The NRA Convention is set to land in Nashville in a couple of weeks (April 10-12, 2015), you need to know the lay of the land if you’re a card carrying good guy.  Card-carrying, for those in Rio Linda, means you’ve got that little card in your wallet that licenses you to carry firearm(s) in public.

In a nutshell, Tennessee recognizes all states’ carry licenses.  So if you’re licensed anywhere in America, you’re good to carry.  Open carry is allowed with a carry license in Tennessee, however it’s a rarity.  While as a visitor you’re welcome to open carry, you might be saving yourself some grief by not doing so.  Remember, you attract more friends with honey than vinegar.   Just a word to the wise.

If you’re carrying, you’re not allowed to drink.  Sorry about that.  Think of it as the designated carrier rule.

If you choose to ignore the sign and carry anyway, you can be asked to leave and failure to do so might result in police contact and bad things happening.  But why would you ignore the sign?  You’re a law-abiding sort AND more importantly, we would rather spend our money at businesses who don’t discriminate against us.

When I was in Nashville’s tourist “entertainment” / tourist district in the fall of 2013, my new bride and I walked up and down Broadway and I was surprised to see the bulk of establishments posted.  Or that’s how I remember it.

According to John Lott, things have changed for the better.   With that in mind, as NRA members, you might be asking yourself:  Where can I go to eat in the Broadway Street area that is going to welcome NRA members with carry licenses?

John Lott has the answers you’re looking for!

Enjoy the convention!  I’ll see you there!


by John Lott

Crime Prevention Research Center

With the NRA convention coming to Nashville in three weeks, what are the restaurants and bars where permit holders are welcome?

With the NRA convention just weeks away, the CPRC canvassed the restaurants on Broadway and 2nd Avenue in what is the tourist district of Nashville, an area that is right next to the new convention center where the NRA annual convention will be held.  Permit holders are not allowed to carry (either concealed or open) in businesses that are posted.  In Tennessee, it is also illegal for those carrying to drink any alcohol (think of it as these individuals being analogous to designated drivers).  There are technically no bars in the state. Everything is a restaurant because they must sell a certain amount of food in order to have a liquor license.    If you have a handgun permit and are carrying, or if you simply want to reward those establishments that serve permit holders, you might find this list of interest.  More information will be added as we have a chance.

We interviewed the managers of many establishments because some places do not allow permitted concealed handguns even though they haven’t posted signs (many of the managers appeared unaware of state law).  There were a number of places that were not posted but where the managers were adamant that they would not allow permit holders inside.  Some went further and indicated that signs were going to be posted by the time of the NRA convention.  In these cases, while one could legally enter the restaurant, if you are asked to leave you must do so.  It is also possible that the establishment could call the police to get them to ask you to leave.

Some signs are very difficult to see.

Restaurants on the South Side of Broadway that serve permit holders
Joe’s Crab Shack
Bongo Java Cafe
Luigi’s City Pizza
Merchants Restaurant and Grill
Paradise Park — not a hundred percent sure that they might end up posting a sign before the NRA convention
The Wheel
National Underground
Nearby Museum
Johnny Cash Museum

Restaurants on the North Side of Broadway that serve permit holders
Robert’s — Instead of a sign indicating that permitted concealed handguns are banned, this bar has two NRA decals at the front.
Hard Rock Cafe — when asked about serving those carrying guns, the manager said they hope that are very happy to get as many customers as possible.
Layla’s Blue Grass Inn
Bailey’s Pub & Grille
Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville
Tin Roof
Whiskey Bent Saloon
Mike’s Ice Cream & Coffee Bar
2nd Avenue (West side of street, some places were just checked for whether they were posted, not for whether they would ask a permit holder to leave)
Ichiban (Sushi)
Benchmark Bar and Grill — just checked for posting
Pitta Pit
Nashville Street Taco
Bebo’s Cafe
Brugada Bar — just checked for posting
2nd Avenue (East side of street)
Rodizio Grill
The Melting Pot
The Old Spaghetti Factory
Dick’s Last Resort
BB King’s Blues Club




6 thoughts on “GOOD GUYS: Where to eat on Broadway St. at NRA’s Nashville convention”
  1. John, Thanks for the info.

    Any chance someone has a list of Nashville establishments that prohibit concealed carry? I don’t want to inadvertantly reward an establishment that is hostile to our right to self-defense.

  2. Haven’t seen such a list.

    Get in touch with Wendy and me and we’ll do dinner at a (hopefully) unposted place.


  3. I hope that the convention organizers are diligent about reminding attendees often of the place where CCWs are welcome and not welcome. It would give me much joy to see non-CCW restaurants almost empty while those allowing CCWs are full. That would probably result in several signs coming down. In the mean time, boycott all businesses in Illinois that have posted the “NO GUNS” signage on their doors, AND, avoid the killing field of Chicago. That place is a cesspool that all good CCW folks need to avoid like the plague.

  4. Speaking of Chicago:

    The streets run red,
    thugs are around,
    no guns or freedom
    when restrictions abound!

  5. I won’t be going, but if I were, I wouldn’t patronize “no gun” joints!

  6. We are proud to announce that Dunn Bros Coffee & Provisions Café on the corner of 4th & Church downtown welcomes all legal carry permit holders!

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