Finally, some good news coming from a country music institution in Nashville for change.
Last year, it was announced that the legendary Ernest Tubb Record Shop in downtown Nashville would be closing its doors after an ownership dispute led to the business and building being sold.
In a statement released at the time, the record shop said:
“It’s with great sadness that we share the news that the Ernest Tubb Record Shop — building and business — will be sold.
Our goal has always been to protect, promote and preserve the great history of the record shop and building. That desire remains as strong today as ever. However, due to changes in circumstances out of our control, it’s now clear the best way forward is to sell the business and the real estate.
We are heartbroken that the store, which has existed in its current location in the heart of lower Broadway since 1951, will close this Spring. Preserving the history and tradition of country music remains at the forefront of everything we do. We remain committed to preservation work and look forward to new projects that will allow us to continue to protect and nurture the invaluable history and tradition of country music.”
There was immediate outcry from country music fans upset about the demise of yet another iconic piece of country music history, and the nephew of Ernest Tubb launched a petition to save the 72-year old record shop.
We haven’t really gotten any updates since then on plans for the prime real estate on Nashville’s Lower Broadway. But now, it sounds like the record shop is going to remain open – with some “new Nashville” additions.
According to the Nashville Business Journal, the building and the business were bought for $18.3 million by a group that includes Nashville real estate developer Brad Bars, musician Ilya Toshinskiy, local attorney Grover Collins, and Dale Tubb, grandson of Ernest Tubb.
And in a statement, Bars confirmed that the legendary record shop would remain open and the building, which has housed Ernest Tubb’s Record Shop for over 51 years, will be receiving major renovations.
The bottom floor of 417 Broadway will continue to house the record store and merchandise, while an upper floor will feature a honky tonk with a mezzanine. Bars said that it’s “unlikely” that the honky tonk would be a celebrity-branded concept, as has been the trend on Broadway over the past half decade or so.
The facade of the property will be restored to its original 1850s look, and the owners are also exploring the addition of a rooftop space.
Obviously I’m ecstatic that the record shop is going to be preserved and will remain open. But I gotta be honest, I’m a little nervous about the idea of turning an iconic space like Ernest Tubb’s Record Shop into a honky tonk filled with bachelorette parties jamming out to Journey covers.
Hopefully whatever they have planned for the honky tonk, it follows in the tradition of the record shop below instead of trying to be like so many of the bars surrounding it.