Worries about Ryman view marred by honky tonk expansion - WKRN News 2

Worries about Ryman view marred by honky tonk expansion


Some say an iconic view of Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium is getting interrupted a bit by another Music City landmark.

Tootsie's Orchid Lounge recently opened a third floor and rooftop patio to nearly double its capacity for ever increasing downtown crowds, but from the corner of Fifth and Broadway, the addition cuts into the view of the hallowed Ryman which is often called the Mother Church of Country Music.

"I love them both," said Rae Krenn, who is maitre d' of the nearby Palm Restaurant, "but [the Tootsie's addition] has changed downtown, it does obscure the [Ryman] view a bit."

Tootsie managers told News 2 they, "could not expand sideways, so we had to go up."

They said business has increased since the completion last spring of the nearby Music City Center which is designed to capture more of the convention business.

Krenn worries that some of the other honkytonks on Lower Broad might consider expanding upwards which might further erode the iconic Ryman view just outside Bridge stone Arena.

"I hope [Tootsie's] is the last, to be fair to the Ryman," added Krenn.

The Metro Historical Commission told News 2 there is nothing in its guidelines to prevent most other honky tonks to have a partial rooftop addition like Tootsies.

That's a concern for the owner of Layla's, which is just a few feet from Tootsie's.

Layla Vartanian said you might lose the charm of the Lower Broad honky tonks if they all start going upwards a bit.

She added it's like messing around with a diamond on your hand.

"And you start putting jewelry on the other fingers, that diamond gets hidden, and that's what's going to happen with the Ryman," Layla told News 2

None of the honky tonks are on record yet, that they might change that view of Nashville's "diamond."

The Historical Commission indicated that non-historic buildings, like Legend's Corner, could potentially go up two stories.

The owners of the Ryman Auditorium have not weighed in on the issue.

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