January 5, 2017

The Springwater Supper Club & Lounge In Nashville, Tennessee

photo by: Angel Parker/Springwater Supper Club & Lounge

The Springwater Supper Club & Lounge is one of Nashville's greatest dives.

Nashville band Cannomen plays at Springwater in 2011

photo by: Bekah Cope/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

The Nashville band Cannomen play a set at Springwater in 2011.

The Springwater Supper Club & Lounge in West Nashville doesn’t exactly look inviting. Does it look a little rough around the edges, a little dirty and dilapidated? Yes. Is it what most people usually think of when they hear the words “supper club” and “lounge”? Probably not. As country music star Dierks Bentley once said of the Springwater when reflecting on his early days in the Nashville bar circuit, “There was no supper, and there was no lounge. It was such a dive that if it rained, the stage leaked.” But if cheap beer and a steady stream of live music sound like key components of a place you want to be, then you may have just found your new favorite Southern drinking establishment.

Although it's only been known as the Springwater since 1978, the bar itself has been open in the same location for the past 100 years, and claims to be the “oldest bar serving alcohol, whether legally or illegally, in Tennessee.” (It converted into a speakeasy during Prohibition.)

The building also allegedly served as a watering hole during the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition in 1897. Legend has it that Al Capone liked stopping by the Springwater for a drink, and that Capone and Jimmy Hoffa both enjoyed gambling there. The bar is known as an essential venue for local indie rock and punk bands, and regular patrons no doubt appreciate that pool is free from noon to 7 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The walls of the Springwater are covered with neon signs and found objects. And despite its somewhat shabby appearance, stars such as Kesha have been known to show up and grace the stage with surprise performances. The Black Keys filmed a music video for their song Little Black Submarines, from their 2011 album El Camino, at the Springwater, turning the video shoot into a secret Nashville gig for some of their most dedicated fans.

If this hole-in-the-wall seems like something you can’t miss on your next trip to Music City, here are a few things to know before you go:

Location: 115 Avenue N, Nashville, TN 37203

Hours: 12 p.m.-3 a.m., seven nights a week

You’re having: Springwater only serves beer, so that’s what you’re having. The good news is that prices generally range from $1.50 to $3.

Don’t miss: Live music three or four nights a week. Check the website for a full schedule.

Best Yelp review: "It's so dirty and divey that it made my heart skip a beat when I walked in—in a good way."

Katherine Flynn is a former assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores, and uncovering the stories behind historic places.


URGENT: Contact your Senators asking them to pass the Route 66 National Historic Trail Designation Act before 2019!

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