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Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood Celebrate the Opening of Friends in Low Places Honky Tonk & Bar

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood are officially the newest residents in Nashville’s Neon Neighborhood, as they celebrated the grand opening of Country Music Hall of Famer Brooks’ Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky-Tonk on Thursday (March 7). The venue takes its name from the country star’s signature 1990 hit.

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In a press conference that evening, Brooks told reporters of the two-year process that has gone into creating Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky-Tonk, “A lot of love has gone into this building. There’s a lot of people who busted their a– to make this happen,” he said, thanking the mostly local crew who built the venue.

While there are nearly a dozen country star-themed bars and music venues either currently open or in the works in Nashville’s Lower Broadway — a testament to country music’s commercial power — Brooks’ newly opened venue is filled with unique elements that honor not only his storied career, but also offer a different vantage point for Nashville patrons.

Located at 411 Broadway, the four-story, 54,715-square-foot venue features a honky-tonk on the first two floors, including a retractible stage (the center of said stage features the “G” logo from the stage at NYC’s Central Park, where Brooks played to an estimated audience of more than 1 million people on Aug. 7, 1997). Meanwhile, the fourth-floor open-air rooftop bar area, dubbed “The Oasis” from a line in “Friends in Low Places,” features a beach vibe with indoor and outdoor seating, 10-foot palm trees and two full bars. The rooftop area also tips its hat to the location’s former venue, Paradise Park, with a refurbished neon sign above one of the doorways that read “Paradise Park Food Stand, Burgers, Fries, Chicken.”

The first two floors and the rooftop are open to everyone, while the third floor features a trio of event spaces, including the members-only Sevens Club, decked out in an old-school Hollywood vibe. A curved bar, a pool table and a piano, along with upholstered and leather chairs and couches, as well as a jukebox, a fireplace and insulated windows give the third floor a homey, relaxed and decidedly un-Lower Broadway feel.

Next to the Sevens Club, Yearwood’s vision and handiwork is distinct in a rentable space for parties and events, with a look similar to the decor that Yearwood used for her Trisha’s Southern Kitchen show, with a spacious, fully functioning kitchen and seating area that leads into a smaller seating area and an elegant conference room area. Yearwood noted that plans could include sometimes filming her cooking show in the kitchen space. The areas offer a setting for gatherings of up to 250 guests.

“I feel like Frank Sinatra could walk up to that bar and order a Jack and Smoke [a specialty drink offered in the venue] and feel very comfortable,” Yearwood tells Billboard of the Sevens Club. “It feels right. There’s these two floors of honky-tonks and when you step off that elevator on that floor, it’s like you’re in a residence. There’s crown molding, it’s rich, luxe furnishings and you go into that Sevens Club and it’s like, ‘Wow, are we on Lower Broadway?’ And even in the kitchen, there are wood ceilings, and that checkerboard floor. I fought for that checkerboard floor. Garth was like, ‘That seems like a lot,’ and I was like, ‘No, it’s a statement.’ And it’s beautiful.”

Personal touches are scattered throughout the venue, including the front entrance, where patrons can see the bronze statue of Brooks, taken from Bakersfield, California’s Crystal Palace, where Brooks proposed to Yearwood in 2005. The back wall of the venue is a mural of photos from Brooks’ career. Notably, Brooks’ touring team, including Moo TV and Bandit Lites, oversaw the lighting, production and massive LED screen for the venue. The building also includes a police substation that the team created in partnership with the Metro Nashville Police Department.

The menu reflects Yearwood’s work as a bestselling cookbook author and star of her Food Network cooking show, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. The offerings include fare from her cookbooks as well as bar food. Patrons can also taste a reproduction of the sour cream pound wedding cake recipe that Yearwood’s mother made for Brooks and Yearwood on their wedding day in 2005.

“I remember going to a restaurant in Memphis and being told that Elvis ate there a lot,” Yearwood says of bringing personal touches to the venue’s menu. “I wanted to order what Elvis ate, so I ordered the banana and peanut butter sandwich. So, I felt like if you are a fan and this is the actual recipe, this is the cake, and my mom made wedding cakes on the side when we were little kids to make extra money, so this was her thing.”

“The goal here was to keep it simple,” Yearwood also told reporters of the menu. “Most of my recipes are things that my mom made, my mom and my dad, they were home cooks. That’s what we’re going for here. … It’s been a process of going through and saying, ‘This will work on a big scale.’ The menu is just where we’re starting. We’ll see what works and change it up as we go, because we have a lot of recipes to choose from.”

As well, a new six-episode docuseries on Amazon Prime Video gives a behind-the-scenes look at the design and construction that went into creating the new honky-tonk. Brooks and Yearwood worked with Max and Benjamin Goldberg and their team from Strategic Hospitality, which has also worked on local Nashville restaurants including The Patterson House. The docuseries is produced by Amazon MGM Studios and Casey Patterson Entertainment, with Brooks, Casey Patterson and Carol Donovan serving as executive producers. The docuseries features Brooks and Yearwood working with the Goldbergs as well as Jenny Deathridge Bratt and Camille Tambunting to create the space.

Brooks tells Billboard: “My favorite moments [in the documentary] is when you see the character of these people under fire –you’re against timelines, you’re up against budgets.”

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