Visitors to Nashville next year will have a new item to add to their “must-do” lists, with the new that Eric Church is to open a Downtown food, drink and entertainment venue – to be fittingly named “Chief’s“.
Plans are afoot to begin development of the six storey property on the corner of 2nd Avenue and Broadway before the end of this year, in partnership with real estate and hospitality entrepreneur Ben Weprin.
“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,” reflects Church. “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.”
The critically acclaimed entertainer’s passion for live music will be on full display with an intimate seated music venue within the space. His roots in the Carolinas will also be reflected on the rooftop of the former Cotton Eyed Joe building, with renowned Charleston pitmaster and James Beard Award winner Rodney Scott bringing his Whole Hog BBQ to Music City.
“I am beyond excited to not only bring Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ to Music City, but to also partner with my good friends Eric and Ben on this project,” says Scott. “Anyone who knows me, knows that I love music – so the opportunity to expand the brand in partnership with an award-winning musician makes this project extra special! I can’t wait to share our Carolina roots and our whole hog BBQ with the incredible people of Nashville.”
Church, who set the Nissan Stadium concert attendance record of 56,521 across the river from where Chief’s will stand, has been closely involved in the planning process for the venue, which will reflect his storied career of 30 Gold, Platinum and multi-Platinum singles – from his Sinners Like Me debut through current Top 15-and-climbing single “Heart On Fire” and beyond.
“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,” notes Mayor John Cooper. “I thank the partners involved for keeping the character of the building while creating a new concept for locals and our visitors to enjoy.”
“Pairing Eric’s talent and passion for music and his work ethic with a new restaurant, bar, performance hall and more downtown is a recipe for success,” adds Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp CEO Butch Spyridon. “The fact that he is doing this in a historic building that will transform the gateway to historic Second Avenue is truly a bonus as that street recovers from 2020’s unfortunate incident.”
“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,” continues Church. “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.”