“Because you don’t have to wait for something to be gone to revisit it.”
Several weeks ago, we told you about our plans for a new blog series all about those iconic Nashville-area places and things that could one day wind up in a Memories of Nashville show, but don’t need to yet. Inspired by the near-loss of Elliston Soda Place, we want to highlight those places that have been open for decades, but are maybe taken for granted and not patronized regularly. Since that post, we’ve been busy taking note of all the places we can think of that fit into this category and we’re finally ready to start sharing them with you. First up, The Peanut Shop in the Arcade in downtown Nashville.
The Peanut Shop
Location: The Arcade, Nashville, TN 37219
History: Tucked into the Arcade in Downtown Nashville, the Peanut Shop is many things: a roaster, a candy shop and chock full of nuts. Crammed to the gills with nutty treats and eclectic knick knacks, the Peanut Shop has been continuously serving customers since 1927 when it opened as a Planter’s Peanut Shop. Planter’s closed their retail stores in 1961, but the Peanut Shop lives on under current owner Kathy Bloodworth.
Why Go? The name of this establishment should tell you what the store’s main item is. But on any given day, the menu features roasted, candied, boiled and chocolate-covered nuts of all kinds as well as candies of all kinds and other tasty snacks such as Goo Goo Clusters, chocolate covered pretzels and Moon Pies. But the menu tells only part of the story. For many, it’s also about the atmosphere. Kathy greets every customer with a big smile, and her cheerful demeanor is enough to brighten anyone’s day. But nothing elicits the same awe-inspired response as the shop itself. Walking into the Peanut Shop is like taking a step back in time. Every available space is filled with peanut paraphernalia, vintage signs and toys, historic photographs and nuts. Lots of nuts. Kept in bags and barrels and piled in corners and even the middle of the floor, the shop is full of nuts just waiting to be roasted. The nuts and candies are kept in bulk bins and every purchase is measured using an old fashioned “over/under” scale. The store still roasts peanuts, cashews and other nuts each day in a roasting oven delightfully dubbed “Little Bertha.” Boiled peanuts, a Southern delicacy – and an acquired taste – are also prepared on site. And if you’re lucky, you might even get to visit with “Mr. Peanut” himself.
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