Step out of East Nashville and into another world at this neon-drenched fever dream in the heart of the city’s tiki bar triangle. Blade Runner-esque lighting, tropical foliage, and a giant robot suspended from the ceiling greet you as you walk in. The rough storyline that Bryce McCloud, Mike Wolf, and Andy Mumma cooked up involves a secretive, high-tech place called Island X in the South Seas.
If that all sounds a bit silly, rest assured that everyone here is in on the joke. What’s serious is the ever-evolving drink menu, which features smart, not-too-sweet spins on tiki classics featuring freshly squeezed juices, house-made syrups, and unusual infusions. Think: a white daiquiri riff with caramelized shallot Cachaca or a clarified “Miami Vice” with oolong-infused Demerara rum. Singapore Slings, Mai Tais, and a lethal spin rendition of a rum punch—limit one per customer—are permanent fixtures.
Best of all, the circular bar is great for people-watching just about any night of the week. And while Chopper may not have a kitchen, it does have superb birria tacos courtesy of Maíz de la Vida, the James Beard Semifinalist truck perpetually parked outside.
Know Before You Go
Look for Maíz de la Vida’s truck outside of Chopper Tuesday through Sunday. The truck is slinging tacos all afternoon and evening on weekends, or during the evenings on weekdays.