Of course we’ve all been patiently waiting since Church announced that he would be opening a new bar named Chief’s in the heart of downtown Nashville later this year.
The new venue will be located in the heart of downtown Broadway, among many bars named after his fellow country artists. But Church’s sounds like it’s going to be unique among them…
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.
The bar recently shared a glimpseof the music venue that fans have to look forward to once the bar’s completed, with stained-glass windows around the multi-story venue reminiscent of the historic Ryman Auditorium just a few blocks away.
It’s a far cry from the bachelorette-filled honky tonks that will surround it, looking more like a place that you can go to focus on the music that made Nashville famous and not the party scene that Broadway’s become.
And according to Church, who plans to perform at his bar once it’s open, that’s what he wants.
During an interview with Rolling Stone, Church discussed his plans for performing at Chief’s once it opens, and he said he wants to use the space to touch on more heavy subjects, like paying tribute to the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in Las Vegas, and to his brother, Brandon, who passed away suddenly in 2018:
“I want to do a show that talks about Vegas. It talks about my brother. It talks about things in my life. I’m not going down there to play ‘Drink in My Hand.’ It’s going to be stuff that’s very raw, very real, and it’s just me onstage.
It’ll be Church on Broadway.”
Church was, of course, the headliner for the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Friday night back in 2017, before the tragedy on the festival’s final night that Sunday. It’s something that Church rarely talks about publicly, though he did deliver a heart wrenching performance at the Grand Ole Opry just days after the tragedy.
It’s also not what you typically find on Broadway these days, with most of the bars filled with drunken tourists on any given night who come to Broadway more for the drinking with the music as a mere backdrop.
Of course if anybody’s going to do things their way, even in the midst of a party scene like Broadway, it’s Eric Church.