Bobby's Idle Hour fb photo 2020

As Nashville changed around Bobby’s Idle Hour Tavern, the neighborhood dive bar and songwriter hangout on Music Row became remarkable simply because it’s casual and ordinary. In 2005, impending development forced a move to 1028 16th Ave. S. — down the block from its original home where a restaurant had operated for years before Bobby Herald and his future wife Dianne took it over in 1978. In 2018, word went out that construction would force the bar to move again, and a grand closing party was held in January 2019.

Hopeful news came quickly: Longtime bartender Josh Distad and business partner Carolyn Lethgo bought the business. They made a plan to reopen in a small building just around the corner at 9 Music Square S., leased to them by songwriting legends Felice and Boudleaux Bryant’s sons, Del and Dane Bryant.

Months and months of renovation were nearly finished when another gigantic roadblock appeared: COVID-19. As the pandemic carried on, they provided a home for a livestream series hosted by songsmith Mando Saenz. Finally, they made a soft opening to the public in December, and they’ve had regular business hours for much of 2021.

Now, they’re finally ready to celebrate their reopening in high style. A grand opening celebration is set for Saturday, July 24. Among the performers are country-rocker champs Teddy and the Rough Riders and Banditos and blues-glamster Gyasi. Singer-songwriters like the aforementioned Saenz, undersung fixture Ann Tiley, recent Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee John Scott Sherrill and Lizard Thom Case — who took over the bar from Dianne in 2013 and handed it over to Distad — will play as well.

Music starts at noon. Check out the full lineup below and keep an eye on the bar’s website and Facebook page for more.

  • Teddy and the Rough Riders
  • Banditos
  • Gyasi
  • Zach Schmidt
  • Brit Taylor
  • Vinnie Paolizzi
  • Mando Saenz
  • John Scott Sherrill
  • Ray Sisk
  • Lizard Thom Case
  • The All-Nighters
  • Janet and Charles Cox
  • Randy Van Vooren
  • Meg Williams
  • Gary Cavanaugh
  • Scott Barrier
  • Matt Goedken
  • Chadlee Archer
  • P.J. Steelman
  • Effron White
  • Jon DiBattista
  • Joe & Cobie
  • Jay Brown
  • Derick Quince
  • Ann Tiley
  • Bob Huston
  • Mike Villines
  • Doug Toalston
The Second Revival of Bobby’s Idle Hour and the Importance of the Neighborhood Bar
Gimme Shelter 2018: Bobby's Idle Hour [Updated]
Music Row Development and Neighborhood Character
Closing Time
Idle Worship

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