Way over yonder in West Nashville off of the busy Charlotte Pike strip, lies an easy-to-miss side street that’s home to one of the most glorious dive bars and venues Nashville has to offer- Betty’s Grill.
The name alone screams “we serve chicken tenders, grilled cheese, bottled Budweiser, and playful sass” and boy does it. Along with the common comforts of life, Betty’s provides an establishment that caters to a host of various musicians in and around Nashville, largely of the up-and-coming or one-shot-wonders variety. You might get a college-aged indie pop-rock band one night, an experimental psych band full of bearded 40-year-olds the next, and a Crossville country boy playing some old farm folk tunes the following.
There’s no stage in Betty’s, but merely a corner where you set up shop, and you’d better not don’t knock down any neon signs or lights with your guitar necks or what have you. And don’t even get cute and think there’s a green room for you and your band to get hyped in. Pop on a tattered leather stool, house a cheeseburger, and get playin.’
This mellow, cash-only and smoker-friendly bar is exactly what you think of when you hear the term “Old Nashville,” as opposed to “New Nashville,” which entails a more posh and commercially developmental appeal. While you kick around some broken glass or mounds of cigarette butts on your way inside, you will immediately feel comfortable in the charm of this no-frills hub for the real heads.
You can post up at the billiards table, take a seat at the bar, smoke and banter on the side patio, and the usual. No heirs are needed here, in fact they’re definitely discouraged.
Next time you find yourself in Nashville if and when some semblance of normalcy arrives, head on down to Betty’s for an authentic night on the town.
And while Betty’s Grill isn’t solely a music venue, please consider visiting https://www.nivassoc.org/ to learn how you can help save independent music venues and the like from extinction. They desperately need our help.