A Music Row cocktail lounge modeled after the artist haven “B-rooms” of old-school recording studios is throwing open its doors to the public, a little more than a year after launching as a private members club catering to Nashville’s music industry.
The Late Great, located in the Virgin Hotels Nashville and named after the 1972 Townes Van Zandt album, opened in May 2021 as a speakeasy (complete with unmarked entry and private liquor lockers) that aimed to lure in visiting and local artists. Designed by Hannah Crowell, Johnny Cash’s granddaughter and the daughter of Rosanne Cash and Rodney Crowell, it pays homage to icons from that era of country music and Americana — think Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, and of course, Cash. Crowell wanted the Late Great to be “a sort of time capsule” for country music through 1979, at which point the genre began to “undergo significant changes,” a press release says. The lounge is outfitted with a Meyer sound system designed to Led Zeppelin-level specifications, apparently, and is strewn with musical instruments to encourage jam sessions (though we’re assuming these are invite-only).
As of early September, groups of up to four non-members can make reservations, which come with a sampler of cocktails and bites; drinks with names like the Coal Miner’s Daughter, Boy Named Sue, and Time of the Preacher, made with bourbon, rum, Amara, sage, and smoke — served with a lit “joint,” a la Willie Nelson. For now, reservations are available on Wednesday and Thursday evenings only and run $82 per person. Check out the Late Great’s dramatic, country music-themed interior below.