Project Feature: Virago’s New Location
The Nashville restaurant scene is in the middle of a boom. New establishments seem to open every week. There is no shortage of inspired, unique experiences throughout Music City. The level of craftsmanship rivals that of other notable cities like San Francisco and New York.
However, it wasn’t always this way. Nashville itself has seen a large expansion over the last ten years, and a selection of high-class restaurants has accompanied this growth. But back in 2000, the options for high-concept independent restaurants were pretty slim. And this is where Chris Hyndman stepped in.
For almost 20 years, Virago has set the standard for asian fusion food in Music City. They recently moved into a new location with some help from Kings Commercial Interiors. Let’s look into why this is such a noteworthy accomplishment.
Opening in Midtown
Chris Hyndman opened the first Virago location in the Midtown neighborhood of Nashville. He wanted to create an experience that would rival independent restaurants in bigger markets like those in California. Virago opened its doors to offer their take on sushi and asian cuisine. They placed a focus not only on well-prepared food, but also a dynamic dining experience.
This was created with a contemporary design throughout the restaurant. The ambiance and emotion this elicited provided a unique experience that quickly gained a lot of well-deserved attention.
Virago set the standard for local asian-inspired eateries. The movement of singular, unique restaurants continued to grow over the next twenty years throughout Nashville. Virago was at the forefront of this movement, but that doesn’t mean they have become outdated throughout the years. In fact, they soon outgrew their first location and moved to the popular Gulch neighborhood.
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Relocation to the Gulch
The Gulch is known to be one of the more swanky neighborhoods in Nashville. Chic hotels and fashion boutiques line the streets along with upscale restaurants. People know they are in for a high-quality experience when visiting the establishments of the area. Virago fit right in when they moved to a new location in the Gulch in 2010.
This new location allowed Virago to stretch its legs. The space is larger than that of their Midtown location, including a rooftop patio and dining area. The decoration was very modern and chic, making use of low lighting and vibrant colors.
The rooftop affords gorgeous views of downtown Nashville as well as Union Station. Booths, a bar, and high top tables afford multiple options for comfortable seating. An overhead cover protects visitors from summertime sunshine and stray showers. It is credited as one of the first rooftop patios in Nashville, which are now incredibly popular and frequent.
Virago stayed in this location until early 2019, when they made another move next door to their current location.
Moving Next Door
Consider the new location another chapter in the evolution of Virago. The focus on a unique experience has continued to deepen with each move. The latest version of the restaurant portrays an edgier version of itself, with a nod toward the late night crowd. The space can hold up to 236 people, but that doesn’t mean it feels any less intimate.
A late night menu provides deals on their delicious food after 10 pm, making it a great option for a bite after a concert.
Private booths seclude diners. A beautiful bar overlooks the dining room beneath an arched ceiling. Candles and mirrors create a soft atmosphere. The menu continues to offer the old classics while also including some new favorites. One visit will show why Virago continues to hold the crown for Asian cuisine in Nashville.
Plush, red sofas; comfortable, brown booths; classic four-top tables—the furniture inside the new Virago location makes quite a statement. The space is large, but it manages to keep its intimate feel by strategic lighting and placement of seating.
Red lighting mixes with candles and more traditional lighting to give the restaurant a very modern atmosphere. Eschewing the standard bar stools, customers can sit along the bar in comfortable and attractive chairs. The upholstery is classic yet classy—soft tones that complement the environment as a whole while also providing comfort. They look as good as they feel.
And whether you’re looking for private seating or a table in the open dining room, there are plenty of ways you can personalize your experience. Commercial interiors have become a point of focus in Nashville. New locations for various industries are pushing the trends forward, and the new Virago location continues this conversation in beautiful ways.