Benchmark Opens Second Location Across From Vanderbilt on 21st



The folks who run Benchmark Nashville clearly have no fear. They have recently opened a second outpost of their Second Avenue eatery in the space at 204 21st Ave. S. that many longtime Nashville residents still refer to as "the Ireland's building." Since the bygone home of Nashville's best steak and biscuits closed down years ago, the building has hosted a string of late establishments, including Nick & Rudy's Steakhouse, The Frayed Knot, Varsity Grille and most recently, Dooley's Tavern.

Outside of Nick & Rudy's, the other restaurants have been similar incarnations of a sports bar/music club catering to Vandy students and featuring live music, canned beers and shots. There are plenty of options for that sort of recreation in the area, and Winners, Losers and the Red Bar seem to have that market in Midtown covered, though their locations are a little more hidden than Benchmark's prominent spot on 21st Avenue.

Maybe Benchmark can make a better run at it with their complete lunch, dinner and bar menu, elevated cocktail creations, local beers and their "Famous Nashville Bushwhacker." Having already endangered my eyesight more than once dining at their Second Avenue location, I can attest that Benchmark makes some pretty solid food and that their service and drink selections makes them a good option for downtown pregame or concert night dining and drinking.

Still, it takes guts to open a college bar two weeks before graduation, so hopefully some locals will discover the new location and help them make it through the Vandyless summer. Midtown can always use some new lunchtime choices, especially with parking, so give them a try and report back here what you think.

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