The Wildhorse Saloon first opened on Second Ave in Downtown Nashville in 1994, well before Nashville became the popular tourist destination it is these days. Wildhorse Saloon proudly boasts that they are “Downtown’s largest dance floor for line dancing” and have “an iconic stage for live entertainment.”
Their Instagram bio is no joke, though. They really do have an iconic stage for live entertainment. Wildhorse solidified themselves as the place to perform when they booked Reba McEntire shortly after they opened and they haven’t slowed down since.
It’s still considered an iconic venue, boasting three stories, 60,000 square feet, and according to Nashville District Energy is the “largest per capita restaurant in the state of Tennessee.”
Because of all this, the announcement of its impending closure on Thursday (April 13) came as a huge shock.
Along with the announcement of Wildhorse Saloon’s closing, The Tennessean also revealed what will take its place: a music venue and bar from a partnership with Luke Combs and Opry Entertainment Group.
Another nail in the coffin for Broadway. Wildhorse Saloon to become Luke Comb's "Hurricane"…. pic.twitter.com/0zeS8WHONI
— Erin Zeigler (@erinczeigler) April 13, 2023
The publication reports that the Luke Combs venue is slated to have a 2024 opening and revealed the four-story bar’s plans, which are as follows:
- A 250-person honky-tonk space on the first floor
- A two-story ticketed concert hall that holds up to 1,500 people
- A third-story sports bar catering to legalized sports betting
- A bachelorette-themed area named after his hit song “Beautiful Crazy” and a section dedicated to his fans, the “Bootleggers”
- An additional bar for high-end bourbon drinkers
- A 9,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor rooftop named the “Eye,” in reference to Combs’ debut single “Hurricane.”
Wildhorse Saloon will be open until they begin redeveloping, which may not begin until late 2023 or early 2024. Wildhorse hasn’t made a comment about the impending closure on any of their social media platforms.
Fans have mixed feelings about the news, being excited for Luke Combs’ bar, while also mourning the loss of an iconic venue that has been around for nearly 30 years. See some of the fan reactions below.
“Oh my gosh. The Wildhorse has been such a staple of Nashville. Literally one of the last pieces of ‘Old Nashville.’ When I worked in the industry, I saw shows there all the time and hung out backstage with artist friends. I got mixed feelings about that,” said one fan on Instagram.
“So sad. Wildhorse was always my place since I moved here. 😢”
“What????? They are getting rid of the Wildhorse?? That is one of the first places we went to when we moved here in ‘97😢. We’ve enjoyed lots of times there.”
“Wow- just wow! What an icon. It seems so weird to know it won’t be there anymore. Hope they keep the horses 🐴”
Take a tour of Wildhorse Saloon in the video below.