NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — With many pop-up holiday bars popping up across Music City, there is one Christmas-themed bar that’s open all year long.
You can find Santa at his “home” nestled in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood.
Just off Bransford Avenue, bar-goers will find the cash and beer-only karaoke bar called Santa’s Pub, a place it’s called home for the past 11 years.
Bar-owner, Denzel Irwin has 18 grandchildren who all call him Santa, he said, so choosing a name for the bar was quite simple, just like the drinks and the rules at the bar.
“There’s no cussing at Santa’s. You respect women or find another bar. I’m an ole’ country boy, that’s the way it is,” said Erwin said.
And if someone is looking for a margarita or a mixed drink for that matter, they won’t find it here. Santa said beer only keeps folks off the naughty list.
“Beer only, you peel out and go to the Waffle House, whiskey, you’re 10 feet tall and bulletproof, there’s never been a fight here,” Erwin said. “Beer, you get sleepy and hungry before you want to fight.”
How did Santa get here? Here’s the backstory: Irwin served Nashville as a commercial painter for 40 years and once he retired, he bought the building, completed renovations and hung Christmas lights, all with the hopes of serving Music City in a different way.
Through the years, the dive bar has created quite the clientele, from locals looking for a goodtime to celebrities looking for a night out.
“I feel like this really emanates the hometown vibe and it’s much more of a local feeling place,” said a group of karaoke singers.
From Ed Sheeran singing karaoke on-stage with fans, to artist filming music videos here, Santa said his list of famous friends is long.
“Love Kacey Musgraves, Brother Osbourne, there some of my first,” Erwin said.
Santa said it’s quite common for music superstars to sell out a local venue before ending the night at Nashville’s North Pole.
“People will come in and say we use to pay you $200 and hear you play and then come here and see you for free,” Erwin said when describing how guests feel after seeing their favorite music act sing karaoke at the pub.
From humble beginnings to a local appreciation, Santa believes it’s the pub’s character that has led to its longevity.
“You get what you give, we were nice to people, and everyone talks about how nice we are,” Erwin said. “There’s no trouble, respect it, and no I didn’t think it’d be what it is today.”
And through all his success, Santa credits the woman who raised him for the pub’s kindness.
“My mother, my mother was that way. She raised nine kids by herself, worked every day.”
Santa’s mom passed away 14 years ago, but he believes she would be proud of what he’s built today and the karaoke crowds would suggest Music City is proud, too.
If you know of any interesting places or people you’d like to learn the backstory of, you can send Blake Eason an email.