The fabric of Nashville

Located at 221 5th Avenue North, the Woolworth building is a registered historic site as part of the Fifth Avenue Historic District in downtown Nashville. One of the original “five and dime” stores, F. W. Woolworth became the site of some of the first lunch counter sit-ins during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement in 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.

Woolworth then and now

F.W. Woolworth first opened its doors in Nashville in 1913. The five-and-dime store attracted shoppers looking for quality and value. In fact, this block of 5th Avenue would later include three other national five-and-dime stores: Kress, McClellan and Walgreens. The lunch counter at Woolworth opened in 1925. All food items on the menu cost no more than ten cents each. Coca-Cola and root beer were sold for five cents.

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.

The new Woolworth on 5th reprises the original Woolworth as a restaurant and venue that honors its history and invites everyone to sit at the welcome table. Through a massive restoration effort, much of the original architecture was preserved, including the upper level mezzanine, gilded handrails and wall accents, and hand-laid tile. 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.

A welcome table

The menu at Woolworth on 5th explores the roots and history of Southern culinary arts, with ingredients and techniques that can be traced all over the globe. Woolworth on 5th boasts a menu that is packed with flavor and tradition.

The beverage program at Woolworth on 5th is inspired by the building’s previous life as a diner, where guests can order from a menu of accessible, soda fountain-inspired cocktails, wine and beer.