The venue will have a soft opening this weekend
Garth Brooks is set to open the doors of his Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky Tonk to the public in Nashville for the first time on Friday, November 24th. The country star will perform a Dive Bar concert that is set to be live-streamed on Amazon Music as their first-ever Black Friday Amazon Music Live (AML) special. The soft opening will give Brooks’ millions of fans around the globe a front-row seat for the highly-anticipated show.
Brooks met with the media ahead of the event, stating the four-and-a-half-story venue — which is located in the old Paradise Park building at 411 Broadway — is more about adding something different to the culture of the historic area than his own name.
“We’re part of the neon neighborhood down here. Invite everybody to Lower Broad. Layla’s is right across the street, one of my dearest friends. Love Layla. Tootsies, you don’t need more traditional than that. We got Nudie’s next door. Ernest Tubb [Record Shop] is under construction. Were part of this neighborhood down here. So we just want to help it out,” Brooks says.
Brooks joins the likes of Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton, Kid Rock, Miranda Lambert, Hank Williams, Jr., Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Alan Jackson, and others having his name attached to a multi-level entertainment venue on the famed Lower Broadway strip. However, unlike his contemporaries who have licensing deals with developers and hospitality companies, Brooks says he actually co-owns the property with brothers Benjamin and Max Goldberg of Strategic Hospitality and wanted to resemble the honky tonks he used to frequent in Oklahoma.
“As a honky tonk fan from Oklahoma, it was usually someone’s hay barn or something. You’d walk in and it was just as far as you could see, open. It had bars at either of the walls, a dance floor right out in the middle. This stage was originally supposed to be along the back wall, but when they laid it out, it worked so much better here for everything,” Brooks shares. “The brothers wanted to take half the second floor out. I said, ‘Are you crazy?’ but what it did was it made the first and second floors now a multi-level honky-tonk. Now it’s one room. Brilliant idea for me because I’ll tell you this. I like being in the fray. So I’m going to be right here. But the truth is the best seat in the house is up here long along the wall. So it’s cool. It kind of opens it up for people who want to be in the fray or people who want to just be a voyeur or watch the fray kind of thing up there, so I enjoy that. And so these things just they kind of come under your watch. So let’s take guys I love like Dierks, Blake, they’re going to be licensing deals. But if something happens at their bar, they’re gonna be the ones that everybody talks about. So something’s gonna go on your bar, know what’s going on in here, right? So you surround yourself with people. I couldn’t do this. There’s no way to do this. I play music. That’s what I do, but you surround yourself with people hopefully that know this town lower overall. And then our job is to make this place better.”
Last year, it was announced that the country star teamed with the city of Nashville for a police substation that will be adjacent to the bar in a former alley, adding critical resources to both departments’ efforts to reduce traffic congestion and keep the city’s busiest few blocks secure.
“My favorite part of this bar is what right’s next store. The police substation goes there. The government works a little slower, so we’re a little bit behind over there, but we’re pushin’. As soon as that thing opens, I think the sooner everything down here’s going to get even better,” he says.
“You can ask any government official, an alley in any downtown is not a good thing. So these were old divisions that had to be made I guess at that time [the area] was built… [The police] need their vehicles down here and so there’s a place for them and a back alley for them to pull their vehicles in and park fully protected. And they built a balcony for them so they can see all the up Broadway and all the way down Broadway. Of course, there’s cameras everywhere and that’s kind of what I love. What was left over were the top two floors. We put those to use in our thing and so I felt like it was a good deal for us… I’m so glad they’ll have a presence down here.”
Brooks and his wife Trisha Yearwood were initially set to privately fund the police substation at no cost to Metro taxpayers. However, Brooks says the contractors are donating the labor and materials for the new facility instead.
“That speaks volumes of Nashville and what we think of our men and women in blue here, but it also speaks volumes about this community, which I love.”
Friends in Low Places is still under construction but the venue plans to stay open on weekends through early next year. Brooks says it will close temporarily for a grand opening in the spring of 2024 when all levels are finished. The third floor is expected to feature cuisine by Yearwood while fans can take the Stairway to Seven to the top floor Oasis.
Brooks’ new iteration of The Garth Channel with TuneIn is broadcasting from the property. With the channel, Garth takes listeners on a wild ride with music from his own albums, his heroes, new artists he’s loving, and all of the classics for free through the TuneIn website and app.
Brooks recently released “Rodeo Man,” a duet with Ronnie Dunn to country radio and Amazon Music. The song appears on Time Traveler, the new album he included in his new seven-disc boxed set, The Limited Series, available exclusively through Bass Pro Shops. The duo will perform the song during the Black Friday concert which is expected to see additional special guests.
Due to overwhelming fan demand, Caesars Entertainment and Live Nation have asked Garth Brooks to add 18 new 2024 dates for his Las Vegas residency, Garth Brooks/Plus One, at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Shows are scheduled through December of next year.
We will have more with Brooks from the bar on the next installment of The Music Universe Podcast.