A TGI Fridays, eh?
Now I’ll admit that’s not what anybody was expecting when Eric Church announced that he had a new bar named Chief’s coming to downtown Nashville in 2023.
The new venue will be located at 200 Broadway, in the building that formerly housed Cotton Eyed Joe, and will be right beside John Rich’s Redneck Riviera.
Church bought the building for $24.5 million from Rich along with Ben Weprin, founder of boutique real estate investment management firm AJ Capital Partners, which also owns the famous Exit/In music venue in Nashville and is best known for its chain of Graduate Hotels across the country.
He’s also bringing in a taste of his local Carolinas by partnering with famous BBQ chef Rodney Scott, the James Beard Award-winning pitmaster and founder of Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ, for the bar’s food program, which will be served from the rooftop and contain all-weather seating for visitors.
And to set itself apart from the other artist bars in downtown Nashville, Chief’s plans to feature a two-story seated music venue that would be able to host ticketed live events.
But what did Sirius XM The Highway radio host Storme Warren think when he got a look at the renderings for the new bar?
Well, he told Weprin that one floor looked like a TGI Fridays.
“The renderings of one of the levels…just a striking resemblance to a TGI Fridays.”
And according to Warren, after initially being offended by the comparison, Weprin conceded that it may at least bear some resemblance to the chain dining spot:
“He goes, “I would be really angry because I’m so, so personally connected to this bar and everything about it. And I think I was really angry at first. But then my wife goes, mhmm, Storme’s not wrong.””
But Warren got a look at the renderings for the rest of the bar, and shared what else we can expect – confirming that it doesn’t all look like a TGI Fridays:
“He shows me the renderings of the entire bar. Four levels, an entire entertainment venue that looks like the Ryman Auditorium inside…
A dueling piano bar, they’ve got a barbeque joint…I mean, the place is going to be insane. And the attention to detail is unparalleled.
I mean, everything is an Easter egg. You thought Taylor Swift had Easter eggs? The entire bar is an Easter egg for Eric Church’s entire career. Everything has meaning.”
Man, as an Eric Church fan I can’t wait to see this place.
And Weprin had a sense of humor about Warren comparing his bar to a TGI Fridays:
“For every picture he showed me, up in the upper lefthand corner, there was the TGI Fridays logo.”
Oh, and what did Weprin have for them to eat during their meeting?
Potato skins from TGI Fridays, of course.
I’ve joked before that all of the bars on Broadway are getting so generic that next thing we know they’ll be putting an Applebee’s in Ernest Tubb’s Record Shop.
But while Chief’s may resemble a TGI Fridays, I have a feeling there’s not going to be anything generic about this place.