Nashville Business Journal: “Nashville’s newest honky-tonk: Upscale and ‘date-worthy’”

A private-education entrepreneur and the granddaughter of a noted country music singer are among the investors pumping more than $6 million into downtown Nashville's newest honky-tonk venue.

The bar, named Almost Famous, is set to open in June 2016, in time for the CMA Music Festival, the city's largest annual tourism event. It would become the latest addition to Lower Broadway's live country music scene — which is the epicenter of the city's booming tourism industry and a staple of its "Music City" brand that has attained national stardom over the past few years and spurred ABC's "Nashville" show.

The venue will occupy the three-story building at 110 Second Ave. N. where Silver Dollar Saloon operated until it closed on Halloween. An investor group led by Scott Thompson bought out the long-term lease held by Silver Dollar Saloon owner Barrett Hobbs, a man who owns other downtown honky-tonks as well. The building itself remains owned by an unrelated private family trust.

Silver Dollar Saloon occupied only the building's first floor, said Scott Thompson, the chief investor in Almost Famous.

By contrast, Thompson's group plans to renovate the entire 20,000-square-foot building, including the basement, and add a 3,000-square-foot rooftop deck. The building will include multiple bars, a full-service restaurant and, of course, a live music venue. It's no small feat, considering the building is 140 years old.

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