Eric Church wants to put a drink in your hand.
Church is next in a growing line of country singers with bars on Lower Broadway in Nashville. The singer and his partners bought the Cotton Eyed Joe's building at the corner of Second Avenue and Broadway and are converting it into a six-story bar, barbecue restaurant and seated venue called Chief’s.
“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 said in a 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.”
The restaurant will share Church’s nickname, which is also mimicked in his “Chief” album that was released in 2011. The addition of barbecue is a nod to Church’s North Carolina roots, and Charleston, S.C., pitmaster and James Beard Award winner Rodney Scott will set up his Whole Hog BBQ on the rooftop.
In a statement, Church said Chief’s will open in 2023. When it does, he will join Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley and Kid Rock in the list of artists with bars/restaurants in Nashville's Lower Broadway area.
“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 said. “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.”