Love it or hate it, the multi-level collaborative endeavor between Kid Rock and the folks who own Tootsies opened its lower levels on Lower Broadway earlier this month. Just saying the mouthful-of-a-name out loud triggers a need for a drink — Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock & Roll Steakhouse. Found at 217 Broadway, a temporary “now open” sign hangs in front of the four-story venue boasting a bar and stage-views on every level, including the rooftop deck. Large windows flank the space, to be cracked open when weather permits.
Entrepreneurs Steve Smith and Al Ross (of the the world-famous Tootsies Orchid Lounge, Honky-Tonk Central, Rippy’s, and the Diner, among others) partnered with Kid Rock for the $20 million, four-story entertainment venue and steakhouse with a rock music focus, which they said would feel like “one big patio.” Currently there is no website or menu for the bar/steakhouse/whatever online.
Reviews on the behemoth bar’s new Facebook page are all enthusiastic — some going as far as to call it “the best bar on Broadway” while others say the prices are great. One one-star Yelp reviewer says he came for dinner and drinks at the alleged steakhouse and that they were out of steak. Said reviewed noted the staff seemed to be “in over their heads.” Another five-star review raved about the “sweet music” and the fact that Kid Rock jumped on stage for a bit.
This is Detroit-native country/rap/rock star Kid Rock’s (real name Robert Ritchie) first foray into the Nashville food scene, following suit behind the growing number of celebrities enthusiastically attaching their names to Broadway bars. But he isn’t new entirely to restaurant ownership — last year in Detroit he opened 5,800-square-foot food and beverage project called Kid Rock’s Made in Detroit.
Ritchie has been friends with Smith and Ross for years, frequenting Tootsies and even marrying his then-wife Pamela Anderson there. Ross and Smith bought the old Trail West building at Third and Broadway for $8.4 million in 2014.