Opening of a four-level Layer Cake for a bar and restaurant in Nashville

A four-level bar and restaurant, admittedly suitable for social media and singles, has opened in Sobro – or at least three of its four “layers” have opened. The Layer Cake Social Club’s ground floor bar, rooftop and Cherry Lounge, an invite-only cocktail bar, are now open at 127 3rd Avenue South, dining to follow on Monday, June 6.

Layer Cake is owned by Dallas-based hotel group Milkshake Concepts, the team behind a number of stylish bar-restaurants, including Citizen, Stirr and Vidorra. The restaurant group‘s CEO, Imran Sheikh, calls Layer Cake an “adventure to choose from”, with each floor serving a different menu and setting. The casual downstairs bar serves fairly broad and simple menus of bar fare like a smash burger, French dip, duck fat tater, and pulled pork sliders. This floor promises a “rotation of artists performing new takes where the variety of genres knows no bounds”, which would seem to mean that it will host various forms of entertainment and performance.

Pulled pork sliders
Mandy Reid / Milkshake Concepts

Next, directionally, is the Dining Room (opening Monday, June 6), the full-service restaurant serving modern American cuisine in a “more refined” setting. This menu offers a hodgepodge of cuisines, with sections for steak, wok dishes like Kung Pao chicken and Mongolian beer, and flatbreads. Main courses include mushroom parpadelle and Cajun chicken fries, an interesting designation for a dish featuring blackened chicken, lemon buerre blanc sauce, capers and tomatoes. The wine list here is extensive, with bottles ranging from $47 to $553 (glasses range from $13 to $25 (a glass of Meiomi Pinot Noir is $14).

Parpadelle with mushrooms.
Mandy Reid / Milkshake Concepts

The rooftop, which is marked by neon signs reading “Til Death Do Us Party” and “Wish You Were Here,” is the clubby level, hosting live DJ sets every night and offering bottle service, drinks and more. premium spirits and “dedicated staff to cater to every whim”, which seems like a dangerous promise. Food from the downstairs menu is available, and the bar menu adds a few frozen drinks and large-format cocktails like the Broadway Girl, which is served with a cotton candy garnish.

The Girl from Broadway.
Mandy Reid / Milkshake Concepts

The Cherry Room, which has its own separate website, is meant to be shrouded in mystery. “Moody and intimate,” as the restaurant group puts it, it will offer “personalized” indoor experiences and private parties, and while it’s supposed to be invitation-only, it looks like diners can inquire about the VIP table service by sending an SMS to a phone number.

Throughout, the “layers” are dotted with murals and what the company calls neon-illustrated social media-friendly sayings “that encapsulate the spirit of each layer.” Milkshake Concepts has in-house artists creating this work, apparently an interesting extension of the model of many hotel groups use for their art.

Layer Cake is just the beginning of Milkshake Concepts’ rollout in Nashville, the first city Sheikh has expanded to outside of Dallas. He intends to bring three additional restaurants to the city: Harper’s, a steakhouse to open behind Pinewood Social; the Finch, which will open in the former home of the flying saucer; and a Vidorra location, a Mexican restaurant that was the company’s second to open in Dallas. The company is one of many restaurant groups are currently flocking to Nashville from cities like New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Layer Cake’s ground floor bar and rooftop are currently open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight on weekdays and until 2 a.m. on weekends. Cherry Lounge is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and when the dining room opens on June 6, it will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and until 11 p.m. on weekends.

About James Almanza

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