter of its historical past.“

This piece of Nashville historical past is being preserved. Image by Danielle Atkins

In the brand new Woolworth on fifth, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner day by day, you’ll be able to nonetheless see most of the constructing’s Art Deco particulars, together with the railings and unique terrazzo flooring. The lunch counter that was the positioning of so many protests within the spring of 1960 was on the mezzanine stage, and you’ll nonetheless see the spots the place the stools as soon as stood. The floor ground homes the principle restaurant, with a protracted counter alongside one aspect that remembers the unique. Musical moments from Motown historical past play on a big display on the finish of the room. In the New Era Ballroom on the basement stage, stay music and dancing will happen nightly starting 1 March.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served day-after-day. Image by Danielle Atkins

“Woolworth on 5th brings a unique vibe to the downtown scene – a welcome table of home grown flavors, old school sounds, and classic dance moves – and we are excited to share it with the city we love,” says Morales.

What is a sit-in?

Sit-ins had been an essential a part of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. In the segregated Southern USA, African Americans had been allowed to buy in metropolis department shops – however they weren’t allowed to dine on the lunch counters in those self same shops. Civil rights leaders organized nonviolent protests at these lunch counters as a visual technique to illustrate the injustices of Jim Crow. On 13 February, 1960, the primary mass sit-in passed off in Nashville. More than 100 African American college students entered three Nashville department shops, together with F.W. Woolworth, and requested to be served. When they had been denied service, they sat on the bottom inside the shop in protest for hours. These acts of civil disobedience had been repeated all through the spring of 1960 in Nashville and different cities across the Southeast. Thanks to the work of those protesters, in May of 1960 Nashville grew to become the primary metropolis to desegregate its lunch counters.

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