Apr 14, 2023 - Food and Drink

Luke Combs, Ryman team up for Nashville honky-tonk

Luke Combs on stage.

Luke Combs in 2021. Photo: Larry McCormack/ABC via Getty Images

Country star Luke Combs and Ryman Hospitality are partnering for a honky-tonk, which will be the centerpiece of a Wildhorse Saloon overhaul on Second Avenue.

Why it matters: Adding his name to a Nashville honky-tonk further cements Combs' place among country music royalty.

  • For Ryman Hospitality, the partnership and Wildhorse renovation represent another substantial investment in its country music brand.

Details: The Wildhorse is a behemoth of a building, so the new entertainment complex will have multiple components. There will be a Combs-inspired honky-tonk at the front on Second Avenue.

  • It will also include a 1,500-capacity concert hall for ticketed concerts, a bourbon bar, a sports bar and a massive rooftop bar.
  • The renovated venue is expected to debut in the summer of 2024, but the Wildhorse will remain open while work is underway. Ryman did not disclose the venue's name, but executive chairman Colin Reed said at a press conference Thursday that an announcement is coming soon.

What he's saying: Combs' rise through the country music ranks is the stuff of legend. Combs said he got his start in Nashville playing the Wildhorse and that collaborating with Ryman Hospitality to "transform it into my own bar is a dream come true."

  • "I can't wait for my fans to see what we're up to."

Zoom out: Ryman has a successful track record partnering with country stars for branded music venues. The company's collaboration with Blake Shelton has led to four Ole Red honky-tonks, with more on the way.

Flashback: The Wildhorse opened in 1994 and anchored Nashville's honky-tonk district. In recent years, it served as an event space, retail shop and music venue.

  • Ryman invested $8.6 million into a renovation in 2016.
  • Just a few blocks north, a large section of the historic road was blasted by a Christmas morning suicide bomber in 2020. The city and developers have been collaborating on restoring the area.
  • Reed said he hopes the company's investment in the property "will be the stimulator to the rest of the work that needs to get done to restore the area that was damaged" by the bombing.
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