New Germantown Restaurants – Nashville

Near the corner of Jefferson Street and Fourth Avenue North, amid Nashville’s booming Germantown and just a block from First Tennessee Park, sit two soon-to-open restaurants whose journey underscores the occasionally herculean effort required to bring restaurants from concept to reality in Music City’s white-hot food scene.

They are Lulu and Geist, the latest restaurants from Miranda Whitcomb Pontes, a restaurateur who made her name founding Frothy Monkey and Burger Up, among other Nashville hotspots. With Lulu set to open this month and Geist “probably three months out,” Pontes is emerging from the lengthy permitting process, construction delays and other bumps in the road that restaurateurs throughout Nashville encounter amid the city’s boom.

It’s just “the nature of Nashville,” right now, Pontes said. In addition to the standard challenges (like the time it takes to schedule inspections), the historic building housing Geist brought with it additional requirements of preservation, she said, which helps explain the multi-year lag between the lease getting signed and its eventual opening.

As for Lulu, on top of the traditional delays, Pontes has made several changes to the concept since she confirmed plans for the spot in September 2015. Initially envisioned as a full-service restaurant, Lulu will instead embrace a fast-casual model. Pontes just recently decided to change things up in yet another way, moving food preparation from the back of the house to the area behind the bar, in full view of patrons.

“I was uncomfortable for a while because I get really emotionally attached to the concept … which is a terrible thing to be in business,” Pontes said of the decision to rearrange things. “Now I see, even though [the layout change] probably put us more weeks behind and more over budget, it’s really healthy for the long-term, for success.”

Both the rejiggered restaurant design — something the restaurateur hopes will embody “the energy” she wants the fresh-focused eatery to have — and the shift from full-service to fast-casual came at the advice of peers and mentors whose opinion she trusts, Pontes said.

Dropping the full-service model was a hard choice, she said, because she wanted to ensure the restaurant offered a spirit of hospitality that doesn’t end once the customer swipes a credit card. At the same time, she knows people want to have the speed and convenience that format can provide. Her goal? Be sure to marry the two.

“I’m willing to entertain the fast casual, if you can guarantee that we’re going to have enhanced hospitality until they walk out the door,” Pontes said. “It’s going to feel like a full-service restaurant after you swipe your card, or I’m not interested.”

Eleanor Kennedy covers Music City’s tourism, hospitality and music business industries.

Oktoberfest Nashville 2017

Oktoberfest Nashville 2017
What’s Cookin’ Germantown
October 13, 14, and 15 2017




Friday, Oct. 13 – 2pm to 10pm

Saturday, Oct. 14 – 10am to 10pm

Sunday, Oct. 15 – 10am to 8pm

Oktoberfest Germantown Nashville 2017

Here are a few highlights of the Nashville Oktoberfest:


VIP is the Ultimate All-Access Pass to the Oktoberfest, Nashville’s Oldest Festival & Biggest Party! Free Beer, Free Food, Free Commemorative Stein, Free Beer Tasting Sessions & Tasting Glass -> plus access to the VIP Lounge and Air Conditioned VIP Bathrooms.

Discounted prices available in advance. Regular priced tickets will be available at the event if not sold out. Gate price for the 1 Day VIP Pass is $99 and the 3 Day VIP Pass is $149. Buy early to save!


Help us celebrate Paulaner Brewery’s 500th Anniversary!  This year, we have more German beer at Oktoberfest than ever before.  All of our Draft Beer Stations will serving Paulaner and Hacker Pschorr brews imported straight from Germany! A special highlight this year is Paulaner’s Oktoberfest Wies’n, which is only brewed once per year in Munich.

Or visit our Beer Garden featuring 18-20 bottled beers from 10 different breweries. The Draft Beer Stations & the Beer Gardens are in public, free admission areas of the festival.


Each day of the Oktoberfest, we are featuring a 3 hour Beer Tasting inside the Oktoberfest Beer Garden. Participants can sample and enjoy as much as they like during the tasting session. Included is a souvenir Beer Tasting Glass etched with the 2017 Oktoberfest logo.  Beer Tastings are an exclusive part of our VIP Tickets.


More than 35 German, international and specialty food vendors will be at the Oktoberfest. We also have some of Nashville’s most popular food trucks participating in 2017! Visit our food page to see a listing of all participating food vendors.


