A Look Inside: Melrose Billiard Parlor

July 24, 2019 | Advertising Disclosure | Our Partners may be mentioned in this article.

Melrose Billiard Parlor, which originally opened in 1944, reopened at the end of 2016 under the direction of A.Ray Hospitality. A.Ray Hospitality owns and operates two other nearby restaurants — M.L. Rose and The Sutler — and has been at the forefront of bringing new life to the Melrose area since 2008. When Melrose Billiards was available for lease, the company decided to take over the space in an effort to update and maintain the dive bar Nashvillians have grown to love. Nashville Guru got a look inside the revamped space.

The Interior

You make your way down a flight of stairs to a dark space with a hint of smoke and popcorn in the air. There’s a huge bar, booths, tables, bar stools and a cigarette machine to buy late-night smokes. The décor includes neon signs, old newspaper clippings, and an old pay phone. The ceilings and walls maintain a touch of the space’s history, especially the “ghost stairs” on the wall by the shuffleboard, which once led to the ladies restroom. An open hallway connects to The Sutler Cellar, so patrons can easily walk between the two sister properties.

The Ghost Stairs:

The Games

A multitude of games fill the open room, including three oversized 9-foot regulation tables, two 8-foot regulation tables, two ping pong tables, shuffleboard, darts, foosball, Golden Tee, and tabletop video trivia. A net surrounds the ping pong tables to keep the balls from flying out of control. Pool is $9 per hour or $4.50 during happy hour.

The Menu & Specials

The menu at Melrose Billiard Parlor is limited and simple, just like you’d expect at a dive bar, with options like a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, a fried chicken sandwich, and a double dog. There are 12 beers on tap, primarily consisting of local breweries like Black Abbey, Yazoo, and Jackalope. Some of their most popular drinks, though, include Miller Highlife 40s and homemade shots. A popcorn machine pops around-the-clock, providing guests with a free snack while they play pool or enjoy a cold one. See the full menu.

The Exterior

The low-key entrance to Melrose Billiards is located next to The Sutler. There’s a sign, but the red door is easier to spot.

The Details

If you don’t mind a little smoke (particularly after 10pm), Melrose Billiard Parlor is a joint you have to check out.

For more details on the history and takeover of Melrose Billiards, read new owner Austin Ray’s “An Open Letter to Anyone Who Cares About Melrose Billiards.” 

 “Change comes whether we like it or not, but sometimes we get lucky enough to influence how it happens and keep some things alive that might otherwise fade away forever.” — Austin Ray, A.Ray Hospitality Founder

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