NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It served as a symbol for hope for Nashville in the midst of tragedy.
The “I Believe in Nashville” mural was left standing after a tornado ripped through the center of a popular music venue in East Nashville.
“It was the perfect combination of this amazing mural located next to this amazing absence,” Co-Owner of The Basement East Mike Grimes said.
Grimes and his business partner, Dave Brown, were overwhelmed when they arrived on the morning of March 3. Grimes explained the water mains were broken, alarms were going off and most of their business was in ruins.
“We had to take a pause and kind of absorb what was all around us because it wasn’t just us, it was everybody else and it was a tragedy,” Grimes said.
But even in the darkness of that spring morning, hope was left standing near Woodland Street.
“We’re very humbled to have become the symbol and the visual connection to the devastation and the destruction,” Brown said.
Grimes quickly went to work, thinking about how to get back open for his community. But COVID-19 was on the coat tails of the tornado recovery.
Brown said they look forward to reopening for more local music shows, but the pandemic is giving them more time to work on the necessary repairs than expected.
Grimes said the contractor hired to restore the venue gave them a surprising schedule.
“When it’s March 3 and somebody tells you they’re going to have this building back up to speed by the end of August, that is the most cautious optimism I’ve ever felt,” Grimes said.
Brown said The Basement East could have concerts back as early as September, as long as COVID-19 is cleared.
Grimes added they’re looking forward to bringing back a place that many in East Nashville considered home.
As many in the neighborhood work to rebuild, that constant symbol is on display. Reminding people to believe in the city that is always resilient.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of Super Tuesday tornado rebuilding and recovery.