Kristin M. Hall, a Tennessee native and Nashville-based entertainment writer for AP, had an interesting item to close out the month. The iconic Grande Ole Opry brand is kicking off far-reaching bricks-and-mortar expansion ambitions with a Times Square outpost.
The New York venue is scheduled to open around April 2017. From Hall’s report:
Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc., which owns the Opry House and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, on Thursday announced plans to open the Opry City Stage, which will feature retail space, a listening room and private event space, a bar and a restaurant. Colin Reed, chairman and CEO, said Ryman hopes to expand the country music-themed concept to other tourist-heavy cities, but they wanted to start in New York. …
Visitors will be able to watch live performances at the Opry City Stage, or watch Grand Ole Opry performances from Nashville via screens. The Bluebird Cafe, the songwriter venue in Nashville, and the Nashville Songwriters Association International, will also help curate performances in the venue.
By the time of the opening, there should be a few good new country songs a certain New Yorker named Donald Trump. Below, a sample of the Bluebird Cafe fare featuring Victoria Shaw performing with Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.