Blake Shelton is partnering with the company behind the Grand Ole Opry to bring a “major addition to the Music City entertainment landscape": a new entertainment center called Ole Red, after his 2002 hit of the same name.
The star of NBC’s The Voice made the announcement Thursday morning during a news conference from the stage of the historic Ryman Auditorium, with Colin Reed, CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties, by his side. The venture is described as a "lifestyle brand, not just a building." Blake's behind the project because as a Grand Ole Opry member, he's a member of the "family" and, as Reed noted, he communicates with people outside the country music genre.
The venue will feature "great food, great beverages and great retail," and Blake's persona will be central to everything. For example, the artists he discovers on The Voice will be able to play there, and there'll be live band karaoke so you can fulfill your own Voice fantasies.
An upmarket rooftop bar with fire pits and retracting windows -- which evidently blew away Blake and girlfriend Gwen Stefani when they saw it -- is another feature of Ole Red. So is a light display that can change colors for different occasions.
Can't make it to Music City? A second Ole Red location will open in Blake's hometown of Tishomingo, OK. That'll be completed by October, while the Nashville center will be open April of 2018.
In addition to the historic Ryman and the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Hospitality Partners also owns the iconic radio station WSM, as well as multiple Gaylord resorts and the Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville.
Blake is just one of the big names involved in opening his own signature spot in Music City. Both Dierks Bentley and Alan Jackson also have projects in the works.
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