Nashville’s Exit/In venue set for new ownership

The “Rock Block” staple is closing for the foreseeable future on Thanksgiving.

The club opened in 1971 and has hosted everyone from Leonard Cohen to Johnny Cash.

Exit/In opened its doors in 1971 and has hosted everyone from Leonard Cohen to Willie Nelson. | Photo by NASHtoday

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Rock Block staple Exit/In is set to close next week — at least for the time being — and change ownership after over 50 years of independent operation.

The venue’s 18-year run under Chris and Telisha Cobb’s ownership will conclude with sold-out shows from Nashville’s own Emmylou Harris, JEFF the Brotherhood, and Diarrhea Planet.

While Exit/In’s future is still up in the air, a portion of the property was approved for a historic overlay. Development firm AJ Capital Partners is set to take over management next year and has voiced plans to keep the venue in operation.

🎵 Upcoming shows

Despite a string of sold-out shows, there are still a few chances to visit the venue under its current ownership.

🎵 Historical moments

To reminisce on concerts dating five decades, look no further than the iconic wall out front featuring names of past performers — Billy Joel, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Linda Ronstadt, B.B. King, and Steve Martin, just to name a few. Legend has it, Jimmy Buffet walked into Exit/In under construction in 1971 and played a few songs for the crew, marking the venue’s first concert.

Another key moment in the venue’s history was serving as a backdrop in Robert Altman’s 1975 ensemble filmNashville.” Though the movie has a number of iconic scenes, Keith Carradine’s ballad “I’m Easy” performed at Exit/In won the Academy Award for “Best Original Song.” Behind-the-scenes photos and other stories are chronicled in a 50th anniversary commemorative book published in 2021.

🎵 Your favorite memories

In an effort to honor Exit/In’s legacy, we want to hear from you. Drop us your favorite memory at the venue in the survey below. Some of the responses may be shared in a future newsletter.

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