Revealed today (January 27), the “Heart On Fire” singer says his new entertainment destination will be six stories tall and take over the historic building that once housed Cotton Eyed Joe on the corner of Broadway and 2nd Ave. Inside, Chief’s will feature a honky-tonk style bar and restaurant typical to the strip, but also some unique touches — like the area’s only seated music venue, and a rooftop BBQ restaurant. Plus, it won’t just be any old BBQ, as Church teams with famed Charleston, S.C., pit master Rodney Scott for an outpost of his Whole Hog BBQ.
“I remember driving through downtown Nashville over 20 years ago with a pawn shop guitar, riding shotgun in a beat-to-hell truck just trying to chase a dream,” Church says in an official statement. “Chief’s is the culmination of catching that dream. Like everything else we do in our career, I wouldn’t even attempt a project like this if I didn’t think it would be the best, so that’s what Chief’s will be: the best.”
Work is expected to begin this year, and as 2nd Ave. continues to rebuild after the 2020 Christmas Day bombing, Church seems to think it will open in 2023. Chief’s will of course join the celebrity-branding trend that has completely taken over Broadway, with bars connected to Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, and many more already existing. But with the street’s only seated venue — likely built like a small theater — Church’s famed creative vision and determination to stand out should add something fresh to the neon-lit tourist mecca.
“Bringing a seated music venue to Lower Broadway while revitalizing and preserving a historic building is exactly the kind of investment Nashville’s entertainment sector needs,” Mayor John Cooper notes. “I thank the partners involved for keeping the character of the building while creating a new concept for locals and our visitors to enjoy.”
“I am partnering with my closest friend and, in my opinion, the greatest hotel entrepreneur on earth, Ben Weprin, and the greatest barbecue chef in the world, Rodney Scott,” Church also says. “Together we will create an experience unique to Nashville and absolutely unparalleled in the world of music, food, fellowship and entertainment. This is my hometown. This is personal. This matters. Every detail of Chief’s will feel that way. I cannot wait to get started. See you in 2023.”