Brentwood’s steak and seafood restaurant, Mere Bulles, is no secret to Nashville diners, but their new lounge is a hidden gem. Tucked away inside the historic Maryland Manor restaurant with pops of azure blue and tan and a midcentury modern feel, the Magnolia Lounge offers an entirely new experience for those looking to get out for the evening - right here in Brentwood.
The new lounge is located to the right of the entrance and host stand, just past the restaurant's bar. Guests can expect to pop in for small plates and boozy or non-alcoholic cocktails or step outside to the newly renovated patio complete with fire pits, fans, and heaters that allow for dining in any weather. There's also a gorgeous magnolia mural prime for photo ops. Inside, The Magnolia Lounge will offer free snacks on Mondays through Thursdays from 4 to 6 pm and offer a selection of small bites for $8 each.
"We are a locally owned and operated restaurant that has a heavy focus on our community, The Magnolia Lounge is a product of guests telling us they don't want to go downtown, and they want an elevated cocktail experience in their backyard. So that is our main focus behind the complete patio remodel, and the creation of the Magnolia Lounge," says Mere Bulles Director of Operations, Brandon Styll.
Mere Bulles, now located in the historic landmark Maryland Manor in Brentwood, began as a Southern restaurant in downtown Nashville in 1985 - long before Broadway's blaring bachelorette heyday and multi-level honky-tonk situation that Music City is now known best for. The original Mere Bulles in downtown was a jazz club and hot spot, located where B.B. Kings was before it shut down a couple of years back.
The restaurant’s name translated to English means “mother bubbles” — named for the founder Rodney Wise’s wife, Shirley, who would watch grandchildren in exchange for a bottle of champagne. Steven Smithing bought the restaurant in 2007 after it moved from Nashville to Brentwood in 2001, but the restaurant business wasn’t new to the owner, who had worked in restaurants since his teenage years, when he began as a dishwasher in Memphis. He moved on to waiting tables, bartending, and managing (including at Mere Bulles) before jumping into the Nashville dining scene as a restaurateur. Today, the Smithings own Mere Bulles and Green Hills Grille, with a hint of a third neighborhood spot in Nashville to be announced this year.
With time and with neighborhood changes, the food at Mere Bulles has evolved over the years. The former downtown Southern restaurant and club now serves as one of Brentwood's only fine dining choices, in a stunning historic manor serving eclectic American seafood and steak. But Steven is focused on keeping the restaurant accessible to his community, and that includes the rollout of the Magnolia Lounge - an answer to the request of many guests over the years who don't want to make the drive downtown to have great drinks.
Mere Bulles offers a wine list of over a hundred vintages, along with happy hour events and specialty cocktails, including the namesake Mother Bubbles, a sparkling white wine dressed up with lemon and strawberry puree. For whiskey aficionados, there’s also a special “top shelf” spirits collection offering dozens of their exclusive offerings to sample by the ounce.
The large restaurant also serves as a very busy event space, hosting everything from holiday parties and bridal luncheons to rehearsal dinners and business events.
Tucked away inside the historic Maryland Manor restaurant with pops of azure blue and tan and a midcentury modern feel, the Magnolia Lounge offers an entirely new experience for those looking to get out for the evening - right here in Brentwood.