Pecker's, a new gay bar, will open in Nashville this month

This month, Mike Brown and Will Pulley, the former owners of one of Church Streets beloved institutions, Blue Genes, will finally launch their long-awaited new project, Peckers Bar & Grill. It’s been a longer road than expected, but it looks like it’s finally about to pay off.

“We were hoping to be open much earlier than this,” the explained, “but there’s been one obstacle after another. With all the building boom in Nashville, that’s not surprising. Codes made it very clear that they were going to take things one at a time, regardless of who you are, and no matter how small your project was they’d only take one step at a time. So that’s led to delay after delay—it’s been unreal.”

“But we are in the home stretch,” they added. “We’re working on the floors, we had to have all new floors. Everything is brand new, it’s just like a new building!”

Asked about specifics of the bar’s theme or what kind of place it’s going to be, the owners were reluctant to give away details. “I really don’t want to give away too much,” he said. “I really want it to be a surprise for everybody. I think a lot of folks think it’s just going to be a dive bar, but it will be far from it. But like I say it’s going to be a surprise and we just hope everybody enjoys it.”

They did provide some detail. The new space is large, with a nice patio and all-new interior. “The new bar is approximately 2300 square feet… It’ll be super nice, all brand new, like he said. We demolished everything—the only thing that was left was the four outer walls and the roof, and everything else is going to be completely new. We will have a beautiful patio out back as well. It’s non-smoking, except on the patio of course.”

“We’ve also got parking—Lord Jesus that’d been such a hard thing over at Blue Genes, since they took away our parking! Now we have plenty of parking and you don’t have to pay for it!”

While they wouldn’t go into the bar’s theme, they did elaborate a bit on what Peckers will offer. “We’ve been in business over the years and we just want people to know we welcome anyone and everyone. We are going to have entertainment—a variety of entertainment, not just karaoke—and I feel that at our location we are going to get not only the gay crowd, but also a lot of straight people. In that location, there are new buildings going up all the time, and its looking like there’s going to be more growth… We value good people and we want good entertainment. There’s so much talent in the LGBT community and we want to be a place they can come to and perform. Mike’s also an artist and he plans to have art exhibits—both his work and others—showing there as well.”

As for the ‘Grill’ part of their name, “We’ll start out serving just bar food—chicken wings, hamburgers and hotdogs, basic stuff like that. After we’re open I’d like to have a comfort food night, maybe Wednesday night, and we’ll pair that with some entertainment. Whether that’s trivia or bingo, or something else, I don’t know yet. Then I’d like to have a brunch on Saturday and Sundays but that’s all just going to depend on what our clientele wants.”

One bit of news is that the new venture will have the support of one of The Stirrup’s founders, Timmy Harkum. “Timmy is coming on board as manager/lead bartender—you know he has worked with us in the past before at Blue Genes before opening The Stirrup, so we have a good rapport. He didn’t want to be manager on a full-time basis but he agreed to come on and take on that responsibility initially. I’d love to have him do more but that’s what he wanted.”

“We’re extremely happy to have Timmy coming on to work with us. He brings a lot of experience. He’s been in the community so long, and he knows a lot of folks, has great contacts. You know he has worked with us in the past before at Blue Genes before opening The Stirrup, so we have a good rapport.”

With Harkum on board, staffing is underway and the bar is almost ready to open. “Timmy is working on filling at the staff right now and I think he has the majority of the staff lined up. He’s just finalizing a few things now. So right now we are looking at a soft opening for the 15th or 16th of September, but we’ll keep everyone posted!”

Despite being cryptic about the direction of the bar itself, Brown and Pulley did want to make one thing clear: “There was a lot of uncertainty about whether we were opening a gay bar, and I just want to clear that up. We do serve the LGBTQ community and we just want to make sure that everybody is aware of that. We are a community bar, and we will be working with the entire community for fundraising, for multiple things. We want to make sure everyone feels welcome and at home at Peckers.”

Peckers is located at 237 Hermitage Avenue in Nashville. For more information about Peckers and to keep track of its opening, check it out on Facebook and on their website when it goes online!





Photo courtesy of Joe Eats World

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