New Member Spotlight: Fifty-First Kitchen & Bar

Nestled in the heart of Nashville’s up-and-coming The Nations neighborhood, Fifty-First Kitchen & Bar places the focus on crafting an intimate and memorable dining experience for its guests.

“We want people to feel comfortable and casual when they’re with us. We hope they feel like they’re visiting a friend who knows how to cook really, really well,” says Wilton Belk, operations manager at Fifty-First.

Located in a home built in the early 1900s, the space is warm and inviting with a stone fireplace in the center of the dining area, modern light fixtures and dark wood tones throughout. During warmer months, the large patio provides extra seating and is home to Fifty-First’s weekly “Jazz on the Patio” event.

With the creativity of Chef Francisco Vito at the helm, the dinner and bar menus are evolving on a regular basis in order to best match guests’ cravings.

“We’re not trying to fit into any culinary mold or genre. Our aim is simply to make delicious food with local ingredients,” Chef Vito says. “I make as much as I can from scratch, like our sausage, focaccia and smoked salmon.”

What isn’t made in-house is sourced from local vendors — the produce is grown by local farmers, the meat is from Bear Creek Farm and the fish is sustainably sourced from the Gulf.

The bar area will soon undergo alterations to transform into a more defined space. In addition to a variety of specialty cocktails, Fifty-First offers a full bar and a selection of more traditional beverages. The homemade mindset carries over to the bar, as fresh lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit juices are squeezed daily for cocktails. All of it is designed to create a memorable experience.

“We love having a small restaurant because you can get more personal and truly interact one-on-one with guests,” says Amy Bentley, general manager. “It seems counter-intuitive, but being smaller actually means that we can accommodate more. We can tailor the experience to you and truly pay attention to the minute details of your meal.”

Fifty-First Kitchen & Bar, located at 5104 Illinois Ave., is open for dinner Tuesday-Thursday from 5pm to 9pm and from 5pm to 10pm Friday and Saturday. Learn more at

(Fifty-First is starting a new happy hour special, the 2/10 Social Hour. It runs Tuesday through Friday from 5:00 to 6:30pm. Customers will receive $2 off all craft cocktails, beer and wine, plus 10% off all food.)