In case anyone was wondering, the next country singer signing on for restaurant and bar ownership in downtown Nashville is Eric Church, and this time Carolina pitmaster Rodney Scott is getting in on the action.
The multi-platinum country superstar’s behemoth new Lower Broadway bar, Chief’s (coined after Church’s nickname and his 2011 album, Chief) is a partnership with AJ Capital’s Ben Weprin. AJ Capital purchased the building that formerly housed Cotton Eyed Joe, at 200 Broadway, from another country superstar, John Rich, back in October for $24.5 million. A press release says 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.
The six-story bar will feature an intimate, seated live music venue and something that makes this bar stand out a bit from the celeb-named bar crowded Lower Broadway stretch: Church is tapping into his Carolina roots via a whole hog barbecue restaurant on the rooftop, serving meats from pitmaster and James Beard Award-winner Rodney Scott.
Rodney Scott was the 2018 Winner of a James Beard Award for Best Chef, Southeast. The esteemed Charleston-based whole hog barbecue joint also serves up smoky brisket, pulled chicken, and wings. This will be the fifth location of Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ. In 2019, Rodney Scott’s BBQ opened a second location in Birmingham, Alabama, and, in the summer 2021, a third location in Atlanta.
“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,” said 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.”
Eric Church’s Chief’s is expected to start putting drinks in your hand sometime in 2023.