The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2017

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Page 122 of 124

122  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2017 If you've never been to Nashville, you might imagine a place full of honky-tonks, country stars, and cheap beer—and you wouldn't be wrong. But past the cans of Bud Light and PBR, one bar is changing the way people experience Music City, U.S.A. Acme Feed & Seed is a multi-level venue offering a different experience depending on which floor you visit, and no matter where you end up, you won't find a single can of light beer. That's thanks to Monte Silva, the GM of Acme Feed & Seed. Silva grew up in Los Angeles and started in the restaurant business as a dishwasher at the age of 15. Over the past 38 years, he's worked with chefs and restaurants like Wolfgang Puck, Bound'ry, and Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse. He moved to Nashville in 2005 and has been changing the bar scene ever since. "Broadway [the street the bar is located on] is the land of the honky-tonks. It's the home of Bud Light—Country Disneyland," Silva says. "We made the conscious effort to not be one of those bars." And they succeeded. The first floor offers 23 beers on tap and includes an exclusive Acme Rooster Brew by Fat Bottom Brewing Co. You can also enjoy elevated street food like "redneck" lo mein served with collard greens, black-eyed peas, and an andouille soy glaze. The second floor offers a craft cocktail list featuring exclusive Acme spirits from Woodford Reserve and Ole Smoky; a sushi bar stocked with fresh fish is also avail- able. Finally, the rooftop bar provides expansive views of the Cumberland River and east Nashville. Silva's execution of the multi-level bar hasn't gone unnoticed by competitors. "We've had a lot of copy- cats," Silva says. "It's about staying ahead of the game." After decades in the business, Silva knows the key to keep customers coming back is to ensure every person who walks into Acme Feed & Seed feels welcome. "Hospitality and service have played a major part in our success," he continues. "If someone says it's their first date since their baby was born, it's our responsibil- ity to make the night more special than they could even imagine." Acme Feed & Seed has seen a lot of success in the past year, serving thousands of patrons, hosting events by Jack Daniel's, and adding new experiences—all three stories of them—to Nashville's bar scene. Taking care of regulars who come in. Employees who live and breathe hospitality. Creating cocktails and wine lists. Making someone's special occasion even more special. The camarade- rie and great friendships of other industry people. Employees who don't care about their craft. Pretentious chefs who refuse to alter a dish for their guest. Unoriginality. Guests who watch an episode of Chopped and think they're a food expert. THE "5" LIST MONTE SILVA'S TOP FIVE FAVES MONTE SILVA'S TOP FIVE PET PEEVES TAKING INVENTORY WITH . . . Cell phones. MONTE SILVA GENERAL MANAGER AT ACME FEED & SEED IN NASHVILLE, TN by Ludwig Ahgren PHOTO COURTESY OF ACME FEED & SEED

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