Anthem to launch New Year’s Eve

Friday, December 7, 2012, Vol. 36, No. 49
By Hollie Deese

You may have known it as Pub of Love, Lot 7, or most recently Mai, but the latest use of the space at the corner of 12th and Grundy is more than just an old building with a new name. It is a revamped music and events venue, rehabbed with a new floor plan, new entrance and new vision.

“When the project first began we really looked at what we felt Nashville was missing,” says co-owner Austin Ratliff of Anthem, a combination nightclub and live music and event space in Nashville. “What type of place would we want to go out (to)? That is really where all of this started.”

Anthem, aiming to soft launch New Year’s Eve, will include a 1,000-capacity, live-music space with cutting-edge audio, visual and lighting technology. Think subwoofers under the platforms and seating areas in the theater space so guests can literally feel the music. A new mezzanine level complete with a 400-capacity VIP room, 3,000 square-foot green room for artists and a boutique dive bar called Revelry will open at 5 p.m. nightly for an upscale happy hour.

“There is a huge gap in the night life market, as far as upscale late night places,” Ratliff says. “We didn’t want to just do a night club, but we recognize there is a market and demand for another nightclub in the city.

“That being said, we recognize that on a Tuesday night we are not going get 800-1,000 people out to a night club. So we also feel Nashville is missing a boutique, higher end music venue for 1,000 people.

“So we are going to do live shows, bringing in larger name acts, acts that might not come to Nashville because we don’t have the type of place they want to play,” he adds.

Ratliff and business partner London Parfitt, both of The Status Group, met more than a decade ago working with Chris Hyndman and his M Street properties, among them Virago, Citizen, Whiskey Kitchen, Tavern and Kayne Prime and formerly Lime and Layl’a Rul. Chef Chad Combs, who also worked for M Street with Lime, radius10 and Whiskey Kitchen, is preparing a small bites southern chic menu available for outside catering as well. This is their first time stepping out on a project of their own.

“Because we worked side by side with Chris Hyndeman on a lot of those projects over the years, we felt extremely confident going into this in our abilities and what we want to offer back to the city as far as the level of service, style and place,” Ratliff says. “At the end of the day it is not about us. It is about the establishment. This is about the city. This is about the guests who are going to come in and enjoy their experiences and memories.”

The new convention center was another sign to them that Nashville was ready for a whole new kind of music venue.

“Nashville needs more event spaces,” Ratliff says. “I will run into people, and they are so excited that we are giving the city an upscale option for night life. And that isn’t a knock on any of the places in the city because there are some great establishments here. But people are always looking for other options.”