07 October 2009

Lost City: Tennessee Edition: Gerst Haus Restaurant

This sign, on an otherwise charmless intersection in Nashville, Tennessee, caught my attention during a recent visit to the city.

The eatery—German, obviously—has been around since 1955, but the Gerst family goes further back. They owned the Gerst Brewery from 1890 to 1955. The back bar in the restaurant was brought over from the original brewery. One early Gerst owned Donau, the Kentucky Derby winner of 1910, the only Nashville horse to ever win the Derby.

The Gerst Haus used to be located near the Nashville Courthouse, but relocated on Woodland Street in 1970. However, it had to be demolished in 1998 to make way for the Tennessee Titans stadium, so it move a few doors down Woodland. It offers wiener schnitzel, bratwurst, and corned beef and cabbage, and has the "Best" Reuben sandwich in Nashville. (What's their competition, I wonder?) They feature giant frozen fishbowls of our own Gerst Amber beer, as well as 26 draughts and a large selection of imported beers.

No Gersts are involved anymore. Jim and Jerry Chandler bought the place in 1988.

1 comment:

Ken Mac said...

German food does me in but this is fantastic. I grew up with a German family. The father was a former Hitler youth. WE'd sit around on New Year's Eve and toast from shot glasses adorned with swastikas. What can I say? I was a dumb kid.