Last Saturday night my wife and I decided to have some drinks at The Continental, an upscale restaurant and bar in Nashville, Tennessee. The award-winning chef and owner of the restaurant, Sean Brock, is famous for his creative takes on Southern American cuisine (which basically means that you can always find country ham and grits on the menu in some form or fashion – once he told me that even if country ham isn’t on the menu, just ask and there will always be some available!).
The current iteration of the restaurant is about to undergo a major transformation into something he is going to call Bar Continental, which will feature multiple spaces where he and other DJs will spin vintage vinyl on vintage McIntosh and Tannoy equipment. He purportedly is going to provide about 5,000 LPs from his personal collection. Apparently, this is inspired by the Japanese “kissas” of the 1950s, which served as tea lounges (and later, cocktail bars) where guests could hear the latest jazz albums through high-end audio equipment. This new bar is reportedly going to focus on jazz, blues, soul, classic rock, British fuzz and classic honky tonk music.
Well, last night (the next to last Saturday of the existence of The Continental) my wife and I sat down at the bar and noticed that a lot of the vinyl, and some of the hi-fi gear, had been delivered already and was just sitting behind the bar. Most interesting were the speakers. No labels on the front, but when I looked around the back, I saw that they were made by the “Tannoy Professional Products Division”. I asked the bartender about them and he said that the story is that they were custom made for Johnny Cash, and later used by the Grateful Dead, before they were sold off as surplus from a local recording studio. I can neither confirm nor deny this story, but I intend to ask Sean Brock personally once the new bar opens in a few weeks (he spends a lot of time in his restaurants, and has even said he will do some of the DJing himself).
Anyway, some pictures below. I will update this once it opens and I have a chance to experience it, but if anyone happens to be in Nashville this sounds like this place might be worth a visit!