NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Efforts to help save Nashville’s iconic Exit/In appear to have failed as the venue announced Monday it will close later this month.
Owners Chris and Telisha Cobb posted a statement on social media, which reads:
Exit/In is closing Thanksgiving, as our lease ends at the end of the year. It appears that 51 years of local, independent ownership and operation have come to an end. We’re humbled to host this last run of concerts with friends from many eras gracing our stage again. There have been too many incredible moments to count over the 18 years we’ve stewarded Exit/In. It’s an incredibly special place that we are so fortunate to have been a part of. Thank you to everyone who’s been part of the extended Exit/In family. Hurry Back will remain open into December, but will close before year’s end.
We don’t have a clear picture of what the future holds for Exit/In. We do know there is a historic overlay on the building (and the Exit/In building only). The exact effect of this zoning is dependent on the Historic Commission, but it should prevent complete destruction of the building. This zoning can be changed, like any other local zoning. You can thank yourselves and public pressure for this historic zoning protection.
Over 4000 people donated to the Keep Exit/In Independent GoFundMe. Revisiting the number of donations and outcry of support gives us hope for the future and has allowed us to continue fighting. As stated from the beginning, the funds raised will be donated to MVAN and NIVA once this process has finalized.
We love this wholeheartedly but are not of with many current trends around here. We know Nashville needs Exit/In and independent venues like it to continue our community of artists, musicians, and the entire ecosystem they center.
Thank you again most humbly and sincerely for all your support, for all the shows, and all the memories.The Exit/In family and Chris and Telisha Cobb
The Cobbs also own the adjacent Hurry Back property, which was formerly a TGIFridays.
Organizers launched fundraising efforts to save the venue from luxury hotel developers after the property went ” under contract to a firm that’s purchasing independent venues.”
Councilmember Jeff Syracuse told News 2 in 2021 losing Exit/In would be an irreplaceable loss though this is not the first time the city’s culture has been threatened due to growth.
“We have tenants in older buildings, but they don’t own the property and when you have large economic booms like we’re going through, the money is too great. Unfortunately we are a victim of our own success. We are losing our culture right now as we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Exit/In,” said Syracuse.
Mayor John Cooper expressed his support for Exit/In on social media back in 2021, saying he hoped the current owner or any future owners will protect the landmark venue so it can thrive another 50 years.
Everyone from Jimmy Buffet and Johnny Cash to the B-52’s and Steve Martin have taken the stage at Exit/In.
Exit/In opened its doors in 1971. The property was purchased in 2021 by AJ Capital Partners, which owns the Graduate Hotels chain. The GoFundMe for Exit/In raise more than $270,000.