The unpaved parking lot, full of pot holes and loose gravel, casually informs visitors to park wherever they can find room.
Christmas lights hang year-round outside the teal building, highlighting the covered porch and illuminating a path to the front door.
A lighthearted mood floats throughout the establishment. School lockers are used as a storage solution and a large portrait of Tom Selleck hangs in the middle of the room.
The Stone Fox, a restaurant and bar, has an eclectic, laid back style that attracts a diverse crowd of Nashvillians to the Nations, an up-and-coming neighborhood that sits in the middle of residential and industrial West Nashville.
One customer wears a full length fur while another wears a short denim jacket.
“People come in from every part of the city depending on the event,” said Lauren Walker, an employee since before the business opened in 2012.
Walker played a significant role in the vast remodeling and interior design phases of the business.
The building was previously home to Lynn’s Den, a rundown biker bar notorious for its rowdy regulars, drop ceilings and dirty old couches where customers could sleep it off until the next morning.
Now, the open floor plan welcomes everyone to grab a seat and chill with their favorite domestic or local brew.
The retro tables and concert posters mixed with old school tunes brings a sense of nostalgia to the room.
The thoughtful placement of thrift store finds and reclaimed junk cannot be ignored. Refurbished pallet wood covers the bar, stage and benches in a sitting area.
A sprawling 3-D map of the United States, put together in a puzzle-like fashion, hangs dramatically above an old church pew, where music lovers can get a front row seat of the tinsel clad stage while enjoying a bite to eat.
There’s an “Usher theme” here, said Walker from behind the bar where she strategically rearranges bottles and glasses to her liking.
“We named our taxidermy fox Usher because the real Usher actually graced us with his presence during a trip to Ikea in Atlanta,” said Walker.
The owners knew what they wanted to name the business before any other plans were made. The name inspiration came from a James Brown album called Stone Fox, a strong fit for the music-loving bar and restaurant that doubles as a low key music venue.
“We’re really diverse here with different bands and DJs,” said Walker. “We embrace it all.”
The hospitality at The Stone Fox is undeniable, like the open arms of a family member ready to share a warm embrace mixed with the best friend who can throw down a couple of drinks regardless of the day of the week.
Tom Petty sings “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” suitable for this calm Thursday afternoon.
The western sun beams through the front windows. Even in the daylight, the stiff drinks are poured without judgmental glares. Anything goes here.
A blonde-bearded man, resembling a lumberjack in his hunter green flannel button down, enters the room and plops at the end of the bar with a sigh.
“Can I get a whiskey, please?” he said to Walker.
The bartender doesn’t hesitate to fill a mason jar with ice cubes and booze.
Wes Louis, the cook, keeps to himself, sips his drink and quietly studies his cell phone.
As the clock approaches 5 p.m., the happy-hour clientele begin trickling in.
In pairs of two and groups of four, people pile in like someone rang the dinner bell.
The soft roar of friendly chatter replicates a high school lunchroom, where people barely talking to stuff their face with juicy cheeseburgers or crispy golden chicken fingers. Served in baskets, fancy presentation does not matter here. The mouth fulls of food reflect passing grades on the taste test.
The kitchen offers a small yet versatile food selection. Vegetarian and health conscious options like salads and veggie burgers offset the typical bar food selection of meat and grease.
The daily drink and food specials are hand written in a rainbow of colors on a chalkboard hanging by the bar. The desserts, most of which the owner’s mom, Adele Tyler, makes from scratch, sweeten up bottom of the list.
An event calendar thumbtacked to the wall, informs patrons of upcoming events and concerts at The Stone Fox. Country Sundays, bingo night, Rock N Roll trivia night and several 18 and over shows fill the calendar for weeks to come. They host a festivity for everyone’s fancy.
As the sun sets, the ambiance of the indoor patio lighting warms the room.
The music changes to a more upbeat sound when a 90s hip hop record by A Tribe Called Quest starts rapping through the speakers.
People’s heads immediately move up and down almost subconsciously bobbing to the beat.
Some of the customers head home after dinner, others stay until last call.
Some of them drink craft beer, others take shots of Old Grand-Dad bourbon.
The blended crowd reflects the hospitable vibe of The Stone Fox and promises a good time to everyone who walks through the front door.