Jason Aldean says Nashville’s thriving honky tonk scene is ideal for country star-owned businesses

Nashville has become not only a hub for country musicians, but for their ventures into the world of bars and restaurants. 

Eric Church opened his bar, Chief’s, last month, joining a total of at least 19 stars, ranging from Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, and Kid Rock, to Dolly Parton, Blake Shelton, and Reba McEntire, who have added to Nashville’s thriving bar scene over the years.

Jason Aldean, who opened his first Jason Aldean’s Kitchen and Rooftop Bar in 2018 and recently added a third location in Pittsburgh, doesn’t see the crowded field as competition. 

“I don’t know that anybody’s competition,” he told FOX Business. “I mean, I think down there, when you have all those bars, there’s so many people in Nashville, so many people moving there every day and visiting every day that it’s almost like you have to have all those bars just to accommodate everybody. Because honestly, if you go in any of those places any day of the week at night, they’re all doing pretty well.”

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Nashville has seen almost exponential growth in its tourism industry in recent years. According to the Tennessee Department of Tourism, the city saw 141 million visitors spend $29 billion in 2022. 

“It’s nice that we have our own place down there, and it’s doing well,” Aldean said of his own restaurant. Aldean recently partnered with Teabird, a hard sweet tea that he plans to serve at his bar. 

But the Grammy-winner’s primary business is, of course, music. He’s set to perform at the upcoming Academy of Country Music Awards on Thursday at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, and has added dates to his Highway Desperado Tour into September.

“I love being on the road. I love playing and traveling with the guys in my band,” he said. “It’s almost like, if you play sports, it’s kind of like being in the locker room with [your] guys, you go out, and you play your game, which for us is the show, and then you get to hang out with your buddies and stuff. The rest of the time you get to travel the country, and it’s just, it’s a cool, cool lifestyle, man.”

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He went on to explain that he currently balances taking time off to record music with touring, and the time away from the stage and fans makes hitting the road all the more appealing.

“I’m just excited to climb back on the bus, go play our shows and do our thing. That’s our safe space out there, is playing shows and where we like to be. So we’re getting there and, looking forward to having another great year on the road,” Aldean said.

Touring can be rough on the family, and the father of four admits it wasn’t always easy to find a balance between the two.

I think it took me a long time to figure that out,” he said. “But now it’s a thing where I go out on the road by myself one weekend. And then my wife, she’ll stay home with the kids, and then the next weekend, she’ll come out with me for a weekend by herself. And then the next weekend, we’ll bring the kids all out.” 

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Aldean also told Fox Business why he chose to team up with Teabird Hard Sweet Tea, an alcoholic sweet tea beverage made with cane sugar.

“For me, sweet tea is just something that you go – on a hot day in the South – you go and pour it over ice and sit there on the porch and drink it. It’s just kind of part of … the Southern charm, almost,” he told FOX Business. 

He continued, “And it’s almost like when you get out of the South, you can’t really find sweet tea really anywhere. But you know, to me, it’s just really a Southern kind of thing.”

 

“Being from Georgia, sweet tea, I mean, we give that to babies when they come out of the womb pretty much in Georgia,” Aldean said. “So, you know, so the sweet tea thing just kind of reminds me of home. It’s just something that … I felt like I could really get into, get behind.”

The 47-year-old is all for a good night out, and he’s one of the lucky people who doesn’t suffer from hangovers.

“I’m usually back on my feet pretty quick, man. I’m not one that goes down with a hangover for too long, usually. Maybe a couple hours after I wake up, and I’m good.”

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But he did have recommendations for those who might need a little help.

“Sleep is the main one. I like to sleep in and then get up, maybe a pound of Gatorade, a couple of waters, and get something to eat,” he suggested.

He added, “And sometimes, you know, they say ‘hair of the dog.’ So, you could just grab a Teabird and drink it and get back in the game.”


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