Tootsies Orchid Lounge, Nashville

4.0
Tootsie's Orchid Lounge is a honky-tonk bar located in Nashville, Tennessee behind the Ryman Auditorium. Tootsie's has three stages that host live local talent each night; covering modern day country music artist such as Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift, and other popular country music artists, as well as original work. Some of its early famous first customers were Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, Mel Tillis, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Roger Miller and numerous others country musicians. According to www.tootsies.net, Willie Nelson received his first songwriting gig after singing at Tootsie's. Terri Clark, a Canadian-born country artist, started singing at Tootsie's in 1987. and has since become an internationally known country superstar with hits such as "Better Things to Do," and the Warren Zevon cover, "Poor Poor Pitiful Me."

Originally named Mom's, Tootsie Bess (Hattie Louise Bess) bought the future honky tonk in 1960. The name came later when to her surprise a painter painted the lounge purple. Subsequently, the name was changed to Tootsie's Orchid Lounge and to date, the exterior of the lounge still is painted the same color. Tootsie was known to slip five-dollar and ten-dollar bills into the pockets of luckless writers and pickers. It was said she had a cigar box behind the counter full of IOUs from where she had given drinks and food to hungry writers and pickers. Supposedly, at each year's end, a bunch of Opry performers took all the IOUs and pay Tootsie so she wouldn't lose the money. At her 1978 funeral were Tom T. Hall, Roy Acuff and Faron Young. She was buried in an orchid gown, with an orchid placed in the orchid-colored casket, so she could take her favorite flower to heaven. Connie Smith sang some of Tootsie's favorite hymns at the funeral.

On November 7, 2010, Tootsie's celebrated its 50th anniversary with performances at the Ryman Auditorium from Kris Kristofferson, Terri Clark, Little Jimmy Dickens, Mel Tillis, Jamey Johnson, and Joanna Smith.
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Tootsies Orchid Lounge Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
1,738 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • My fave place on Broadway by far. A trip to Nashville would not be complete without stepping into Tootsie’s. Friendly staff, 3 floors of fun, and some incredible live music!  more »
  • This was my brother’s bachelor party and I can say we had an awesome time will definitely come back in the future thanks for having us.  more »
Google
  • Extremely famous bar in Nashville history that you have to visit at least once. The music is typically some of the best on Broadway and they have multiple levels with different brands. It is always extremely busy so that's definitely something to keep in mind when planning your trip!
  • Wow, a Saturday night on Broadway street and we found Tootsies and went to the top floor. The band we saw plays five nights a week and they were unbelievable. It was packed and they had an outdoor lounge open,even though it was in the 40s. They played all requested songs, and the lead lady danced and sang in the bar. Young guitarist was crazy good. People of all ages there. It was an incredible first day in Nashville experience!!

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