BY SAMANTHA HEARN
After being closed for almost a full year, Nashville’s 12th & Porter music venue is back.
Infinity Hospitality Group purchased the venue in early 2015 and have renovated the space to have a closed kitchen, a bigger bar area and an updated venue room.
The restaurant side of the space has the bar area pushed back further than what it previously was, and the bar looks cozy in tones of wood and metal framing, the shelves lined with various alcohols. Buy a bourbon and you’ll get a piece of candied bacon on the side.
The venue side has an extended balcony up top for better stage viewing. Cameras have been installed on both sides of the stage and broadcast on flat screens on the restaurant side.
Open every day from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. with live music shows nightly, 12th & Porter serves a full menu all night long.
“It’s a culinary-inspired bar food menu,” 12th & Porter Public Relations Coordinator Ben Cooper said. “It’s a culinary click on classic bar favorites like burgers, pizza and nachos. It’s one of the few places that are open late with a food menu.”
Menu items include a flatbread pizza called The Colorado, which has turkey, bacon, spicy pico de gallo, tomatoes, cheese and sunny side up eggs. There’s also a Brunch Burger that has house smoked bacon, cholula cheese sauce, a fried egg, tomato and onion on a poppy seed bun.
Drinks are plenty at 12th & Porter as well, with the restaurant bar serving a full menu of liquor and the venue side acting more as a quick service bar.
“I’ve been making a lot of Manhattans and Old Fashioneds,” bartender Macey Durbin, who also worked at 12th & Porter before the close, said. “The bar on the venue side is more like a speed bar where we have a ton of Jack, Jameson and Tito’s. Here at the main bar we have all your different bourbons and a larger variety of liquors. We also have a pecan-flavored vodka, and you can drink it by itself, it’s so good.”
12th & Porter’s reopening serves as a message for Nashville, and that’s that they’re here to stay.
“It’s great to hear so many people being happy about it and excited that we’re open again, especially since the place didn’t get torn down and built into something else,” General Manager and co-owner Colleen Callahan said. “Anybody you talk to from age 65 to 25 has a memory here. It could have very well been easier to tear down the building instead of doing all the work that we did, but there’s so much history here we just couldn’t do that to this place and to Nashville.”
Callahan said that creating a welcoming atmosphere is going to be key for their success.
“We really want to be the place that people come to hang out,” she said. “Obviously we have a great music venue, but we want to be that place where locals can come and feel comfortable and at home.”
In the past, 12th & Porter was a place where the likes of Kings of Leon, Neil Young, Vince Gill and Keith Urban played shows, and management now wants to continue that legacy of being a staple music venue.
“I think we’re really focused on having a lot of diverse acts,” Cooper said. “We want the local music community to join in and we want to get back to the root of why Nashville is so cool. We’ll have a healthy balance of local and national acts.”
12th & Porter’s calendar for February and March is already full, with upcoming shows including Elliot Root, The Cavalry, Girlpool, Alexander King, Trent Tomlinson, Nappy Roots, Sam Lewis, Kung Fu, COOLIO and O-Town.
12th & Porter is located at 114 12th Ave. N in Nashville. For more information, visit www.12andporter.com.
Samantha Hearn reports for Home Page Media Group. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @samanthahearn.