Since opening Mercy Lounge in 2003, the trio of venues has hosted shows from names like Muscadine Bloodline and Josh Abbott Band to Adele, Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg, Bon Jovi, Panic! at the Disco and John Fogerty. But in 2019, it was announced that the building housing the complex had been sold to a New York City-based investor – who was later bought out by Nashville-based investor Zach Liff and his company, DZL Management.
Liff has said that DZL plans to invest to improve the music spaces located on Cannery Row.
“The Cannery complex, including the music venue building, needs that care now so it can have the life it deserves looking forward.
As the long-term owner of historic properties next door, and as a native Nashvillian, I love the Cannery and I bought it when it was unexpectedly going to be sold to make sure it remains and thrives along with our other historic properties well into the future.
I have spent my entire professional life with my office next door to the Cannery, and I am as excited about its future and the stewardship of its character as anything we are working on.”
But that hasn’t kept some from worrying that the character of the complex – one that’s served as a place for independent artists from all genres to perform – is going to change with the loss of Mercy Lounge and its sister venues.
The concern for the Cannery Row complex, obviously, is that the property will now be turned into condos, or a high-priced “trendy” restaurant, or something else that will strip the area of the character and history that has made it so popular in the Nashville music scene.
And with the Gulch becoming such a trendy area of the city as of late, it’s hard not to worry that this little stretch of gems is soon going to look just like the rest of the neighborhood: Full of drunk tourists waiting in line for brunch or to get their picture taken in front of a mural.
Fortunately Mercy Lounge will be relocating (to a yet-to-be-determined location) and not closing its doors for good, but there’s still a part of me that’s sad to see it move from its original location – and nervous for what the future of that area holds.