In January 2017, Blake Shelton and Ryman Hospitality Properties announced they had teamed up to transform Blake’s 2001 breakout hit, “Ol’ Red,” into two new venues in Nashville and his hometown of Tishomingo, Okla.
With a planned opening in 2018, Ole Red Nashville at 300 Broadway will be a multi-level 26,000-square-foot entertainment venue, with a two-story bar and restaurant, retail area, performance space, dance floor and private VIP booths for small groups. The complex will also include a large, private event space and a 6,000-square-foot rooftop featuring an indoor/outdoor bar and restaurant with panoramic views of Lower Broadway.
Blake sat down with Nash Country Daily on his tour bus during CMA Fest on June 4 and shared how the partnership with Ryman Hospitality Properties transpired, as well as giving a progress update on when he expects Ole Red Nashville to open.
“The last time I saw the inside of that building was when I walked over there with Colin [Reed] and Stephen Buchanan [of Ryman Hospitality Properties] and a bunch of guys from Gaylord Entertainment and actually went in,” said Blake. “We all went in there and went on every floor of that building and looked around and they gave me their vision at the time, what they thought it would be, before there was ever even a rendering or anything. And I remember we went on every floor, then we got to the top, wow.
“Me and Gwen [Stefani] walked to the back of the building. Standing there, she goes, ‘What you gonna do?’ ‘The f**k you think I’m gonna do? I want to do this. This is exciting, this is cool,’ and she goes, ‘That’s what I thought.’ We were standing on top of it, and it’s taller than anything down here. I was trying to play my cards close to my chest and kind of be like, ‘Eh, maybe’ and the whole time going, ‘Holy s**t, this is awesome!’ And so of course I wanted to do it, be a part of it, and the only stipulation was that they had to do one in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, too, and that’s really where the partnership came in because I already had the property there, they already had the property here, but of course this one probably cost a little more than the one in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, did.
“I think every floor’s going to be a different vibe. That’s the plan anyway, because this bottom floor and then the balcony that looks over into it, that’s going to be your straight-up honky-tonk like you see up and down Broadway. And then all the way up, there will be a formal room that you can rent, have whatever you want in it, and then there will be a restaurant, and then of course the upstairs is really the exclusive—that’s going to be where everybody wants to be is upstairs because it’s just so much taller than anything down here.
“It’s stupid to throw out any date that I think it might be open, but I hope it’s open by CMA Fest . So whatever day we’re hearing right now, I think that’s the goal and I don’t see why it can’t happen, but again, we’re dealing with a historic building right there and you’ve got to do this right.”
Ole Red Tishomingo is tentatively set to open in late 2017. Ground was broken on Main Street in Blake’s hometown in April. Old Red Tishomingo will include a 4,700-square-foot restaurant and performance space as well as a 1,400-square-foot retail store.
Renderings via Tuck-Hinton Architects and Anderson Design Studio