Tag Archives: fiddle and steel

The first of many good-byes

Rascal Flatts at Fiddle & Steel

Back in July, I did a blog post about Printer’s Alley and what it’s meant to me over the last eight years. I also spoke of how it was in danger of being lost to a new hotel. We hoped they’d let the bar I call a second home stay and build around us.

What I have failed to write about since then (or I have but never finished any of them) is the fact that the fight was lost to “progress.” The bar is being booted out, and the hotel is gutting the building.

What many fail to realize is that that bar is like home to hundreds. For many, the “Fiddle Family” is the only family they really know. I compared our fight to the farmer trying to keep his homestead in the face of a new Wal-Mart. It’s his home. It’s his life. But progress and big money care not. They see only the bottom line. Ironically, I do understand that point of view, even if I don’t agree with it at all.

As word has gotten out, many of our regulars have made their way back… heartbroken. Many angry. All in disbelief on how this can happen.

Fiddle & Steel Guitar Bar is “The Home of Rascal Flatts.” I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve had to explain that to tourists. They were the Tuesday night house band at the Fiddle when they were discovered.


When word came out the Fiddle & Steel may have to close its doors. Then the fact that it would be. The question we heard (and asked!) time and time again was, “What do the Flatts boys think?”

Last Thursday, thanks to Sirius XM Radio, Rascal Flatts did one last show on the stage at the Fiddle.  In the days leading up to the show, we fielded calls for tickets and the disappointed disapproval when we told callers it was all in Sirius XM’s hands. We learned NBC’s Today Show would be in attendance, and suddenly we realized our little home away from home bar was going to be on the national news.

“How exciting for you!” someone said when they found out I’d be working at the bar the night of the show. I think I pretty much just gave them a LOOK in response.

It was going to be busy. It was going to be… a hassle. Media. Security. Music fans. All good things, but also all things that I wasn’t particularly looking forward to as the event neared.

2014-11-06 17.02.51The night arrived. We got there and started setting up as best we could between media interviews. I overheard parts of an interview with the Flatts boys and Sirius radio, and I found myself smiling as they shared memories of their days as just a band at the bar.

It was around that time that the bittersweet nature of the night really hit me. So good to see them taking a moment to give pause and nod towards their past. It was sad that they were doing it because we would soon be closing.

As doors opened and fans entered, we went into work mode. Everyone was polite and friendly. My apprehension faded towards the fans in attendance. I was enjoying myself!

The band took the stage, and we were actually able to watch most of it. A ripple went through the crowd. Steven Tyler had showed up to see the show as well! I was floored. The night was quickly becoming nothing short of magical.

The show? Amazing. I’ve seen Rascal Flatts twice before. My first time to see them was (I think) my 23rd birthday when they were on a CMT tour. It was a huge show, and I remember they had a moment where they paid homage to Printer’s Alley and talked about the Fiddle & Steel. That night, I had no clue I’d some day work in that bar myself.

Fast forward to 2010, and the band came back to the bar for a radio show. It was great and I remember leaving more impressed with them than ever before. Then on Thursday, they once again impressed me. Big arena shows are exciting, but its easy to lose the heart of the artist or group. Give me a small setting any day.

They owned that stage Thursday. And for a moment, just a moment, you got a glimpse at the band pre-fame, even taking a request from bar owner, Alison.


As the night drew to an end, and we started cleaning up to go home, I walked around feeling very thankful I got to be there. All my apprehension leading to the night felt silly, as it ended up being one of the most memorable nights I’ve ever had at the bar.

The next day, I laid in bed with my mind racing, trying to comprehend how I felt about the previous night. I knew many would feel like Rascal Flatts came and did the show for the publicity for themselves, and perhaps they did. But they also have helped us out by getting the word out that we would be closing. Our business has increased dramatically, and for that we are thankful.

But past that, when I watched the Today Show report yesterday, they brought me to tears. This show Thursday night was the first of many good-byes at the bar. They spoke about the rich history in the Alley, and it just suddenly brought it all home to me emotionally.

I’ve stayed so busy with things surrounding the bar closing that I figured it wouldn’t hit me until we closed the door for good. But instead, the band’s return for “one last show” finally brought it home for me. It’s really going to be over. So much history that will probably fade once the hotel comes into the Alley. And so much more history that will never get a chance to be written. It’s heartbreaking.

At the hop

 You can rock it you can roll it
Do the stomp and even stroll it
At the hop...

Saturday night, the bar where I work had a Sock Hop in honor of the couple that has pretty much adopted all of us transplants to Nashville who call that bar our second home. They both were turning 55 within days of each other, and, as such, we celebrated with a Sock Hop!


I’ll be honest, when the idea first came up months ago, I went, “Uh… huh. Right. A sock hop.” Too bad I wasn’t still in elementary school, when I regularly rocked a poodle skirt and saddle shoes. (No really, I did! I just don’t have a picture here to share of that… darn it.) But alas, I no longer had that outfit, and I was baffled what I would do to dress ’50s style. So, I have to admit, I kind of ignored that it was going to happen at all.

I briefly planned to get my mom to help me make a poodle skirt while I was home for Christmas, but really… really? Who has time to add MORE to the Christmas festivities!? That didn’t happen.

Before I knew it, I had only a few days to get my outfit together. A friend mentioned that there were vintage stores around town, so I decided to Google “vintage stores Nashville.” That search eventually led me to Hip Zipper, a vintage store in East Nashville. I seriously fell in love with this store. GREAT vintage items at excellent prices (in my opinion)… and everything is of quality.  I will DEFINITELY be back.

I scored a grey skirt and a cuuuute pink sweater/shrug to wear. I paired that with a pink and a white tank top, a necklace that was my grandmother’s, a headband I bought years ago from Victoria’s Secret (but had never worn!), bright red lipstick and my hair in a mess of curls. A friend in the middle of the evening loaned me a pair of cat-eye glasses. I think I looked awesome:


I have to admit, this just sparked a deep down love for everything 50s for me. It’s made me want to go in that direction a bit more style-wise. I feel a little bad for my Pinterest followers the last few days being inundated with cute 50s dresses that I love and want now.

Anyway, I ended up having an absolute blast! I worked hard (my legs let me know all night long that I wore unsupportive shoes!), but also had the opportunity to play a little bit here and there, too. The night was filled primarily with regulars and “family” who came to wish the couple a Happy Birthday.

We did get a quick photo of all the ladies that usually work behind the bar… I so love this photo.


I don’t just see a group of bartenders and friends here… I see smart, strong, successful women. All amazing in their own rights and in their own ways. They each inspire me, and to get this shot on such a fun night… just makes me SO happy.

In fact, that being said… I went into the evening a bit leery. I really did. But in the end, I found myself smiling from ear to ear to see all these people — all these successful adults — let their hair down, travel back in time to when life was simpler, and just have FUN.


I remember in high school, you’d find yourself compelled to “act like an adult” and I remember even Halloween being snubbed as “childish” and “silly.” Its funny how its taken growing up to realize that sometimes, acting like an adult means knowing exactly when NOT to take yourself so seriously. It’s knowing when and how to enjoy yourself and the people around you. Especially at the hop.