Just another story of a heritage place in Nashville being replaced by mixed use, shiny office/condo buildings. Most of these new buildings have been great for Music City. But this change feels a little different. It's a stark example of the disappearance of Music Row.
Music Row is a neighborhood that put the city on the map. It's generally considered to be 17th and 16th Avenue (Music Square West and East) and Grand Avenue. A group of streets that recorded, published, and marketed music to the rest of the world. They were lined with old houses and small offices where the song writers crafted the songs that get honored in the Hall of Fame. In fact, the Hall of Fame used to be on Music Row.
Much of Music Row has been demolished in favor of condos and apartment buildings. Here's the latest that's on the way from Panattoni Development. It's a mix of retail and office space that will be coming to 16th Avenue. (photos: Panattoni Development)
- This beautiful new building will sit where many historic places sit today. One of those is Bobby's Idle Hour bar. It's the kind of dive bar we love to love in Nashville. The one that doesn't put on heirs. In fact, it's the kind of bar that is cool because it doesn't care what you think of it.
We met up with our very first intern, Brian Snyder, and spent the afternoon at Bobby's. We knew the legends of the music and radio industry tossed back beers there. But we never went ourselves. We made it the latest on our tour of places that will be gone forever. Jim had a PBR, while Brian and Woody sipped a soda and took it in. Old pictures, album covers, 8x10 glossies, and dollar bills cover the walls. The beer is cheap. The furniture was from your grandpa's basement bar. The only food served was a frozen Torino's pizza. We ordered a couple.
Jonathan, our bartender, could have passed for Willie Nelson's older brother. Nice as can be, he asked "Where y'all from". "Over there" as we pointed to our studios a few blocks away. He laughed and served us right quick. A young photographer was roaming the place with his long lens Nikon, almost cataloguing everything in the place for posterity.
$29 and a generous tip later, we walked past the locals who made Bobby's Idle Hour their second office and made for the exit. When our eyes adjusted to the bright afternoon sun, we couldn't help but notice the giant guitar and the sign that says "welcome to music row". That sign, the guitar, and this watering hole won't be saying "hi" much longer. By mid 2020, there'll be no evidence this place ever existed.
Damn. We missed out on making some memories here. But we got one last toast to Bobby's in before it's just an old story.
Head nod to the So Nashville TN clothing shop for acknowledging the loss of landmarks, Drop by there and help them try to keep what makes Nashville unique. They're on 16th. Right next to Bobby's Idle Hour bar. But don't wait.