Lower Broadway in downtown Nashville is overflowing with bars named after some of the biggest artists in country music, from Miranda Lambert’s Casa Rosa, Luke’s 32 Bridge owned by Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar, John Rich’s Redneck Riviera, Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row and of course, Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock ‘N Roll Steakhouse.
The massive bars with their artist-themed decor, variety of music, and over-the-top footprint make them the perfect place for tourists and bachelorette parties to get wasted during the trip to Nashville, but if you’re coming to Music City to enjoy the music…well, they leave a lot to be desired.
There are still a few traditional honky tonks left on Broadway. And by a few I mean maybe two or three.
Of course there’s Robert’s Western World, the last true old-school honky tonk left in downtown Nashville. And AJ’s Good Time Bar, owned by Alan Jackson, has a rule from the owner himself that only country music is to be played in his bar.
For the most part though, these artist owned and affiliated bars are more like corporate-owned Disneyland attractions than they are dive bars or honky tonks.
It was announced earlier this spring that Bocephus would be opening Hank Williams Jr.’s Boogie Bar at 419 Broadway, right between AJ’s bar and the Ernest Tubb Record Shop.
Based off of the country singer’s smash 1987 hit “Born to Boogie,” Williams partnered with hospitality company Big Plan Holdings for the new venue, and Eric Russell, chief investment officer and principal of BPH Hospitality weighed in on the vision for Hank Jr.’s bar:
“As someone who’s lived in Nashville for over a decade now, I think we have a good mix of what locals want and what tourists want in terms of opening bars and restaurants across the city.
For us, it’s really about creating an environment where both locals and tourists can come together in the same space and they don’t feel like it’s one versus the other.”
And Hank Jr. fans can now head down to Broadway to check out his new bar, which officially opened last week.
While a ribbon cutting ceremony for the bar won’t be held until November 12, the bar is now welcoming patrons and features four stories, including a rooftop deck, along with full food and drink menus featuring cocktails like the “Family Tradition Tequila Punch,” the “Country Boy Mule,” or the “Outlaw Women Cooler.”
Now, I’m not so sure about an Outlaw Women Cooler, but I could definitely see myself throwing back some whiskey (Hank Jr.’s beloved Jim Beam, of course) or some cold beers here.