Thanks Whiskey Riff - Voted #1 Artist Owned Bar in Downtown Nashville

Thanks Whiskey Riff - Voted #1 Artist Owned Bar in Downtown Nashville

Ranking The Artist-Owned Bars In Downtown Nashville

Aaron Ryan·COUNTRY MUSIC·February 5, 2024
Nashville Bars
AJ's Good Time Bar/Friends In Low Places/Kid Rock's

When you visit Nashville, your first stop is probably going to be Lower Broadway.

It’s that neon strip of honky-tonks that welcomes you with live music from every window. And one of the first things you’ll notice (besides all of those f*cking pedal taverns and tractors full of bachelorette parties driving past you) is that you probably recognize a lot of the names hanging on neon signs in front of those bars.

Country artists are opening their own bars on almost every corner of Broadway. Some of them are good, some of them are sh*t, and some fall in between – they’re just generic bars that you could find pretty much anywhere else.

(And before you run to the comments, yes, everybody knows that most artists don’t actually “own” their bars – most of them just license their name to big hospitality companies).

So which bars are worth checking out, which ones are just “meh,” and which ones should you skip altogether?

Here’s the definitive ranking:

1. AJ’s Good Time Bar

Would you honestly expect anything less than the best from a legend like Alan Jackson?

AJ’s Good Time Bar is a no-frills honky tonk where you’ll hear nothing but real country music. It’s the kind of bar that’s almost hard to find on Broadway these days. You won’t hear any sh*tty pop music, you won’t hear endless Pat Benatar covers, and you won’t hear any rap disguised as country.

And that’s not just my opinion: It’s Alan’s rule. Nothing but damn good country music at AJ’s.

The bar is four floors, with karaoke on one floor and a rooftop bar. And other than Robert’s Western World, this is one of the only bars that makes the trip downtown worth it. If every artist-owned bar was like AJ’s, Nashville would be better for it.