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smeagolsfree

Country Music Cafe

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I almost posted this yesterday but did not have much information on it until now. This deserves its own thread for sure.

This looks like a Hard Rock copy cat. It may do well in certain cities for sure, but I wonder if they expect to have a law suit filed from Hard Rock because of the similarities.

No prototype up and running yet, so I guess we will have to wait and see.

http://nashville.bizjournals.com/nashville.../19/story2.html

Thanks to Michael Hayes;

The company website.

http://www.countrymusiccafe.com/

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I'm not sure the Hard Rock has a patent on live music and food establishments or the word cafe. I think The Bluebird should be more concerned becasue it looks like they are going after the songwriter in the round crowd which in my opinion is brilliant for Nashville. Tourists know very little about The Bluebird concept and will find it very interesting. The Sunday morning Gospel Brunch is a direct ripoff of the House of Blues in Chicago. This whole concept is a great way to showcase what is truly unique in Nashville, not just a honky tonk. Wish this one was on Broadway!

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the design is hideous--they may as well be dropping a Shoney's in SoBro. And they will be valeting to a surface parking lot?

Blah

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I'm not sure the Hard Rock has a patent on live music and food establishments or the word cafe. I think The Bluebird should be more concerned becasue it looks like they are going after the songwriter in the round crowd which in my opinion is brilliant for Nashville. Tourists know very little about The Bluebird concept and will find it very interesting. The Sunday morning Gospel Brunch is a direct ripoff of the House of Blues in Chicago. This whole concept is a great way to showcase what is truly unique in Nashville, not just a honky tonk. Wish this one was on Broadway!

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I'm not sure the Hard Rock has a patent on live music and food establishments or the word cafe. I think The Bluebird should be more concerned becasue it looks like they are going after the songwriter in the round crowd which in my opinion is brilliant for Nashville. Tourists know very little about The Bluebird concept and will find it very interesting. The Sunday morning Gospel Brunch is a direct ripoff of the House of Blues in Chicago. This whole concept is a great way to showcase what is truly unique in Nashville, not just a honky tonk. Wish this one was on Broadway!

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hey guys, since the story (and i assume a rendering) are behind the wall, could someone post the rendering. However, after all the previous comments i am afraid to see what it looks like.

Aside:

NT, you should run for some sort of chair on the planning commission! Seriously, I love your banter, it cracks me up every time!

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you know, this building fits in perfectly--I mean absolutley perfectly . . . if its built over in the Music Valley area by Opryland Hotel with the wax museums and all that other crap over there.

I hope this does not get built.

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Edit:

nevermind about the rendering, i just realized it is on the cafe website. Yuck!

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Are you all the same people trying to make sure Tootsie's, Robert's, Legends Corner, Trail West, etc. etc. stay intact. Talk about Redneck, these are the worst looking buildings I have EVER seen, but that is what works. When all of you who want it to look a certain way come up with the money to build it your self, then go ahead. What do you want this to look like the Wild Boar or Mario's? C'mon people how is this so differnt from the Hard Rock on Broadway in terms of design? And what is so terrible about this design based upon the style and type of establishment and target audience?

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I agree that I'm not thrilled about the look. I also agree with Producer's comments. I'm a little flippy sometimes.

What I've done is what I hope all of you will do. Write Brian at the cafe and let tell him about your feelings. (There's a contact link on the website). I told him I assumed he had someone unfamiliar with Nashville and SoBro and the surrounding areas design the exterior of the place. It does look rather shopping center-ish and I hope he'll rethink the appearance (ESPECIALLY the musical notes, egad, always a sore spot with me). This thing needs some funk factor. Maybe he should consult with whoever did the Songwriters and Musicians Hall of Fame. Yes, I think he should.

But, I think we should encourage his success. SoBro is an infant and investment is important. I would imagine with some tweaking he can make everybody more comfortable; maybe not happy, but more comfortable.

So write him, tell him your vision for SoBro. Offer suggestions. Wish him well. Don't jump into his face too much. He just might need us, and I feel it's our responsibility to take things we don't like and do what we can to make them better. He's the property owner, he can do what he wants. Let's just shed a little light on the matter.

I gave him the urls of this site and the charette to help him get a feel of what we are all about. But I urge you all to write him. Now's the time, not later when all we can do is drive by and grimmace.

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This place will be fronting Gateway Blvd right? If so, it needs about 2-3 more stories added for it to fit into the idea I've always heard put forth about what Gateway should look like.

