Axios Nashville

Picture of the Nashville skyline.
December 10, 2021

It's Friday, and we couldn't be happier.

β›ˆ Today's weather: Severe weather is possible tonight and into Saturday morning. We have more details below.

Today's newsletter is 885 words β€” a 3.3-minute read.

1 big thing: Winter wonderlands

A ballerina performing in a pyramid shaped case while snow falls around her.
A performer in "Dancing Through Dimensions" at the W Hotel. Photo courtesy of the W Hotel

It's the most wonderful time of the year: holiday pop-up season. Restaurants and bars across Nashville are rolling out themed menus, festive decorations and some serious performance art.

Here are three spots we're looking to try over the next few weeks.

πŸ’ƒ "Dancing Through Dimensions" at the W Hotel.

  • The Living Room bar at this new Gulch hotel features a special holiday menu every day of the week, but the main event comes when ballerinas perform in large, pyramid-shaped "snow globes" before dancing through the bar.
  • The hotel describes the performance as a modern twist on "Black Swan" and "Swan Lake."

If you go: Performances take place at 5, 7, and 9pm on Saturdays. The pop-up runs through Jan. 9.

  • Call 615-379-9000 for reservations, which come with a food and drink minimum.

β›Έ Camp Bobby at The Bobby Hotel.

  • If you have been frustrated by the lack of ice skating at Nashville's rooftop bars, The Bobby has you covered.
  • Camp Bobby offers hourly skating lessons on its synthetic ice rink. In between, you can sip on hot cocoa and apple cider.
  • If that isn't holly jolly enough, you can reserve a giant "campfire igloo."

If you go: The rooftop lounge is open daily. Igloo reservations run through Jan. 30.

  • Skate rink admission is $10. Igloo rentals come with a food and drink minimum.

πŸŽ…πŸ» Saint Nicky's in The Nations.

  • Nicky's Coal Fired went all out for Christmas this year. They rolled out a special cocktail menu, gift-wrapped their walls, and hung candy canes and twinkling lights from the rafters.
  • Oh, and Santa's coming!

If you go: The decorations stay up through Jan. 1. Santa Claus is visiting from 4-6pm Sunday. Kids, dogs, and Axios Nashville reporters can stop by for photos.

  • The restaurant is closing for a few special events this month, so check the website before you go.

Go deeper: Eater Nashville has compiled an extensive list if you're craving even more holiday cheer.

2. Nashville's tried & true Christmas classics

Dancers in The Nutcracker performing around a large green christmas tree in elaborate costumes.
Performers in "Nashville's Nutcracker." Photo courtesy of Nashville Ballet/Karyn Kipley Photography

Sometimes a classic is a classic for a reason.

  • While trendy Christmas-themed cocktail pop-ups may be proliferating across the city, other holiday mainstays have stood the test of time.

Here are four Christmas things every Nashvillian should do at least once.

🎁 The Christmas decorations at Opryland: If you go, be aware of the new rules, including buying tickets for weekend visits. Tickets are also available for ice skating, carriage rides, pictures with Santa, and other events.

  • The lights are free, except for weekends after 2pm. Other ticket prices vary.

πŸŽ„ Holiday lights at Cheekwood: The West Nashville institution features a reindeer village, children's wonderland, dancing trains, and a visual display with more than 1 million lights.

  • $26 for adults and $20 for kids.

πŸ“½ "It's a Wonderful Life" at the Belcourt Theatre: The iconic Christmas movie plays at Nashville's independent theatre from Dec. 17 through Dec. 24. "Merry Christmas ya' old Building and Loan!"

  • $11.50 for adults and $9.50 for kids.

πŸ₯œ Nashville's Nutcracker at TPAC: The Nashville Ballet's annual holiday tradition is back Dec. 15 after a year hiatus and runs through Christmas Eve.

  • $35 - $95.

3. Stormy weather

A map showing Nashville's chances of severe weather, with Davidson County facing enhanced risk.
Image courtesy of the National Weather Service

Nashville faces an enhanced risk of severe weather tonight.

  • Strong tornadoes, damaging wind, and hail are possible from 10pm until 9am.

What they're saying: Meteorologists say there is still uncertainty about the timing and strength of the storm, but are urging residents in and around Nashville to remain vigilant overnight.

  • "Some of these storms could be pretty intense," National Weather Service meteorologist Sam Shamburger said during a webcast.
  • "December's a very unusual time of year for us to see severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in Middle Tennessee, but it appears all the parameters are going to be there for severe weather to occur."

The bottom line: Charge your phone, make sure you're keeping tabs on the latest information from the NWS, and make a plan in case you need to seek shelter.

4. The Setlist

Illustration of the windows of the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, doubling as a graphic equalizer.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

πŸ› The Governor's Council for Judicial Appointments picked three finalists for the vacancy on the Tennessee Supreme Court: Two appeals court judges and a high-level staff member in the state attorney general's office. (Associated Press)

🏈 The Titans claimed former Texas linebacker and Vandy star Zach Cunningham. (ESPN)

Tennessee counties are lining up to sue consulting firm McKinsey & Co. over its role in the opioid crisis. (Tennessee Lookout)

🏒 Asurion, downtown's largest private company, finished a move to its new headquarters. (Nashville Business Journal)

5. Critical antibodies discovered at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt Vaccine Center director James Crowe poses for a portrait in a lab.
Vanderbilt Vaccine Center director James Crowe. Photo courtesy of VUMC

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week gave an emergency use authorization to a combination of COVID-19 antibodies discovered at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

  • Licensed to AstraZeneca, the antibodies offer critical protection for immunocompromised people unable to get the vaccine.

Why it matters: This is the latest example of VUMC's influential role in the fight against the coronavirus. The medical center also oversaw vaccine trials and helped with the development of an antiviral pill that fights COVID infections.

  • "This prevention shot will give millions of high-risk and immunocompromised people who don’t respond well to vaccines access to immunity for COVID," Vanderbilt Vaccine Center director James Crowe said in a statement.

How it works: Under the authorization, these antibodies will be administered to prevent infection, which differs from monoclonal antibodies used to treat people who already have COVID.

  • In a trial, recipients were 77% less likely to get COVID than participants who got the placebo.

πŸ§€ Nate is excited to see how Chicago Bears team "owner" Aaron Rodgers fares when the Packers host the Bears in Green Bay this Sunday.

πŸ“Ί Adam is turning to comforting "Seinfeld" reruns to beat back his storm anxiety. Serenity now!