Locals Distraught Over Closing Of Paradise Park

Posted at 4:34 PM, Jun 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-14 19:43:38-04

The green sign and red neon lights often shine like a lighthouse on a foggy night, beckoning in wayward Nashville natives who have found themselves adrift among tourists and pedal taverns on Broadway.

But next month, local favorite Paradise Park is set to close its doors.

The announcement, made by Strategic Hospitality on Wednesday, left long-time customers in shock.

"I was extremely upset and a little disappointed. It's like Cheers but without the chatter," says Tyler Sanderson who frequents the bar.

Sanderson is so passionate about trying to keep Paradise Park that he's created a Facebook group, "Keep Paradise Park Alive!" which currently has more than 200 members. While he realizes it's just a bar, Paradise Park to Sanderson and other locals stands out on Broadway because of its unique character and cheap, affordable drinks.

"We know that after we walk out of there we won't have to go to Advance Financial for a loan," he said.

Paradise Park first opened ten years ago. It's artificial turf floor often retains the stench of the countless beers that have been spilled on it over the years. There's even a bug lantern hanging in one corner of the ceiling near a disco ball, right above the El Camino that's been turned into a band stage.

But that's why locals seems to love this place so much.

"It's a home for a lot of people," said Andy Bolton, who first discovered the bar in college.

"There are numerous bars that have opened up down here and they're all just carbon copies of one another. But this is unlike any other bar. Once it's gone, I'll be losing a piece of my heart," Bolton said.  

By Thursday afternoon, there was also a petition circulating online to help save bar.

For their part, representatives from Strategic Hospitality say the building in its current state has a lot of unused space. They admittedly were caught off-guard by the public backlash but content that the building is owned and being renovated by locals, not an out of town developer.

Upstairs dueling piano bar Big Bang will also relocate as part of the building renovation. 

"We’re asking people trust us in this effort. We are so grateful for the outpouring of love for Paradise Park and believe me, we all love it too!," one company representative said in a statement.

There is no official closing date for Paradise Park, but it will likely close its doors by the end of July.