Benjamin and Max Goldberg

strategic hospitality nyc

Strategic Hospitality’s Max and Ben Goldberg are kings when it comes to Nashville nightlife. The city seems to be theirs, with projects ranging from restaurants, concert spaces and sweet shops to bars and innovative nightlife venues. With notable spots such as Merchants, Patterson House, Aerial, Paradise Park and The Catbird Seat under their belt, (including a new restaurant – Pinewood Social – in the pipeline) it’s no wonder they’ve fast made names for themselves since launching the business in 2006. Here’s their take on everything food and lifestyle…

BENJAMIN GOLDBERG

Your new favorite spot…

Rolf and Daughters. I really love this place; both the food and the cocktail programs are great additions to the city. I seem to end up there pretty often!

What’s the drink you just discovered?

I am not sure if I just discovered it, but I have really been on a Boulevardier kick recently.

The trick to keeping a place “in…”  

There are no “tricks” in this business. I believe that you just have to work hard every day to exceed the guests expectations. If you are able to continually push to ensure the guest appreciates the experience, they will come back.

What keeps people coming back?

Having a staff that executes the vision for the space. If the people working in the restaurant engage the guests and are having fun, people will come back.

The restaurant you go to for the scene…

I am not really a “scene-y” type person…

The restaurant you go to for the food…  

City House

Is there a new nighttime hangout you’ve just fallen in love with?

I have been really into restaurant bars recently. I find myself grabbing a quick bite to eat at the bar and staying after to have drinks there.

What’s a new Nashville area you’ve just become obsessed with?

Recently we moved into a new neighborhood – 12th South – and I absolutely love it. My wife and I now tend to walk to lots of Sunday lunches and dinners. It is just a really nice family friendly neighborhood with lots of shops, restaurants and bars.

A new trend that you love…

People paying attention to all the details of the restaurant. Most restaurants are getting away from offering everything to everybody and really focusing on what they want to do.

A new trend you don’t get…

I don’t know if it’s new, but I can’t stand those battery powered fake candles.

What are some new favorite cities for food? Where do you go to in each?

I went to Atlanta recently and ate really, really well.  The Optimist, No. 246, and Empire State South were all amazing. When I travel, I tend to look for “off the beaten path” sort of places. One of the best meals of my life was this divey Cuban place near a trailer park in Key West. It was a huge, delicious portion of food for $7.

It wasn’t a vice, but it may be becoming one…

Coffee…especially Crema Coffee. Not only do I love the coffee, I just love the people that go and the environment there.

A hidden Nashville gem that won’t stay hidden for long…

I hope it stays hidden for a long time, but the Beacon Light Tea Room in Bon Aqua [Tennessee] is really special to my family.

The restaurant that never goes out of style…

Balthazar in New York City

What’s not a “thing” in the Nashville restaurant scene that should be?

Dining later. People tend to eat pretty early here.

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