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BEST PLACE TO GET AN OLD-FASHIONED SHAVE: MICHAEL MARTIN AT PARLOUR & JUKE
Ten years ago, when Michael Martin was still a touring bass player, he'd cut his bandmates' hair for fun.

"I enjoyed it, but I never considered going to cosmetology school, " he says. "It seemed so girly."

Barber school was another story. After graduating from Genesis Career College in Lebanon, Martin joined the team at Parlour & Juke, the newish salon in Cannery Row where members of The Black Keys and the Third Man Records crew stop in for services.

The Louisiana native specializes in traditional haircuts, beard trims — "Nothing drastic: If it's too neat, it looks prissy" — and most notably, straight-razor shaves. The old-school style of de-whiskering has become increasingly rare in Nashville over the past decade, and until Martin began welcoming clients into his antique barber's chair, was virtually impossible to find practiced by someone under 60.

It helps that Parlour & Juke, with its pleasantly twisted take on classic Americana decor — think weird taxidermy, weathered flags and vintage rock posters — isn't a typical beauty shop.

"I can invite guys to come in for a shave and not worry that everything's going to be pink with techno music playing, " Martin, 31, says of P&J's cool vibe and hip clientele. "It's pampering, but in the manliest way possible." LIBBY CALLAWAY

BEST FREE RIDE: MUSIC CITY CIRCUIT
There's no such thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as a free ride to lunch — and if your target meal is anywhere near downtown, hopping on the Music City Circuit bus is arguably your best bet. We at the Scene are lucky enough to have a stop for the Green Circuit (one of three downtown routes) less than a block from our office doors, but we'd gladly walk further to take advantage of the service, which runs a loop about every 15 minutes, takes the grind of parking out of the equation and, just as importantly, lets you sit back and watch the city go by. STEVE HARUCH

BEST THRIFT STORE: SOUTHERN THRIFT
High above the Charlotte Pike location of Southern Thrift is a neon sign featuring a radiating sun and the tagline "Just tryin' to make ends meet, " shining like a beacon to Nashville thrifters. Southern Thrift is a longtime local favorite for many reasons, including the daily half-off specials and the clip-and-save coupons that run in fine publications like this one. But the thing that keeps folks coming back is the selection, which ranges from chic (Pucci nightgowns, Prada pumps) to freak (weird folk art, pottery projects gone bad-wrong) with plenty of old coffee makers and Herb Alpert albums in between. LIBBY CALLAWAY

BEST CLOTHING SHOP CO-OWNED BY A RAPPER: LOVE IS EARTH
"I grew up skateboarding and listening to hip-hop, and that's what shaped my world, " says The Purple Monk, part-owner of the Church Street urban boutique Love Is Earth. He adds that he helped start up the Nashville outpost (there's another shop in Boone, N.C.) in order to "bring true street-wear fashion to Nashville, as well as building with the community and culture." The Purple Monk (not an actual monk) is also a member of the group/label Ziggurat, which has commanded stages all around town with rapid-fire rhymes and energy to burn, including an appearance at this year's SoundLand festival. So if you're looking for box-fresh threads — including brands like Mishka, HUF and Rockmith — served up by dudes who walk the walk, this is your joint. Oh, and another hint that the store is legit: DJ Kidsmeal works there. STEVE HARUCH

BEST ROCK 'N' ROLL HAIRSTYLIST: CHELSEA NICHOL
Finding the perfect hairstylist is harder than finding the perfect mate. (Hairstylists are also harder to break up with.) Those who have found themselves in Chelsea Nichol's capable, artistic hands know they've got a good thing going. Nichol — who looks like she should be fronting a band, or perhaps dating the guy who does — is a sheer genius with cut and color. She'll suggest a style you haven't even thought of, won't let you tread down the wrong path, and will always leave you feeling infinitely cooler. The conversation is pretty exceptional, too. ABBY WHITE PLACHY

BEST DENTIST: KATHERINE HALL, DDS
In the heart of downtown Nashville, in the old Doctors' Building, you'll find one of the city's best-kept secrets in dentistry. Katherine Hall is the kind of dentist you hope for, a genial pragmatist who doesn't turn a diagnosis into a sentencing. She's got a deft hand with sharp, pointy things and a killer wit. One of the many Nashville dentists who volunteers with the Interfaith Dental Clinic (a wonderful group helping the city's most endangered teeth), Hall has a lively office, a great staff, and an unswerving dedication to making your teeth look and act their best. JASON SHAWHAN

BEST COMBINATION GUITAR SHOP AND VINTAGE BOUTIQUE: FANNY'S HOUSE OF MUSIC/DIAMOND STAR HALO VINTAGE
What's better than a guitar shop and a vintage boutique in one? Nothing. Fanny's is a little piece of East Nashville synergy, where you can get your groove on trying out basses and guitars, and also get your style on trying out pristine vintage finds from Diamond Star Halo. They stock men's and women's clothing, so everyone can look good whatever the occasion. Fanny's is lady musician-owned, and they also offer lessons for anyone who needs or wants them. JO-JO JACKSON

BEST ECO-FRIENDLY BUSINESS IDEA: NASHVILLE FOODSCAPES
Many would-be locavores possess the seedlings of idealism, but don't know how to nourish them with the waters of know-how and practical experience. They've been totally thinking of planting some tomatoes or something — for the past 10 summers. If that's you, make a call to Nashville Foodscapes. Started by local horticulture guru Jeremy Lekich, this innovative business takes the trial-and-error out of turning your yard into a pesticide-free edible Eden. Set up a consultation, and they'll make a design to your specs, plant a veggie garden or fruit orchard, help with maintenance — even set up a compost pile. EMILY BARTLETT HINES

BEST CARGO CULT: TRADER JOE'S
True, Trader Joe's — "TJ" to my household, which should just mainline direct-deposit straight into its registers — lacks a lot of the amenities of a Kroger (24-hour convenience, pharmacies) or Publix (deli counters, on-site bakery). Nor is it nearly as dirt-cheap as its distant corporate cousin ALDI ("Where Belgian Chocolate Goes to Die"). But if boutique mega-markets such as Whole Foods traffic in what Michael Pollan called "supermarket pastorals" — green-leaning packaging that camouflages a product's true economic and environmental footprint — Trader Joe's tends to make even the stuff that's good for you seem as enticingly goofy as junk food, with its tiki-lounge motifs and kitschy sub-brands (e.g., spaghetti sauce from "Trader Giotto"). Walk in cold, and you'll feel like the guy who didn't get the memo about Talk Like a Pirate Day. Its products inspire a kind of cultish devotion, whether as gift items (the many plastic tubs of arcane international sweets) or household staples (try the frozen mandarin orange chicken bites!). Say, know what you get when you mix Trader Joe's Turkey Chili with a tub of spreadable Pub Cheese? Addicted. JIM RIDLEY

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Q&A

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What restaurants in Nashville, TN are good for large groups?

Margaritaville on Broadway will take large call ahead groups.

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Where's a good restaurant in Nashville Tennessee?

If you like pizza, try Pizza Perfect by Vanderbilt.


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