Other than that, I don't have too many problems with it. I especially like they went with fronting the street and not with a parking lot.

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I swear I was just looking at the renderings on thier site and now they're gone. Or am just blind and looking in the wrong spot? Perhaps the owner is listening to those emails.

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Nope, it's gone. Odd. Well, I can only hope they do a design that is befitting of SoBro and not some surburban outparcel. Just a little creativity and thought is all I ask. Other than that, I am cool with it.

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I'd love to see the renderings also. I don't like when developers who are inexperienced with development in urban areas, and (this is key) clearly have no interest in LEARNING about development in urban areas, want to get in on "the trend" but make no attempt to alter their typical suburban designs for a different type of environment.

Hopefully the fact that they took the renderings down means that they are rethinking it. Obviously I have nothing wrong with the concept whatsoever. Sounds fitting for Nashville, although it is a bit cliche'. What I, like most others, have a problem with is the fact that if it is going to be in the middle of one of the city's hottest up-and-coming urban districts, it should respect the goals of that district and help it traverse into the future, not leave it wallowing in the past.

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Interesting, I wonder if Dave's letter writing campaign had anything to do with this. The archictecture was similar to the 1-story Fudrucker's parcel on West End or the Music Row strip, innocuous, suburban style junk that will look even more like poo (love the terminology) in ten years or so but with the added design elements of musical notes running along the facade in case anyone forgot they were in Nashville or needed to be reminded of the Country Music theme of the restaurant.

Producer2, as far as what's wrong with it, how about what's right with it? Why can't we ask for buildings to be more than just cheap, one-note bill-boards that basically insult and demean their patrons and every bystander that walks or drives by?

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Guys and gals,

I'd like to pass this along from Brian. I won't say much as intro to this as he explains himself very well in his letter back to me. I'm including mine (grammatical slips and all) so you can see the entire conversation. I'm very impressed and pleased with the response. Actually, I feel a bit warm and fuzzy at the moment. If nothing else, perhaps this will show us all that we do matter and that having the various groups like us from which to gather information and "the feel" of a project does more than we might realize in our helping to shape the city we love.

Dave

First, my letter to Brian:

Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2007 11:18 AM

To: [email protected]

Subject: Your cafe in Nashville

Hello Brian,

The word is out about the cafe and I can say that on one hand I'm thrilled about the concept. I'm sure much thought and study went into this idea, but the general consensus among the urban design groups on Nashville is that you're about to commit an absolute travesty with the design of the Nashville building. In a different setting, this would work just fine. I'm not saying that the building itself is ugly (even though I find the musical notes on the front facade quite the big joke), but this design belongs somewhere, ANYWHERE else except in SoBro where we're trying desperately to create a unique urban neighborhood of which we, as Nashville city dwellers can be proud.

I beg of you to rethink this suburban looking building. I'd like to think you can reach out to someone who can actually help before it's too late. If you design the building's facade within the parameters with which 21st downtown Nashville subscribes, I believe you can actually be a hero, but now, you just might end up being a goat. Please take this only as intended. Constructive criticism. Believe me, you're enterting a market that is very, very sensitive to its newly developing surroundings and this look just doesn't cut it. I suspect you relied on someone who has never lived in Nashville and has used a Hollywood perspective of the place. This couldn't be more of a wrong approach.

You're about to enter a firestorm of controversy for which I hope you're prepared. Maybe you're just unaware of what's about to happen, but I assure you, I won't be among the outspoken so much, but will be behind them 100%. From what I see of the exterior design of the building, you would do yourself, the city of Nashville, and the time you need to spend perfecting sound, defending a position which will probably have a very negative outcome.

I DO want this to succeed. I LOVE country music. I promise you that, but I urge you to visit certain websites and get a feel of what's about to happen. If you're trying to reach the people in the neighborhood in which you intend to build, you're approach is waaayyyy off target. These are hip, trendy, urban professionals who will, for one, have to be coddled to even notice something with country music attached to it, but will fight you tooth and nail over the appearance of the building. This borders a historical area on Rutledge Hill and I find the intrusion of such a suburban looking structure to be insulting.

Please think again. Surely, something more appropriate can be accomplished. Then, and only then, will the newly arriving dearth of residents acknowlege the presence of your club. Entertainment and restaurant venues are things the neighborhood wants and needs, but only if done in keeping with the spirit of the area. This does not. So far.

