Since about 2017 we’ve seen Alan Jackson, John Rich, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Kid Rock, Miranda Lambert, and Dierks Bentley all hang their name in neon in front of massive bars in downtown Nashville.
And just last month, Eric Church announcedthat he would be opening his own six-story venue, Chief’s, in 2023.
Garth Brooks is another artist who’s shown interest in having his own bar on Broadway, letting the news slip back in 2020 during a “virtual press conference” that he had something coming “in the next two years, three years.”
When asked about opening a bar on Broadway, Garth had this to say:
“Things you probably shouldn’t say, I’m going to say if you’re betting… kind bet toward it happening because it’s just something that’s coming. It’s coming in the future but it’s going to be done the way we do it.
So it’ll be its own place, very much like Blake’s is his own place and everything. So were going to do it our own way. And so it’s coming, I would say probably in the next two years, three years. Because, come on man, when you talk about Broadway that is ‘friends in low places’ right there. It’s the perfect place.”
Garth also addressed the idea of opening a bar in Nashville during a press conference prior his July 2021 show at Nissan Stadium (a show that was ultimately rained out and then cancelled due to the COVID pandemic):
“I hate to say this – it makes sense. So it can’t come soon enough for me.
I know exactly the way I’d want it to be because I live in the dive bars. Just take the fun thing out of every dive bar you’ve ever been in. Because for me that’s what it’s all about…
I tell you man, with getting to be part of arguably one of the most sing-along songs ever, in all of music, that’s a fun direcition to go to. I’d want the shirt alone, that I’d been in a ‘Friends in Low Places’ bar. That’d be fun…
I’m in the same boat with you. I think it’s something that should belong here and it would be an honor if I ever got to do it.”
But is Garth finally making moves on “dive bar?” It looks like he might be…
Downtown Sporting Club, a massive space located at 411 Broadway that housed an ax-throwing bar, boutique hotel rooms, and a half-assed attempt at reviving the beloved Paradise Park that formerly occupied the space, announced back in December 2021 that the building had been sold and that the venue would be closing immediately.
There have been rumors flying around Nashville that Garth Brooks was the new owner of the building, so we here at Whiskey Riff decided to do a little bit of our own research.
According to publicly-available records from the assessor of Metropolitan Nashville, the building at 411 Broadway was sold on December 28, 2021 and the new owners are a company called 411, LLC.
A quick search of the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website shows that 411, LLC is a company that was formed on December 9, 2021. The registered agent is listed as Cheryl Harris, and her address is listed as the office for a company called O’Neil Hagaman.
O’Neil Hagaman is a business management and consulting firm that focuses on clients in the entertainment industry, and Harris is a co-founder and partner of the firm.
And one of the Harris’s long-running clients? Garth Brooks.
According to court documents from a prior unrelated lawsuit in which she testified, Harris has worked with Garth since 1989, and serves as his accountant and business manager. A photo published in Billboard from as recently as 2020 shows Harris and Brooks, along with others from O’Neil Hagaman, together at the White House after Garth received the Gershwin Prize from the Library of Congress.
And who else is in the picture along with Garth and Harris? Nashville attorney Russell “Rusty” Jones – who is listed under the mailing address for 411, LLC on the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website. Jones’ biography on the Tennessee Bar Association website also lists Garth Brooks among the artists who have been clients of Jones.
Now obviously this isn’t concrete proof that Garth is the new owner of 411 Broadway, or that he’s going to be opening his “dive bar” there. Both Harris and Jones have quite a few high-profile entertainers as clients, so it could be another country star or somebody else altogether.
But Garth told us that his bar was coming in the next “two to three years.” And it’s now been two years since he dropped his announcement.
So if I were a betting man (and I am), I would bet that Garth will be announcing his new bar on Broadway very soon.
And if he does, just remember: You heard it here first.