Johnny Cash’s Kitchen & Saloon celebrated its opening today, a full on tribute in bar form to the black-clad legend, located right besides the museum of the same name on downtown’s 3rd Avenue.
Entering the ground level of the 15,000-square-food establishment, visitors find live Johnny Cash tunes performed daily, adjacent to the “backstage” restaurant serving a meat-and-three menu from Nashville’s decades-old Southern dining mainstay, Swett’s. The Swett family is a Nashville name known since 1954 for its cafeteria-style Southern fare.
A hand painted mural immortalizes Cash and Carter family legacies alongside never-before-seen photos of the superstar’s daily life.
The space was designed to make visitors feel as if they’re dining in Johnny and June’s own home for dinner. The first floor meat-and-three is served in the traditional cafeteria style, featuring a concentrated Swett’s lineup includes fried chicken, meat loaf, pork chops, catfish, and roast beef, plus homestyle sides and desserts.
Cash song lyrics line the staircase, leading up to a second floor studded with stained glass windows depicting scene’s from the singer’s life. Rough-hewn timber and stone set a rustic scene here. There’s a floor-to-ceiling fireplace lounge and a replica of the Cash’s cabin’s front porch, facing the second floor stage and bar. The performance area is wrapped in a mural of the former Cash home on Old Hickory Lake.
Owned by Bill Miller (Icon Entertainment Group), the restaurant’s opening welcomed a number of Cash and Carter family names, including John Carter Cash, Tommy Cash, Joanne Cash, and Carlene Carter. Miller, a former fan who became a friend of Cash, opened the Johnny Cash Museum in 2013, and has since opened the Patsy Cline Museum, Nudie’s honky-tonk on Broadway, magic-laden House of Cards, and taken over Skull’s Rainbow Room.
If anyone’s keeping track, downtown’s current roster of bars named after singers or owned by one: Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, AJ’s Good Time Bar, The George Jones, FGL House, Jason Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink, Nashville Underground, Ole Red, Redneck Riviera, Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk, and now Johnny Cash’s Kitchen & Saloon.
Johnny Cash’s Kitchen & Saloon is now open 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily. Kitchen hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. It’s 21+ only after 8 p.m.
Scroll below to see inside the new Man in Black-themed destination downtown.