Bakersfield — a restaurant chain inspired by the 1950s-60s rebel era of country music — will open by year’s end in a street-level retail space of downtown mixed-use tower Encore.
Terms of the lease were not disclosed in a release.
Bakersfield will offer authentic Mexican street-style tacos and tortas and more than 100 types of tequilas and American whiskeys. The Nashville location will be the fourth for Bakersfield, which began operations in 2012 in Cincinnati.
The business, which will join Encore restaurants Etch and The Farm House, will operate from a space that was to have been home to Fulton’s Tavern, a restaurant/bar that failed to materialize. In addition, fashion retailer Ensemble will soon open in the 20-story tower (read more here).
The approximately 4,000-square-foot Bakersfield space, which fronts both Demonbreun Street and Third Avenue South, will soon be under construction. Garage doors open to a patio to create an airy feel. The interior will feature concrete counter tops and a back-lit bar. While the restaurant will not offer live music, the rock ‘n’ roll sounds of Bakersfield classics and those inspired by the era will be played. Both the kitchen and bar will remain open until 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Restaurateurs John Lanni, Joe Lanni and Alex Blust own Bakersfield, which offers slogan “Tacos, Tequila, Whiskey.”
The gritty and unpolished Bakersfield sound emerged as a reaction to what many felt was an overproduced popular country music coming out of Nashville during the 1960s. Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, among others, were proponents of the raw sound.
“Nashville is a natural fit for Bakersfield,” Lanni (pictured at right) said in the release. “It’s the epicenter of country music, and the people here understand the impact the Bakersfield era made on the future of country music. More importantly, this city likes to have a good time, and that’s what Bakersfield is really all about.”
With the Bakersfield lease, Encore’s retail space is 82 percent occupied, according to Austin Benedict, a Nashville-based Colliers International broker who is managing commercial leasing for the building owners.
“Between the success of Etch and The Farm House, and now the arrival of Bakersfield, SoBro is living up to its role as one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods for new restaurants and retail,” Benedict said.
Bakersfield also has locations in Columbus and Indianapolis.
Encore opened in early 2008 and is located at 301 Demonbreun St.