And while downtown Nashville has turned into a strip of neon bars emblazoned with the names of some of country music’s biggest stars, before the 1990s Broadway was much different than the bachelorette destination it is today.
In the ’90s, the lower Broadway that’s become a tourist destination today was a sketchy part of the city that many avoided, filled with strip clubs and seedy bars, while the iconic Ryman Auditorium sat boarded up and unused after the Opry moved to its new home in the 1970s.
And right beside Hume-Fogg High School, just steps away from where Bridgestone Arena sits as the centerpiece of downtown today, was Nashville’s largest strip club, the Classic Cat.
Even though it’s been closed for decades, the Classic Cat still has quite the lore about it today, with the stories surrounding the gentleman’s club becoming the stuff of legends in Nashville.
And one of the best was when a monkey named Pete escaped from the strip club.
It was a story I first heard while listening to the Nashville Demystified podcast, which has done quite the deep dive into the notorious club.
According to the podcast, the incident with the monkey happened in the late 1970s, when a stripper at the Classic Cat used a monkey named Pete as part of her act. (I don’t want to know).
Well apparently Pete wasn’t the only wildlife in the show, and the same dancer also had a boa constrictor. And not surprisingly, Pete and the boa constrictor didn’t always get along – and at one point, the snake spooked the monkey and Pete ended up escaping from the strip club.
He was later found by the highway, with the working theory being that Pete had somehow ended up in someone’s car after making a run for it, and when the driver realized that there was a monkey in their car, they ditched the dancing monkey on the side of the road.
But all’s well that ends well (I guess?) because Pete ended up back at “work” the next day.