Despite living here for several years now, I am embarrassed to say that I have never put on a pair of cowboy boots. I’d always dreamt of owning my very own pair of red boots just like Lori Singer had in Footloose but I had somehow let this dream pass me by! If I wanted to consider myself a true resident of Nashville, I had to get some boots of my own. They didn’t have to be red, but they had to make Singer proud.
615 offers an abundance of places to get your western fix and no street does it better than Broadway. Like everyone else in this city, I had been anticipating the opening of Fifth + Broadway and couldn’t wait to check out all of the bites, boutiques, and yes, boots that they had to offer. Once I saw that Ariat was opening up a spot in the plaza, there was no excuse not to run down.
I decided I was gonna take myself out on a date (admittedly, solo dates are really the only kinds I go on these days) and get myself fitted for a pair of cowboy boots. That morning, I was particularly fixated on what kind of socks to wear to a boot fitting. But after some time (maybe too much time) debating, I settled on my thick, less than glamorous tennis socks and headed out to Ariat. I hoped the badass cowgirls at the store wouldn’t chuckle too hard.
I am here to tell you that the years of waiting for Fifth + Broadway to finally open were worth it. It is a must for date nights (both solo and with a partner), time with kids, retail therapy, live music, and cocktails with girlfriends. The plaza includes three levels of dining and entertainment, ten bars, three stages, and (my favorite) an expansive rooftop music venue that overlooks Broadway.
Boots Made for Struttin’
I walked into Ariat and was immediately greeted by one of the lovely, badass cowgirls I had imagined earlier that morning. Laura McClellan, the store’s manager, gave me a quick tour around the store and sat me down on a cozy, leather ottoman for my fitting. As a California girl with a very New York (all black everything) type of closet, I was a bit worried that they wouldn’t have boots that matched my carefully curated closet. Lucky for me, they had a plethora of black and dark neutral options for me to choose from. Looking at the wall options, I selected three styles that I thought would best fit my taste and be a welcomed addition to my wardrobe. From the wall, I chose the Dixon in naturally distressed black, the Casanova in true black, and the Heritage R Toe in copper brown (to try my hand in an authentic cowboy look).
In my mind, a comfortable shoe is just as important as a stylish shoe and I’m a bit of a tough critic when it comes to comfortable footwear. I was slightly worried when I first put on my first pair because they were harder to yank on than I had expected. Clearly, I was very new to the cowboy boot game because this is a very common feat with real leather boots. When I stood up I was pleasantly surprised! Each pair of boots were very light and easy to walk in. What really sold me was that Ariat boots are made with (and the first to do so) athletic footwear technology, meaning there’s no impact shock when you’re dancing, running, or jumping in them.
After walking around in each pair, I was juggling between the Dixon (their most popular shoe) and the Casanova. The Dixons are great for everyday wear. They’re ankle boots with intricate detailing threaded on the leather. They’re a great go-to shoe for almost any outfit. The Casanovas are the pair to pick for a statement shoe. The style I chose in the Casanovas were black with white threading in the leather and white piping along the sides. What I liked about the Casanovas was that it elongated my shorter legs (a difficult thing to accomplish). Eventually, after much back and forth, I landed on the Casanovas. They’re a great piece to add interest and style to a simple outfit or to enhance an already fabulous look. Laura happily packed me a little bag with all of my goodies and sent me on my way.
Date Done Right
After saying my goodbyes to the lovely team at Ariat, I took my big ole bag across the way to Elixr Coffee. The coffee shop is new to the Nashville area but is a fan favorite in Philadelphia! Inside they have an incredible art sculpture hanging from the ceiling that perfectly matches the fun, pink shelving displayed on the walls. After debating over all of the caffeinated beverages, I settled on my classic order of an oat milk latte but this time with a pump of vanilla (to spice things up). I was on a date after all! The latte was perfect and I will be coming back as soon as possible to try their Charcoal Lemonade (your guess is as good as mine).
I’m excited to come back to Fifth + Broadway, next time with my girlfriends (or a date, who knows!) and explore some of the tasty restaurants they have to offer. I’ve got my eye on prancing around Blanco Cocina + Cantina or The Twelve Thirty Club (coming soon!) in my boots and (finally) being able to wear my Nashvillian badge proudly.