As we prepare to open our new Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint in Downtown Nashville, we figured it was about time to start sharing some of the details that went into the location.
This new spot is housed in what we locals know most recently as "The Rutledge," a former live music venue. But the building has a lot more history to it than that. Originally built back in the 1800's it has seen many tenants come and go with several renovations over the years. But it hadn't seen nothin' yet!
We began the construction process back in 2015, working to salvage and rebuild the original structure which had fallen into disrepair. Our crew sured up the building and began expanding - adding additional space on the ground level to house the kitchen and building out a side porch. But the real work was in building a huge second-level space; complete with a massive outdoor beer garden, extra hog pits and private dining rooms. After all is said and done, the Downtown Nashville Martin's will have three distinct areas; a traditional Martin's experience with a full bar downstairs, private dining rooms on the second floor and a large indoor/outdoor backyard beer garden with two bars. But it ain't Martin's with the 'que of course, so we built in five whole hog pits, a 10-foot live fire grill and four jumbo smokers for our ribs, chicken, turkey and brisket.
When you get a chance to come visit, you'll surely see all the work that went into the new location, but you may not know the stories behind all of those efforts. Every decision and detail was thought through - from the floors to the ceilings and everything in between.
Here's just a few of the many stories...
a smokin' foundation
Many of the cinder blocks used were "pre-smoked" before building. We took about 750 blocks to last year's Music City Food + Wine Festival to build the on-site hog pits. Once the festival was over, we broke down the pits and took the blocks to the worksite, where they made their way into the foundation and walls of the expansion.
The upstairs private dining rooms and indoor game area has a pretty impressive hardwood floor. But it's more than just looks. The boards used were salvaged from an 85-year-old cottonseed factory in Chattanooga, TN and brought up here to Nashville earlier this year. But before they could be installed downtown they needed a little - no, a lot - of work. We spent two weeks removing nails from each individual board and planing them down to remove the 'gunk' from that old factory. Now that they're installed, they're getting sealed and ready for the many parties to come.
let it grow
The backyard beer garden is packed with mature trees and plants of all sorts. There's a 30-year-old paperbark maple tree, wisteria vines and even some tomato plants.
While they sure look good, they also serve another purpose. All the rainwater that drains off the roof is redirected into the planters to water the plants and keep it out of the storm drains.
These are just three of the many stories behind the new Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint in Downtown Nashville. As you can surely see, we still have a good bit of work to do before we open up to the public but we look forward to welcoming you. Maybe you can come make a few new stories of your own.