Blake Shelton’s Ole Red Loses Lawsuit, Judge Bans Use Of Red Exterior Lights

A large red building with a street light in front of it

Looks like the legal system finally caught up with Ole Red.

As we reported earlier, the Metro Historic Zoning Commission filed a lawsuit against Blake Shelton’s Nashville bar back in February in an attempt to force the bar to remove its red exterior lighting.

This past Tuesday, a Nashville judge ruled against Ole Red and Ryman Hospitality Group, finding that the red lights violated city regulations prohibiting the use of colored lights outside of buildings in historic overlay districts. Because apparently colored lights on a building ruin the historic nature of Broadway more than a bunch of artists opening bars that play rap and covers of 80’s rock music.

A spokesman for Ryman Hospitality Group, owner of Ole Red, released a statement saying:

“We disagree with Tuesday’s decision. We strongly believe that our original lighting design, which was planned well before the current lighting guidelines were in place, strikes the right balance between honoring the historic character of our building while also being compatible with its present-day surroundings. We are exploring and intend to pursue additional avenues that will ultimately allow us to light our building in accordance with the original design.”

Now, I’m all for protecting historic buildings, but maybe Nashville’s efforts would be better spent, I dunno, actually protecting historic buildings? Red lighting on Blake Shelton’s bar doesn’t ruin the character of a street lit up by hundreds of neon signs. But tearing down the historic buildings on Music Row to build a skyscraper does.

Come on Nashville. You’ll let them tear down Bobby’s Idle Hour but you won’t let them use red lights outside of a bar?

Get your priorities straight.

A kitchen with a sink and a toaster oven

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock