The construction in the North Gulch area of Nashville at 125 12th Avenue North has been causing quite a stir and it’s not just from the sounds of the demolition. Indeed there has been much discussion about what exactly has moved into the venue that lies across the street from 12th and Porter.
While the address and bones of the building at this site remain the same as they have for several decades, patrons of the new venue will be surprised to find a drastically different floor plan from all prior endeavors complete with a new entrance as well as a new name befitting a new venue in Music City – “Anthem.”
“The architectural renderings have gone through several evolutions as we explored all the opportunities to maximize the space while still making it feel cozy,” said Austin Ratliff of The Status Group, co-owner of Anthem and longtime Nashville resident. “And now that we are under construction, I can’t wait to see the final results of our efforts.”
Anthem will include a live music space for performers to entertain 1,000 of their closest friends from an expansive stage, a sprawling, new mezzanine level complete with a plush, new, 400-capacity VIP room that runs the entire length of the building and overlooks the main floor and finally, a boutique dive bar known as ‘Revelry’ that will open at 5pm nightly and offer a more intimate, entertaining experience. Behind the scenes, a full kitchen and a 3,000 square-foot staging/green room for artists and their entourages will compliment the amenities. And while guests can expect an upscale experience and a Vegas-style dress code that prohibits the obvious, the experience will be anything but fussy.
“Going into this, we are really focusing on not pigeonholing this venue with one particular label,” said co-owner and longtime local, London Parfitt of The Status Group. “We are going to be a club that offers live music and we are going to stay open late once that live music ends so that we can cater to mature crowds that want a place to go, to move and to feel sexy. But we are so much more than just a nightclub. This is a gathering space to entertain. Whether you want to kick off your evening with friends over a quiet cocktail and some delicious food or stay late in order to be in the center of the action, the new layout of Anthem makes this venue not only a stopping-by point during a fun night out, but a destination for an excellent time.”
It’s a bold statement for a new venue owner to make but one that business partners Parfitt and Ratliff, feel confident standing by. You see, although this is the first venue they have both personally invested in, it is far from their inaugural endeavor. Both gentlemen have nearly thirty years of experience in the service industry in Music City between them and have been working unwaveringly for over a decade, quietly overseeing important details in the development and success of restauranteur Chris Hyndman’s ‘M Street’ empire, which now consists of Virago, Citizen, Whiskey Kitchen, Tavern and Kayne Prime and formerly Lime and Layl’a Rul. The expertise Parfitt and Ratliff gained while working for such a stellar organization with such a high level of service will undoubtedly contribute to the success of Anthem.
Another contributor to the success is the addition of Chef Chad Combs, who will curate a global menu highlighted by the southern chic food he is known for. Combs formerly held court in the kitchens of Lime, radius10 and Whiskey Kitchen and he is looking forward to presiding over a cuisine that presents delectable tapas and small bites perfect for sharing.
“London and Austin have encouraged me to get creative with the menu. We are going to offer more than just ‘club grub’ and the kitchen will stay open as late as the venue does,” said Combs. “In fact, we’ll also offer epicurean, to-go items that our guests can enjoy once they’ve returned home. There’s no reason for our guests to eat poorly just because they want to eat late.”
Finally, a hybrid, specialty cocktail menu from the full bar and professional table service will complete the tasting options.
In addition, a strong emphasis in the plans has been placed on providing cutting edge audio, visual and lighting technology to ensure an experience not heard, seen or felt elsewhere in Nashville. These details are being carried out in a number of ways
including the installation of subwoofers under the platforms and seating areas in the modern theater space so that guests can literally feel the music. These features will be highlighted with regular performances from local and national acts and DJs.
Guests can also expect smooth access to the venue with the implementation of a shared parking plan between all neighbors on the block of 12th Avenue North including free valet services as well as free self-parking.
“Our goal is to support our neighbors. There has been huge growth in the North Gulch area within the past year and this is only the beginning,” said Moni Advani, a hotelier, finance specialist and investor in Anthem. “We have a broad vision of what the plans are for this area of Nashville and Anthem will be an ongoing part of that landscape.”
If all goes according to plan, an invitation-only, soft opening for friends and family could happen as soon as New Year’s Eve though Parfitt and Ratliff have enough experience in the hospitality industry to know better than to make that announcement official. Still, construction is currently on target with the timeline and things are moving very quickly. Take a glance at Anthem’s Facebook page and you’ll see through the documented photos that major updates are coming through each and every day.
“We are looking forward to sharing the space with guests and of course, we will have a massive VIP list, not only for the opening but for the duration of Anthem,” said Ratliff. “We are very fortunate to have made many friends in Nashville over the years and we want this to be a place where they always feel welcome and respected.”