Feb 10, 2022 - News

Exit/In preservation plan up for a vote

The front of Exit/In in 2006.
The front of Exit/In in 2006. Photo: Ricky Rogers/The Tennessean/USA Today Network

A proposal to preserve the 50-year-old rock and roll club Exit/In is up for a crucial vote today at the Metro Planning Commission.

  • AJ Capital Partners, which purchased the Exit/In property last year after current operators Chris and Telisha Cobb were unable to buy the building, wants to designate the music venue a historic landmark overlay district.

Why it matters: Exit/In is one of the nation's longest continuously operated rock clubs. Legends such as Etta James, The Police and R.E.M. are among the countless artists who have performed there.

  • The designation would recognize the venue's cultural significance and require an extra layer of government approvals to alter or demolish the building.

What's next: AJ Capital Partners is also going through the application process to add Exit/In to the National Register of Historic Places.

  • The historic protections are notable because fans were worried the building would get razed.

Yes, but: AJ Capital Partners, which didn't respond to a request for comment, has still not detailed its plans for the overall property. The historic landmark designation does not apply to the Hurry Back bar next door.

  • Metro Councilmember Jeff Syracuse, a vocal proponent of preserving Nashville's music history, says he's glad AJ Capital Partners is protecting Exit/In but tells Axios he's disappointed that the protection plan doesn't include the Hurry Back building.
  • Syracuse says he's concerned AJ Capital will redevelop part of the site, which will lead to the "further corporatization and gentrification" of the Rock Block, turning the street into "a destination for tourists instead of supporting the working, creative class."
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