By: Cindy Dupree Holloway
It’s always important to know the local hot spots, but never more essential than during this season, when quick getaways are the ticket to living our best life now.
One of Tennessee’s most charming small towns, Linden, is home to the historic Commodore Hotel, named one of the six best places to stay in the state, and featuring the equally appealing Commodore Music Café.
The property, originally built in 1939, features 22 fully renovated and stylized rooms complete with modern amenities, while maintaining the building’s old-world charm.
In 2007, Rhode Islanders Michael and Kathy Dumont rescued this architectural piece of history from the wrecking ball. As a developer, Michael always had a passion for preserving historical buildings and homes. Starting with renovations of lofts in Boston, to an award-winning restoration of a 1756 Sea Captain’s home in Rhode Island, Michael honed his gift of “hearing the space.” “A vision comes to me, and I see the space as she was meant to be,” says Dumont.
Restoration is a labor of love, and with the Commodore, every detail was carefully considered. The narrow-planked oak flooring was stripped of its 70s-era, multicolored shag carpeting and refinished, along with restoration of the original period tile floors and tubs in several bathrooms. Art decor door hinges and doorknobs were salvaged.
The warm, brick walls were exposed, and one can imagine those brick layers working in 1939, with good, old fashioned sweat and pride. The huge, broken windows were replaced, and when opened now, guests can smell the grass and trees of this small Southern town.
The adjoining Commodore Music Café, fully restored, re-designed and renamed, welcomes guests with a warm, inviting ambience, friendly service, locally sourced food and live music on Friday nights. “We serve traditional Southern favorites, plus a few unique dishes,” says Kathy. “As often as possible, we use fresh, local ingredients, including eggs from our farm!”
In addition to regional flavors, the restaurant is known for live music performances for diners on Friday nights. From platinum record holders to songwriters who have written No. 1 hits, the Commodore has become a great place to showcase the vibrant musical talent of the region, including guests from Music City.
Just off the hotel lobby is a truly unique guest experience, the Commodore’s Speakeasy. Capturing an air of mystery, the Speakeasy’s atmosphere is all about nuancing the past, including romantic lighting, intimate seating, and specially made libations. Here’s where guests begin to relax their cares away.
Relaxing is part of the trip, but don’t miss the adventures. Take a hike along some of Tennessee’s most pristine nature trails, including Lady’s Bluff Small Wild Area and Trail and at Mousetail Landing State Park. In season, kayak the beautiful Buffalo River. Kayak rentals are available at Commodore River Adventures. Interested in fishing? No problem. Local guides can facilitate on the Buffalo or nearby Tennessee Rivers. Linden and the Commodore usher in spring with the Blooming Arts Festival, happening March 25-26, 2022 on Main Street.
No vacation, or staycation for that matter, is complete without time spent shopping. Downtown Linden offers a variety of specialty shops including clothing boutiques, giftshops, and a high-end custom jewelry maker. Among the most popular stores are the Buffalo River Artists Consortium and Main Street Marketplace, both featuring the creative works of local and regional makers.
After a day of adventure, make your way back to your home away from home, the Commodore Hotel, where you can wind down in a peaceful place, where the cares of this world seem far, far away.
If you haven’t already, stop reading now and visit Commodore Hotel in Linden at https://www.commodorehotellinden.com to book your small town Tennessee getaway.