Check these sites and don't be remiss is asking someone with SoBro in their heart about what to do. Register with the sites and you'll be able to contact them privately. These are professionals with close ties to the area and would like nothing more to contribute. Some will be harsh, but some are always harsh no matter what. I trust you'll be able to tell the good guys from the whiners.

Thanks for reading, and the best of luck to you. We want you as part of the community, but we don't want you to be the one wearing red to a funeral. Currently, this is a sore thumb.

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showforum=250 (link to this thread)

(and an introduction to nashville charrette for which I have great respect)

http://www.nashvillecharrette.com/index.php?showforum=5

Please read through some of these topics, it will help you get a true feel for the area and I'm sure will help your success in the long term.

BTW, you're prototypes are very attractive, but try to understand that no matter where you build, if you intend to build in urban environments, your battles have just begun.

I'm really trying to help here. Hope you see it that way.

David Luna

And Brian's response which came less than an hour after my letter:

"David:

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Be assured that you have my attention.

Perhaps I can put your mind at ease by letting you know that neither of the designs on the website represent what we expect our ultimate direction to be. The colorful rendering is an early recommendation from one of our consultants. Though we decided not to go in that direction, I included it simply to demonstrate our progress. Believe is or not, our investors like it. That being said, they do not live, work or play in SoBro. The other design (basically a colorized front elevation) is also very preliminary. We are very early in the process insofar as exterior look is concerned. Our project timeline contemplates that selection of exterior design elements will come toward the very end of the design process.

I read some of the posts on the blogs referenced below. Ouch! I do not have privileges to post a response, but you may feel free to share this reply as you deem appropriate.

Regarding legal issues with Hard Rock, we do not anticipate any. We hold the trademark to Country Music Caf

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^Wow, that was extremely fruitful. I'm glad that this development is headed by such a thoughtful and respectful gentleman. Now hopefully he can convince his investors, or educate them, that a more thoughtful and respectful building is needed at this location.

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Thanks Dave for getting the word out. This may serve as an example where the forum has a positive impact on development in Nashville. I certainly hope so.

I'm also excited about the prospects of getting a Country Music Cafe in Chattanooga. :rolleyes:

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I agree with you on that Hankster. I called Dave earlier in the day and he told me what he had done in regards to this subject. I am very thankful that he got a response from Brian so fast.

Thanks Brian for addressing concerns here as well. We want the best for Nashville. Best of luck to you with your venture.

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Dave,

Great job as usual and thanks for getting dialogue started with another important developer in the SoBro district. I think we should all be more prudent to ask questions before we jump to conclusions. I appreciate your efforts.

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Dave, thank you so much for taking it upon yourself to do something about this. I'm glad that it was a warm person with such a wonderful way with words that contacted Brian first. Lord knows, i'd probably be a juvenile idiot and make an ass out of myself. lol

Brian, if you're reading this, you sound like a great guy, and I truly appreciate your respect for the urban structure of Nashville and your willingness to consider altering your vision so you can be a positive member of the community.

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Interesting, I wonder if Dave's letter writing campaign had anything to do with this. The archictecture was similar to the 1-story Fudrucker's parcel on West End or the Music Row strip, innocuous, suburban style junk that will look even more like poo (love the terminology) in ten years or so but with the added design elements of musical notes running along the facade in case anyone forgot they were in Nashville or needed to be reminded of the Country Music theme of the restaurant.

Producer2, as far as what's wrong with it, how about what's right with it? Why can't we ask for buildings to be more than just cheap, one-note bill-boards that basically insult and demean their patrons and every bystander that walks or drives by?

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^Oh really? Hmm, I didn't realize that. Well, if that's true, it certainly changes some things about what's been said, but there's still no need for musical notes and other such cheesy-touristy stuff.

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I'm familiar with the building and use it often as a vantage point when photographing the downtown skyline. That's usually when the homeless guys asleep on the old loading dock don't mind. :)

While looking at the building yesterday I was wondering if a rooftop garden/deck could be fashioned someway to take advantage of the amazing views from that point a like the rooftop on the old Mix Factory. Maybe even a quiet-ish bar with music and lots of greenery. It's hard to get a view like that from the second floor of a building, but it's position on the slope would be perfect for that. It might take some steel structure added, but hopefully it could be done on a portion. It'd be a good place to chill before going back downstairs.

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