“This Is Our House” – Eric Church Says His Nashville Bar Isn’t Going To Be “Just Another Club Downtown”

Chiefs bar Nashville

This is the first time I’ve actually been excited about a bar in downtown Nashville.

Plenty of artists have opened up their own bars on Broadway in the past few years. Everybody from Alan Jackson and John Rich to Kid Rock, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, and most recently Garth Brooks have their name on venues in the heart of Nashville’s party scene.

Aside from Alan Jackson’s bar, most of them are fairly generic. Just massive cookie-cutter bars that, after a couple drinks, you probably wouldn’t even know whose place you were in.

But it sounds like Eric Church wants to change that.

Back in 2021, Church announced that he was working on a new bar in downtown Nashville called Chief’s.

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 along with Ben Weprin, founder of boutique real estate investment management firm AJ Capital Partners.

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 glimpse of 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.


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A post shared by Eric Church (@ericchurchmusic)

And earlier this week, Church announced that he was sending deeds to individual bricks in the building to every member of his Church Choir fan club, saying that he wanted fans to have ownership of the bar:

“Because you have been with me every step of my career, I’m proud to dedicate a physical brick of the Chief’s building to each and every one of you.

You’ve helped me build my career brick by brick, and I want the whole world to know that the building is yours.”

Church has said he wants Chief’s to be a place that his fans can gather, not just another stop on the endless bar crawl of honky tonks on Broadway. In fact, it looks 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, that’s what he’s hoping for.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Chief made clear that he wants his bar to be different than other artist bars on Broadway:

“This is ours. It’s not something that I’m renting or leasing until the next artist comes along, then when that artist falls out of favor, all you do is change the sign out and it goes to the next one.”

As with pretty much everything in his career, Church is doing his bar his own way. While most of the bars in downtown Nashville that are named for country artists are actually run by a hospitality company that licenses the artists’ name, Church actually bought the building for Chief’s and has been intimately involved in the planning and design of his bar, along with Weprin and his team at AJ Capital.

In a video posted to his social media, Church said he doesn’t want his bar to be just another honky tonk downtown:

“Believe me, this is not just another club downtown. This is our house. I’ve been involved in every step of restoring this historic building into a place we can call our own.”

There’s still no word on when the bar is opening, but if a countdown on the Chief’s website and his recent social media posts are any indication, I would bet that we’ll be getting a date for the grand opening very soon.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock