COUNTRY SUPERSTAR BAR SHOWDOWN: Blake Shelton’s Ole Red vs Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row

Although there are plenty of classic country bars on Nashville’s Lower Broadway, like Tootsie’s, Robert’s and Nudies, there have also been a few new ones named after big time country stars, like Alan Jackson’s Good Time Bar and Jason Aldean’s Crazy Town. The latest one to hit the strip is Ole Red, which has Blake Shelton’s fingerprints, if not his name, on it.

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When I stepped in off the street, the in-house band was just finishing up a George Jones tune, which is always a good sign. Their repertoire was also heavy on George Strait and Conway Twitty, and I actually heard them play Clint Black’s “Killin’ Time” twice, which might be one of the best country-music drinking songs of the 1990’s…

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Speaking of drinking, this place has got its own signature Ole Red Ale, brewed by Nashville’s Fat Bottom Brewing. It’s a pretty mild red beer, which tastes more or less like Rickard’s Red…but it does happen to be named after a Blake Shelton hit single.

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Ole Red actually has four floors. The second floor is a little more cozy than the first, and features this bitchin’ buffalo head, along with several TV screens showing the NHL playoffs. I definitely spent some time up here, pounding Music City Light beers…

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From there I headed up to the rooftop, where the most country song on the playlist was by Taylor Swift. But it did have a pretty sweet view of Nissan Stadium, along with some tasty snacks.

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Dude, you can’t get much more country than beef jerky and corn nuts in a mason jar, bro! This jerky was nice and tender, not too hard to chew, and the chili-spiced corn nuggets added an extra kick. But the best was yet to come…

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Hot pretzels are pretty much my favourite stadium snack, bro, and this one’s the size of a Marcus Mariota TD gallop! Plus, it comes with this super-creamy queso dip… dude, I’d put that on a flip-flop!!!!

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Washed it all down with a Dogfish Head Sea Quench Ale, this super-citrusy brew from Delaware’s finest brewery. This totally took some of the heat off those corn nuts!!!!

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Now, when I walked into Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, some burly, bearded dude was singing “Any Man of Mine” by Shania Twain. I fucking shit you not. And while there were plenty of screens showing the basketball game, you weren’t gonna get any craft beer here—they had Miller Lite, Bud Light, Coors Light and Michelob Ultra on ice.

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After a couple more songs, I headed up to the second floor, where an all-white band was playing Bob Marley. This floor had a slightly better beer selection—if you consider Blue Moon slightly better beer—but once the drummer started singing Stevie Wonder, I was gone, gone, gone…

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Whiskey Row claims to have the highest rooftop patio in Nashville…where a DJ was playing some crappy rap music. I don’t think I lasted more than 10 minutes!!!

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After grabbing a non-light beer on the second floor, I headed down to Floor One to hear the band play 90’s radio rock staples by Eve 6 and the Gin Blossoms, before launching into the Uncle Kracker version of “Drift Away.” (Trust me, it was the Uncle Kracker version.) But at least I hung around long enough to hear em play “Drink in My Hand,” “Friends in Low Places” and, uh, “Sweet Caroline.” This floor was definitely the lesser of three evils.

FINAL VERDICT: Even though Blake Shelton loses 500 points off the top for recording “Boys Round Here,” his bar still wins by a landslide. Dierks Bentley’s joint is so un-country, it makes “Somewhere on a Beach” sound like “Your Cheatin’ Heart.” Man, I’d rather stick a pink umbrella in my drink at Florida Georgia Line’s FGL House Sundaze Brunch than go back to Whiskey Row, bro!!!!!!