Kathy Anderson's latest project, Alan Jackson's Good Time Bar, opened last week after a quick renovation of The Wheel's former home. A more complete overhaul, complete with a rooftop bar, will open soon, as Anderson continues making her outsized mark on Lower Broadway.
Currently, Anderson Design Studio is working on four Lower Broadway honky-tonks: Ryman Hospitality's 300 Broadway project, Almost Famous ( which we broke the news on in November), Nashville Underground and AJ's Good Time Bar.
In designing Nashville's next tourist hotspots, Anderson is shaping the face of Nashville tourism. Recently, I sat down with the prominent interior designer to talk about her current projects, working with Alan Jackson and the pros and cons of designing honky-tonks.
NBJ: I know you're working on Ryman Hospitality's project at 300 Broadway. What can you tell me about it?
Anderson: That's going to be a really fun project. Floors one and two will be honky-tonk-type floors, and the third floor will be an event space ... with 20-foot ceilings.
What is it like working with Alan Jackson and other celebrities? (Anderson has worked with the Judds, Vince Gill and many more Nashville stars.)
They’re just normal people, really. … But it is hard for them to realize that you really have to wait on some things.
... [Jackson] always has to have a project going, and he has this great eye. … He really is a smart client.
Why do like working on honky-tonks? And what are the challenges that go with it?
What’s been really fun is being downtown … with so much energy and music. ... [The main challenges are] codes … and the historic commission. And in those small spaces … the space planning part is challenging. But space planning is my favorite puzzle to work.
Which of your past projects are you most proud of?
I worked on the Grand Ole Opry House after the flood. I grew up with Dad listening in on the radio. … It felt like a real responsibility. ... Also, the home of Steve Winwood. It’s stood the test of time. Doing spaces where the public can use too is nice, [like the] University School library … and then Sinema restaurant