Earlier this year, the historic Hermitage Hotel announced that internationally celebrated chef and restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten is tapped to revamp the hotel’s entire culinary program, from top to bottom, while the hotel also sees design updates throughout.
This week they shared some of the details for the two new restaurants set for their debut this October — Drusie & Darr and The Pink Hermit — easily some of the most anticipated restaurant openings of the year.
Drusie & Darr
As suspected, the iconic Capitol Grille will be no more. In its place, they introduce Drusie & Darr as the new star of the show. With Drusie & Darr, Vongerichten has envisioned a convivial, contemporary restaurant and bar that will showcase the abundance of Tennessee’s regional produce, some of which will be sourced from The Hermitage Hotel’s Garden at Glen Leven. The menu, inspired by the seasons and Tennessee’s rich culinary heritage, will welcome hotel guests and neighbors alike for everything from cocktails and a sophisticated evening out to a glass of wine and pizza from the wood-fired oven, or a relaxed family dinner.
Opening in late October, the restaurant is named after brother and sister Drusie and Darr Hall, the children of the hotel’s former General Manager, Dick Hall. With a childhood seemingly plucked from a storybook, the duo lived, played, and grew up in the hotel during the 1950s and ‘60s, winning over the hearts of staff and guests and having adventures large and small, such as helping the banquet team plate dishes during events and helping the elevator operator run the elevators up and down.
The Hermitage Hotel’s former Capitol Grille dining room and bar are undergoing a modern update from award-winning interior designer Thomas Juul-Hansen, the mastermind behind the interiors of all Jean-Georges’ restaurants. The revamped space will honor the room’s iconic architectural details but will add a whole new ambiance with plenty of natural materials like metal, wood, leather, and stone with lots of dramatic lighting from L’Observatoire International to uplift those famous arched ceilings. A new, dedicated restaurant entrance will be directly accessible from Sixth Avenue, establishing the venue as a dining destination unto itself.
The Pink Hermit
The Pink Hermit is set to open in late fall on the corner of Union and Sixth Avenue, a chic cafe and take-out focused spot. The name comes from the definition of hermitage as “a secluded retreat” and the intimate space, designed by Thomas Juul-Hansen, comes clad in pale pink and gray marble with plenty of cozy seating inside and out. The cafe will evolve throughout the day, from coffee bar with pastries aplenty to to-go lunchtime — and later, a wine bar serving small bites, champagne, and craft cocktails prime for pre-and post- theater meet-ups.
And the ladies' bathroom finally gets its day in the sun, after years of ladies sneaking in the storied art deco men’s room for a selfie. A whimsical punctuation mark to the modern updates of the ground-floor and lower-level restaurants will be a new, 21stcentury answer to The Hermitage Hotel’s famous 1930s-era Art Deco men’s room (Nashville’s original “photo moment”). Aglamorous new ladies’ room debuts this fall, in with an equally photo-worthy look. Taking its cue from the men’s room’s horizontal tilework in stripes of lime green and black, the new ladies’ room will be lavishly decorated with striped walls of variegated pink marble, inlaid marble flooring, arched doorways, rose gold-framed mirrors, and glam lighting throughout.
Known as Nashville’s “original million-dollar property”, The Hermitage Hotel is a timeless icon, sitting pretty in the heart of downtown Nashville. It is recognized as a national historic landmark and has been honored by the Historic Hotels of America for its continued excellence. The Hermitage Hotel has been a gathering spot in the city for over 110 years