Nashville's Newest Boutique Hotel

A Southern Focus

Nashville's Newest Boutique Hotel

By Jessica MischnerMarch 17, 2014

If you haven’t paid a visit to Nashville’s exploding Gulch neighborhood, the newly minted 404 Hotel and Kitchen, which began taking overnight reservations on Friday, just might be the excuse you’ve been waiting for.

Photographs courtesy of Caroline Allison

Designed by Nick Dryden—the architect who converted an old-time filling station into Imogene + Willie—the property occupies a former mechanic’s garage next door to bluegrass mecca, the Station Inn. “The Gulch is the perfect pocket of town for a hotel,” says Mark Banks, who has overseen the project from the beginning and began scouting for a location in 2011. “It’s close to downtown, easy to find if you’re a visitor, and very walkable. My timing was just lucky because with all that’s going on here now I probably would not have had a chance to grab this site today.”  

The hotel houses five loft-like guest rooms and a communal lounge decorated with a heavy mix of products from homegrown artisans: fixtures from 2014 Made in the South runner-up Southern Lights Electric Co; locally sourced furniture (much of which was designed by Dryden and built locally); vintage acquisitions from Peter Nappi; and towels and robes from Turkish-T. Images from Nashville-based photographer Caroline Allison line the walls of both the hotel and restaurant. 

At the 404 Kitchen, which has been drawing a large and hungry crowd since it opened late last fall, chef Matt Bolus serves up a menu that relies largely on meat, produce, dairy, and even coffee, sourced from local farms and producers. “Basically, I sit down and order every starter on the top of the page and then rotate my way through the entrees each visit,” Banks says. “But we do hear a lot of praise for the crudo, the pork ragout, and the burrata, which Matt pulls every day himself.”

And though Banks recognizes that their small-batch concept is unique among Nashville’s crop of larger, more established hotels, he’s thinks the personalized approach—“limited rooms” and “invisible service”—will find a following. “Nick and I just wanted to build the type of hotel we seek out in cities we visit,” he says. “I’m always trying to find interesting spaces that offer unique experiences, not to mention good linens, in-room amenities, and easy access to music.”