Ole Smoky, Yee-Haw Brewing Company to open moonshine distillery and beer garden in SoBro - Southern Business Review

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Ole Smoky, Yee-Haw Brewing Company to open moonshine distillery and beer garden in SoBro




A soon-to-open sprawling SoBro complex designed as a gateway to the downtown-adjacent neighborhood will put locally made spirits front-and-center. 


Tennessee's Ole Smoky Moonshine and Yee-Haw Brewing Co. have nearly finished construction on neighboring production facilities and tasting rooms flanked by a new taproom, beer garden, full-service bars, a stage and a restaurant.


"It will be a unique property," said Joe Baker, owner of Yee-Haw Brewing Co. and founder of Ole Smoky. "We'll be able to offer an experience."


The development highlights one of the state's standout industries. Fifty-five percent of U.S. distilled spirits are produced in Tennessee, and Old Smoky Moonshine is one of the most popular brands. 


The moonshine maker's Gatlinburg distillery attracts millions of visitors a year. 




Stacked shipping containers will set off the development and serve as a backdrop for a large TV screen that will face the beer garden. The design is modeled after Container Park in Las Vegas, where shipping containers are creatively remade into restaurants, shops and entertainment destinations. 


Long-vacant buildings that most recently housed an auto dealership have been updated with modern, open rooms that maintain an industrial flair, centered at 423 Sixth Ave. S. 




"It's all about keeping what's cool about these old buildings," said Justin Lowe, a principal at Centric Architecture who designed the plans. "This is one of the few projects that's not being torn down for a big tall skyscraper."


The opening is scheduled for mid- to late- April, but the shipping containers will be installed later, Baker said. The containers will ultimately be used as a coffee shop, arcade and other attractions. 


Asheville, North Carolina-based White Duck Taco restaurant will share a building with two full-service bars, a stage and large TV screens. 


The other building will be split between the moonshine distillery and beer brewery with a taproom and tasting room. 


The beer garden will have outdoor seating and games. All together, the project is expected to cost about $4 million, Baker said.




The Peabody Street development, which stretches from 6th to 7th avenues, borders downtown and is a short walk from Music City Center, Bridgestone Arena and Country Music Hall of Fame. Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville hotel is expected to open a block away later this year. 


"It's a significant enough property that we can offer more than just your typical bar," Baker said. "When families come to Nashville, there's not a lot for them to do downtown. Here you can watch your kids play in a garden area while you watch the game."


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Sandy Mazza can be reached via email at smazza@tennessean.com, by calling 615-726-5962, or on Twitter @SandyMazza.