As we stepped foot onto busy Broadway, my heart lit up from the country music I heard all around. Woah, did I just say that? As a past country music hater, I (Steph) cannot believe I just said that. Let’s start from the beginning.
As a teenager, I grew up loving pop music, boy bands, and reggae. Interesting variety, huh. I grew up in Florida near the beach so reggae relaxed me and made me feel at home. And well, every teenage girl loved NSync, Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears. There was one type of music I knew I for sure hated though: country. I thought it was too twangy and I couldn’t relate to the trucks, dogs, and love of beer. I had so many people try to force me to like it but I never bit the bait.
That was until 2012 when I moved to Arizona. Country music is big in Arizona and I found myself getting into the car and having only country music radio stations to listen to. At the same time, there seems to have been a shift in mainstream country music from the old twangy stuff to more pop country. The more I listened, the more it wore on me, and eventually it became the only thing I listened to. Once a country hater, now a full-on country lover.
These days it is the main type of music I listen to with Maren Morris, Dan + Shay, Cassadee Pope, and Miranda Lambert being some of my fav’s. So when I walked onto Broadway and heard live country music coming from multiple directions, I was moved. As a musician and music lover, live music truly brings my happiness.
I had no idea Nashville was this poppin! Broadway reminded me of New Orleans because everyone is walking in the streets, it’s lively, there’s neon signs in all the windows, and people are truly having a good time everywhere you look! It was such a fun environment! It’s no surprise it’s beat out Las Vegas for being the top Bachelor/ette party destination. This place was a blast! From 10am-3am every single day: live music.
Our first stop: Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. The place singers used to sneak out of the Ryman Auditorium to run over to for some liquor before/after their performances. Also the place Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, and Waylon Jennings frequented. To be honest, it felt like a way too tiny college bar with the smell of beer all around and the inability to move an inch without running into someone. But it was worth grabbing one drink there just to say we did because it’s a world famous honky tonk. Started by Hattie Louise “Tootsie” Bess who bought the lounge called “Mom’s” and named it for herself in 1960. Just look for the purple building!
Our next stop was The Stage on Broadway. Woah did we have a blast! This place was much larger so there was plenty of space to move around. Their band with Jerry Jacobs as lead was upbeat and played a variety of country music that everyone was singing along too. We could have stayed there all night- that’s how great the band was. They’ve got a second floor seating area as well if you want a little more privacy.
Acme Feed & Seed was another favorite. This place looked pretty new and had a great ambiance. The small stage in the center of the restaurant was just perfectly placed and the musicians were fantastic! It was a rainy day, otherwise we heard the rooftop area there has phenomenal views.
All-in-all, we really loved Broadway in Nashville and we barely got to experience it all. If you plan on visiting Nashville, be sure to read our Nashville itinerary post for more on what to do.
Here’s a list of more of the top restaurants, bars, and honky tonks along Broadway that you should be sure to checkout.
Country Bars on Broadway:
- Honky Tonk Central
- Robert’s Western World
- Nudie’s Honky Tonk
- Layla’s Honky Tonk
- Whiskey Bent Saloon
- The Stillery
- Legend’s Corner
- Ole Red (Blake Shelton’s new bar)
To close out this blog, I leave you with these fine words that were stuck in my head while writing this blog. By Trace Atkins-
“Lord have mercy how’d she even get them britches on with that honky tonk badonkadonk”