Eric Church is gearing up to claim his spot in Nashville, Tennessee, on bustling Lower Broadway with his new larger-than-life bar, which will be called Chief’s. The anticipated establishment, named after the country music star’s 2011 album, is still in the building process. But, Church is sharing more details that visitors can expect to find when the six-story complex is ready to welcome patrons inside.
During a recent interview on SiriusXM’s The Highway, Church said the ticketed venue will include a recording studio and an area where guests will be treated to live performances from musical guests, DJs, and Church himself.
“Well, there’s gonna be a studio in Chief’s, and we’re going to do a lot of stuff live there,” Church said of the honky-tonk, developed in partnership with AJ Capital’s Ben Weprin. “We’re going to do a couple of exclusive shows there. And I’m going to play… It’s going to be a different show. It’s going to be 470 people. It’s a venue. So it’s a ticketed venue.”
The four-time CMA Award-winning singer/songwriter added that, unlike other concerts, the shows inside Chief’s will be more intimate, personal, and stripped-down.
“It’s gonna be more of a storyteller/songwriter, stories about my life, challenges I’ve had, songs that relate to that, just me being on a stage, no mics, no gear, just me,” Church shared. “…. I’m gonna walk around. It’s not going to be [me in] a set position. It’s going to be a little bit like a Broadway show. It’s going to be like Bruce’s except it’s a different Broadway. Broadway South (laughs)… It’s gonna be fun.”
One of the reasons why Church wanted his honky tonk situated along Lower Broadway is because he spent many years trying to play on the iconic strip before he shot to fame. Church got his start playing outside of the strip, on Printer’s Alley, in a venue called Fiddle and Steel.
“I really couldn’t get on Broadway,” Church recalled. “The reason I went to Printer’s Alley and went to The Fiddle And Steel is because that’s where kind of the misfits went, outside rejects. The people that weren’t allowed to play on Broadway. [It] took a lot, especially when I came to town. It took a lot to play on Broadway. There weren’t as many places, and the places were pretty coveted. Especially if you tried to play there, it was pretty stacked up. Those people, you know, they didn’t give up their slots and so we would always go… all the musicians and artists that were counted as the misfits, we would end up on Printer’s Alley at The Fiddle And Steel.”
“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 previously shared. “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.”
Church wanted to include as much of his backstory inside his new building. On top of its select location, the “Hell Of A View” singer revealed one particular item he retrieved to add to the atmosphere of Chief’s.
“So two things… One is to be on Broadway. What I hope our place has – and it will have – is the [musical] spirit of that. The other part of the story that’s interesting is we got the original sign that hung in that Alley at The Fiddle And Steel,” Church said. “It’s going to hang at Chief’s. We found it. We found it two days ago. A guy had it, a guy who was a general manager at the bar when the bar dissolved. He had it. It took a while to find him, it has taken months to find him. But we found him, and we got the sign. So it’ll hang in Chief’s. I’m very proud of that.”
Aside from the wall memorabilia, music will be played during the Chief’s open hours. Along with live performances, guests can expect to hear Church’s curated playlist coming through the walls from his Eric Church Outsiders Radio channel, housed on SiriusXM.
“There will be a studio that will be broadcasting live, and we’ll be recapturing that, and there’ll be other shows involved,” Church explained. “But our station, Outsiders Radio, will be a big part of Chief’s and what it is.”
— Eric Church (@ericchurch) October 28, 2022
Church’s exclusive 24/7 Eric Church Outsiders Radio station became available on the SXM App earlier this month. The station features music from Church’s discography, collaborations with friends, behind-the-scenes stories, and some of his favorite songs from other artists. The station also includes four original programs: Best of Outsiders Radio, Live from the Pit, A Song to Sing, and Insiders Hours.
“We’re trying to be thoughtful about how we play the music and why the music matters,” Church, who held a monthly Outsiders Radio show on SiriusXM’s The Highway since 2015, said in a statement. “This is about something that you actually go, ‘Oh. That’s cool. That, I haven’t heard that.’ So, chasing that pathway is what gives me excitement about what we’re trying to do here with Outsiders Radio.”
What can you expect on @Eric Church’s Outsiders Radio? 👀 Eric joins The Storme Warren Show to give you a sneak peek.
As for Chief’s, the area used to be the home of Cotton Eyed Joe, previously owned by Big & Rich’s John Rich. The new space located at 200 Broadway will feature a seated live music venue and a whole hog barbecue restaurant on the rooftop, serving meats from Carolina pitmaster Rodney Scott.
“Together, we will create an experience unique to Nashville and absolutely unparalleled in the world of music, food, fellowship, and entertainment,” Church previously added. “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.”