Bottom art

111 Broadway

Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery — the last remaining member of a local four-entity brewpub group that saw strong support in Nashville in the 1990s and 2000s — has ceased operations.

The closing comes as Various Artists Brewing Co. is closing at week’s end after a roughly three-year run (read here).

The recent Rock Bottom shuttering follows Baltimore-based real estate investment and management company Continental Realty Corp. in May having paid $36 million for the building in which Rock Bottom operated (read here). The address is 111 Broadway.

The closing of the restaurant and brewery ends a 25-year run for the business. Originally opened in 1996 as Big River Grille & Brewing Works, the business began doing business as Rock Bottom Brewery in mid-2013 when Chattanooga-based CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries Inc., the parent company, finalized the transition (read here).

At that point, CraftWorks owned 30 breweries under the name Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery. The Nashville Rock Bottom represented the 17th state in which the entity operated. Of note, Big River still operates in Chattanooga, the birthplace of the concept.

CraftWorks Restaurants officials could not be reached for comment. Likewise, Continental Realty could not be contacted regarding a future tenant. However, a Metro document notes KC Whiskey River LLC has finalized a lease with Continental Realty. The Post was unable to determine details regarding the LLC.  

Constructed in 1930, the three-story building from which Rock Bottom operated is also home to the Glen Campbell Museum and Twisted Tenders.

Big River was part of a quartet of brewpubs operating in Nashville before micro-breweries with taprooms emerged in the city in the mid-2000s (starting with Yazoo). Market Street Brewery & Pub on Second Avenue North downtown was the first, seemingly having been launched in the late 1980s (read here).

In addition, the city was home to Boscos in Hillsboro Village and Blackstone on West End Avenue in Midtown. Boscos closed in 2014 (read here), with Blackstone ceasing operations in 2016 (read here). The latter continues to operate a brewery and taproom on Clifton Avenue in McKissack Park near Midtown.

My position with Nashville Post has evolved since 2000 when I began work with the now-defunct The City Paper. TCP became a Post sister pub in 2008 (when I began some Post work) and folded in 2013. I have worked mainly with the Post since late 2011.

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