NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville’s booming nightlife has a new boss. Benton McDonough has been named the city’s first-ever director of nightlife, appointed by Mayor John Cooper.

“The new role in my office will serve as a key liaison to neighborhood residents and the nightlife industry to address quality of life issues like cleanliness, noise, and safety,” Mayor Cooper said in a statement.

McDonough previously served as executive director of the Metro Nashville Beer Board and will hold both positions for the foreseeable future. His salary was originally $138,000 a year, and will be bumped to $155,000 a year with this additional role and responsibilities. Benjamin Eagles, senior advisor to the mayor, said McDonough received the raise funded by the operating budget and at least two more positions may be created under him, working 24/7 responding to any nightlife issues.

“We know that our downtown is thriving, but there are AirBNBs and bars and restaurants and venues for concerts in pockets around the city,” said Eagles. “This is really going to be about protecting that quality of life and preserving a balance between what people in the nightlife see and visitors experience, but also protecting the quality of life for residents here as well.”

The role is modeled off a similar program created in Amsterdam, with U.S. cities including Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Austin rolling out the position, according to Eagles.

“This is not unique to Nashville. We’re in very good keeping with what is a proven model around the world and dozens of cities,” said Eagles. “Nashville in not having a director of nightlife role has been sort of behind the eight ball relative to cities around the world.” 

Eagles said McDonough’s work begins now with a listening tour, meeting with residents and businesses to hear their thoughts on the city’s quality of life. He said McDonough will connect a range of committees as director.

“The plethora of issues here and the variety of approaches to protecting quality of life and preserving that sort of balance and creating a business environment that’s sustainable speaks to the need for this role to serve as liaison to different departments, to different city agencies, to neighborhood associations, to council folks, and people who own businesses here,” said Eagles.

The listening tour will last a few months, ending in a presentation to the mayor on his findings.