NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The developers behind some of downtown Nashville's most successful honky tonks have announced plans to open a new steakhouse and honky tonk bar on Lower Broadway.
Harry O's Steakhouse will occupy the former Trail West store at the corner of 3rd Avenue and Broadway, a prime spot in Nashville's entertainment district.
"We've been pretty fortunate with prime locations. We have Tootsie's and Rippy's, on the corner up there. We have Honky Tonk Central on this corner," said owner Steve Smith.
A fast-casual steakhouse will be located on the first floor of the building at 219 Broadway.
"It's going to have a big open grill, so you'll be cooking cowboy steaks down in the front. People walking will be able to see inside the restaurant, cooking the steaks," Smith explained.
The steakhouse will be on the first floor. There will be two other floors where there will be food, bars and music. The developers also planned to develop the rooftop of the building.
The restaurant and bar complex will be geared towards visitors coming to downtown Nashville.
"If you're in Nashville, and you're a tourist and you want to hang out, you don't have to worry about getting dressed up and making reservations or anything of that nature. You just walk in the door, sit down and have a good time," said Smith.
The project was expected to come on-line at a time when tourism continues to grow in downtown Nashville.
"More people than ever before, and the end to it, I really don't see it yet, so I think we're in a great spot," said Harry O's developer Al Ross. "How many hotels have we built recently? We're short of hotels. We don't have enough space."
The corner property has been involved in controversy in recent years. There were several high profile projects planned for the site, which failed to come to fruition. One project even prompted a call for a change in zoning.
"Walgreen's was proposed, and then we looked at trying to do something, like something of a chain restaurant, or chain store, or chain restaurant ever came we wanted it to remain uniquely Nashville. So I think we have achieved this," said Metro Council member Erica Gilmore.
The lawmaker said with the increase in visitors, downtown has been in need of locally-owned projects like Harry O's.
"We need lots of eateries, and we need ones that when they're unique, especially to Broadway, we think Nashville, we have a unique brand, the fact they're going to have music here, I think it's a wonderful addition, and adds an element to this particular area," Gilmore said.
The transformation of the building is said to fit into the historic look of downtown Nashville. It was actually built in 1944, after the original building on that site burned, and was demolished.
Plans for Harry O's still need to get approval from several Metro governing bodies. The owners do not foresee any issues winning those approvals and hope to have the complex open in March 2016.