New Nashville Music Venue Has Americana Soft Opening
Last week’s Americana Festival also provided an opportunity for Nashville’s newest and most-anticipated music room to show itself off. The just-about-ready City Winery opened its doors to three sold-out nights of showcases plus a standing-room-only Sunday morning Gospel brunch. Yours truly had the pleasure of making two visits and came away overjoyed about this venue and what it will mean for Music City.
Nashville is now the fourth City Winery location in addition to New York, Chicago and Napa. Being a longtime fan of their Manhattan venue, here’s what I love about the City Winery:
- High-caliber acts: The CW circuit seems to attract top-notch artists, some of whom never make it to Nashville. Hopefully the ones that I have seen playing the other CWs will make their way here as well. Nashville is off to a great start with upcoming bookings featuring Ian Hunter, Los Lobos, Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, Daniel Lanois and Lucinda Williams.
- Advance Seating: Through the CW website, seats (Yes seats! A preference to standing for an old codger like me.) are selected and reserved in advance. This sure beats having to arrive early to secure a good viewing spot.
- Comfort:—The Nashville space seats 300 without a bad seat in the house. The view lines are spectacular, and the stage is high and wide. The spacious room is not the least bit cramped and there is plenty of room to make your way around the long tables. The upstairs VIP area however looks a little too distant from the action for my liking.
- Sound: They spared no expense in installing a fabulous sound system. Likewise, they advertise for the crowd to be quiet and respectful of the performers–a fact that is sadly becoming lost in Music City.
- Food: Although the kitchen was not yet open, I know from experience that the food in New York is eclectically delicious. With former Holland House Chef, Kristin Beringson coming on board locally, we know that the Nashville menu will live up to CW’s high standards.
- Professionalism: From their slick website to their courteous and helpful staff, this place is so well-managed and operated that it makes you wish your life was this organized.
- Vinofile Program: This is the best $75 that my music budget has ever spent. The annual membership provides advance notice of shows as well as the opportunity to buy tickets early and free of service charges. Holders also get free valet parking which leads me to my final comment about the club.
I am just not sure how having valet parking will work at a Nashville concert venue. Sorry, but I am just not keen on waiting for my car when I am anxious to get home, especially on a weeknight. I have had little time to experiment to see what parking alternatives might be available on the street, but most of the street spots nearby were reserved for valet spots. However, I must say that in my two experiences so far, I did get my car quick, but that was after making a mad dash to the valet line.
Yes, the City Winery is certainly a posh concert experience by Nashville standards. However, I think that it works, and that you will soon find it to be your favorite club-sized venue in town. I know that they are sure going to see a lot of Music City Mike!
City Winery Nashville
609 Lafayette Street
Nashville, TN 37203