WOOLWORTH ON FIFTH
A Welcome Table
The menu at Woolworth on 5th explores the Southern culinary arts, and its role in our country’s history. Our classic dishes respect Woolworth’s place in history, while our modern techniques and flavor profiles celebrate how far we’ve come. Using innovative techniques and flavor profiles that can be traced around the globe, we explore the roots of Southern cuisine and the traditional comfort foods aligned with the region’s most celebrated dishes.
Lunch and dinner guests can also select from our “Counter Classic” menu options that most closely represent popular dishes available at the original restaurant. Guests can also end their meal with classic soda fountain favorites, including three different sizes of banana splits.
Our beverage program celebrates the building’s original diner aesthetic, serving accessible, handcrafted soda fountain-inspired cocktails, as well as a curated list of wine and beer.
The Past and Present of the Woolworth Building
F.W. Woolworth first opened its doors in Nashville in 1913. One of the original “five and dime” stores, the lunch counter at Woolworth opened in 1925 to feed shoppers and workers in downtown Nashville.
In September 1941, a fire on the second floor destroyed the interior of the structure leaving only the front and rear walls intact. A year later the store reopened, restored with better displays, new lighting, and two lunch counters: one on the main floor and a second on the mezzanine level. The new building also added the large red marquis sign outside with the famous F.W. Woolworth name.
In 2018, a massive restoration effort was completed to open Woolworth on 5 th , reprising the original Woolworth as a restaurant and venue that honors its history and invites everyone to sit at the welcome table. Through extensive preservation efforts, the space features much of the original architecture, including the upper level mezzanine, gilded handrails and wall accents, and hand-laid tile. Patched holes in the mezzanine’s original flooring remain to show the location of the formerly segregated lunch counter.
The parts of the 18,000-square-foot space that could not be preserved were recreated to echo the style of the past: flowing staircases, the rebuilt lunch counter, wood-paneled walls, turquoise colors and an art deco-inspired vibe. The space remains true to its past, while creating new traditions for the future.
Today, the building is a registered historic site as part of the Fifth Avenue Historic District in downtown Nashville. The new Woolworth on 5th honors the history of this space by serving as a welcome table for all – an upbeat atmosphere with food, music, dancing that everyone can enjoy.