"The Springwater Supper Club & Lounge was established in 1896 and claims to be the oldest bar in Tennessee. The lounge hosts an eclectic variety of live music and attracts all sorts of visitors with a location right next to Centennial Park. During prohibition, Springwater Supper Club & Lounge was a speakeasy and although it has functioned under several different names and purposes, like a trading post, a brothel and a library, it’s quite the dive bar these days."
Dierks Bentley didn’t begin his career in Nashville playing the famous honky-tonks on Lower Broadway. He started a few miles west of the neon lights, at Springwater, a dingy bar near Centennial Park that paid him in beer.
Bentley advanced to Market Street Brewery, a step up in location but backward in terms of compensation (he got charged for alcohol and finished every show in the hole). Then Bentley landed a weekly gig at Wolfy’s Den on Lower Broadway, within eye-shot of what is now Bridgestone Arena. He signed his record deal while still playing there in 2001 and for the past 16 years has dreamed about headlining the arena, Nashville’s largest indoor concert venue.
Regular barflies, pool tables, cheap beer — and the lingering smell of smoke that pollutes your hair long after you leave — are all defining characteristics of true dive bars. Nashville’s most beloved dives have a charm and character all their own, which is why we’ve included them here, on our list of Music City’s best, most dive-y-est (ignore our grammar!) dive bars. Many are housed in nondescript, concrete structures, while others pulse with better music than you’ll hear anywhere else in town. A few of them even have pretty decent food. Enjoy our tour of some of Nashville’s oldest and most authentic dive bars.
Established in 1896, The Springwater is one of the oldest bars (if not the oldest) in Nashville. It’s said that Al Capone used to gamble at this joint and that Taylor Swift has sipped a cold beer here as well. The live music is good, and the air is no longer smoky.