Broadway Nashville Bar And Restaurants
Broadway Nashville: Broadway is a major thoroughfare in the downtown area in Nashville, Tennessee. It includes Lower Broadway, an entertainment district renowned for honky-tonks and live country music. The street is also home to retail shops, restaurants, dessert spots, tourist attractions, and a few hotels.
The wharves and docks for the port of Nashville were located on the Cumberland River at the eastern terminus of Broad Street, today’s Lower Broadway. Market Street, now Second Avenue, then connected them to the vendor stalls on the public square. Broad Street was one of only three roadways running east to west on the original plat map of the city.
The street was lined with hardware shops, feed stores, and other enterprises that expanded Nashville’s economy. In 1875, Broadway was the setting for the first public high school in Nashville. After the turn of the 20th century, a portion of Broadway would be known as Auto Row because of the large number of car dealerships as well as tire and auto parts stores that lined the roadway.
It was during the Depression that the Work Progress Administration (WPA) built a new post office adjacent to Union Station as most mails was transported by train. While Union Station has been transformed into a luxury hotel, the Old Post Office was repurposed as the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.
Broadway Street Nashville
It’s always loud, it’s always packed, and it evokes vehement reactions — both positive and negative — from locals. While not quite as scandalous as Sin City, Nashville’s Broadway can certainly be wild enough to give Bourbon Street a run for its money.
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But don’t let the tourist trap reputation dissuade you from spending some time downtown. Nashville’s honky-tonk strip is for locals, too. Today, we’re walking you back down lower Broadway to show you just what you’ve been missing. Before our tour begins, let’s address some naysayers: yes, this writer is a 20-something transplant who, on occasion, enjoys loud music and late nights.
Yes, there are certain weekends where you couldn’t pay us to go to Broadway because the crowds are borderline out of control. And yes, Nashville has a host of other bars you can visit without seeing a single bachelorette party, pedal tavern, or drunken buffoon.
Lower Broadway Nashville
In the shadow of the famed Ryman Auditorium, it is probably best known for the many kinds of music and tourism-related businesses that remain in this area. Known as Lower Broad, this section of Broadway has for decades attracted country music fans to its honky-tonk bars. Several of the street’s furniture and hardware stores played a key role in Nashville’s economy in the late nineteenth-century; many of these have been adaptively-reused as restaurants catering to locals and tourists alike.
The Ernest Tubb Record Shop, at 417 Broadway, was the site of the second-longest running radio show in history, the Midnight Jamboree, still broadcast on Saturday nights on WSM Radio. Singer Ernest Tubb opened the record store and mail-order business in 1947 and moved to this location in 1951. Of particular interest is the former Merchants Hotel, 401 Broadway, a three-story commercial Victorian building.
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Broadway is lively seven days a week with live music and food at nearly every bar – all hours of the day – but it really comes alive during CMA Fest because they close the entire street down. Tents line the middle of the street so businesses can hand out samples and merch. They also set up outdoor stages for free concerts. So, let’s just say even though Broadway is always poppin’, it was especially poppin’ when I was there.
Nashville Broadway Bars
Your typical honky-tonk with a particular abundance of elderly couples visiting Nashville because of their deep love for country music. With music playing from 10 am-3 am, it’s a decent stop for a quick drink.
Rating: 5 if you’re a regular, 7.5 if it’s your first stop on Lower Broad (which it often is)
Tootsies Orchid Lounge
Probably one of the most popular bars on Lower Broad, Tootsies really is pretty great. It’s three stories high with a bar and a different live band playing on each level, plus a rooftop area with a great view of the city.
The Second Fiddle at 420 Broadway
When Nashvillians decide to venture downtown, The Second Fiddle is one of their favorite destinations. A little less crowded than many other bars on this list, this nifty little honky has earned a reputation for having a cheap, cold beer and some of the best live music downtown.
Nashville Crossroads at 419 Broadway
Beginning in 2004, Nashville Crossroads is one of Nashville’s only live music venues to combine classic country music and southern-style rock-n-roll—sometimes known as rockabilly.
Nashville Broadway Shows
The Tennessee Performing Arts Center is the first of its kind in the nation: Owned by a state, but managed by a non-profit organization, giving Tennessee citizens the same opportunities in the performing arts and cultural heritage available to people living in major cities nationwide, introducing school children to the worlds of theater, ballet, symphony, and opera, to enhance their education, inspire their imagination, and enrich their lives.
Dreaming of opportunities in the arts and well-rounded education for their children and grandchildren, a group of private citizens, led by Martha Ingram, proposed an arts center for the citizens of Tennessee to the state legislature in 1972.
What Is The Name Of The Street In Nashville With All The Bars?
Many of Nashville’s famous nightspots are found on Broadway between First and Fifth avenues—better known as “Honky Tonk Row.” The most famous is Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.
What’s The Main Strip In Nashville Called?
Guide to Nashville’s best live music honky-tonk venues! There is a famous area of downtown Nashville from Lower Broadway to 2nd Avenue in the middle of the District.
What Street Is Broadway In Nashville?
Lower Broadway. Broadway is a major thoroughfare running from the southwest to the northeast through the heart of downtown Nashville. Extending from 21st Avenue South to First Avenue, the street connects neighborhoods like the Gulch and Music Row with the Cumberland River waterfront.
Who Owns The Bars On Broadway Nashville?
Today, bar owners are raking in millions on Bud Light and George Strait covers. Steve Smith got into the honky-tonk business in the early 1990s when he and a partner purchased Nashville’s venerable Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge for less than $10,000, despite warnings that crime-ridden Lower Broadway was going nowhere.