The parade will begin at 1pm on Saturday, starting at the corner of 7th Ave North and Monroe St.  Heading this year’s parade will be Nashville Mayor Megan Barry! Get details and map location on the parade page. FREE TO ATTEND!


Take part in Tennessee’s 2nd largest 5K Run! The race is held on Saturday at 8 a.m. This is the 17th annual race through the streets of downtown Nashville.  Participants enjoy a free tshirt and celebratory beer (after the race, of course!). Sign up early to save on the race fee.


Three stages playing traditional German music all weekend! In addition to the Live German Music Stages, we have karaoke stages throughout the festival. For a full schedule of music and bands, please visit the music page below:


The Oktoberfest welcomes more than 110 specialty arts and crafts vendors this year, including members of TACA, the Tennessee Arts and Craft Association. Admission is free at Oktoberfest, so come see what Tennessee artisans are known for!


Oktoberfest is a family-friendly event! First stop for the kids is our Kinder Play Areas, which includes TWO Kids Zone sponsored by Nashville Parent Magazine. The Kids Zones have huge outdoor inflatables and kids activities.  Middle Tennessee Knockerball is also featuring a fun play area for kids and adults alike. Details on the Kids page linked below:


Ride Nashville’s only beer slide at the Oktoberfest! Ride for fun, or compete in the competition to be the Oktoberfest Beer Slide Champion. The Beer Slide is located in Morgan Park, just beside the Music Stage located at 5th and Taylor streets.  Additional details will be posted here soon.


A new annual tradition at the Nashville Oktoberfest! On Saturday at 3pm – at the Main Music Stage (7th & Monroe). Contestants compete to see who can eat the most Bratwursts in 10 minutes. Entry forms and details available here:


Saturday at 1pm as part of the Oktoberfest Parade. Dress up your pooch for an afternoon of fun! Prizes will be awarded in four different categories. FREE TO WATCH, come help vote for a winner!  Learn more or register your pet to participate:


Sunday starting at 3pm in Morgan Park. An annual Family Favorite at the Oktoberfest! Free to attend, the annual Wiener Dog races are a ton of fun! Proceeds benefit a local animal rescue charity in Germantown. FREE TO ATTEND! Learn more or register your pet to participate:


Visit our FAQ Page for answers to common questions people ask about the Nashville Oktoberfest.


Get directions to the festival, see FREE parking locations, and festival grounds.


Several city streets will be closed for the weekend in and around Germantown during Nashville Oktoberfest. For parking and road closure information, visit.

NASHVILLE, TN – German culture in a southern setting is the backdrop for the Nashville Oktoberfest, returning to historic Germantown Oct. 7, 8 & 9, where festival goers eat, drink and celebrate their German heritage (or lack of it). A Tennessee tradition since 1980, the Oktoberfest is Nashville’s oldest festival and the Largest Fall Festival in the South!

“This year we’re incorporating more activities like the Oktoberfest Beer Slide, which will be Nashville’s only, and a Bratwurst Eating Contest – plus more than 35 restaurant & food vendors on site and more than 110 craft booths,” states Michael King, event producer and the owner of Monell’s Restaurants in Nashville. “Of course one of the main staples at Oktoberfest is the beer, and this year we are celebrating the 500th anniversary of Paulaner Brewery. Every Draft Beer Station has 3 kinds of Paulaner beer imported from Germany – plus a special Oktoberfest brew from Munich. This year we’ve got nine Draft Beer Stations, plus Beer Tasting Gardens featuring 10 breweries and 18 different beers!” adds King.

The Nashville Oktoberfest is spread out over nine blocks in the historic neighborhood of Germantown just outside of downtown. The event caters to adults and kids of all ages. Two separate areas will be dedicated to children’s activities and feature Kids Zones, sponsored by Nashville Parent Magazine.

Another big draw is the free live music. There are three separate music stages at the event – each featuring German music and famous Oktoberfest Oompah bands.

More than 150,000 people are expected to attend and admission is FREE to the public. Visitors can purchase a VIP pass for the ultimate Oktoberfest experience. This year the VIP access areas are expanding with the VIP Lounge offering complimentary catered food and beer, access to the Beer Tasting Garden with unlimited tastings inside a three hour session, plus a commemorative 1 liter Nashville Oktoberfest Stein.


What’s Cookin Germantown