Chef Sean Brock has unveiled Bar Continental, the first dedicated vinyl record listening lounge to open its doors in Nashville. The space will offer a one-of-a-kind music experience with nightly programming, alongside a selection of food and beverage prepared by the Chef and his team.
“As one of my favorite projects of my career, I couldn’t be more excited to bring Bar Continental to Nashville. It combines my love of music, food, and audiophile obsessed Japanese culture with Nashville’s rich history and appreciation for music,” said Brock. “Visiting Bar Continental is like attending a concert, you feel the music – its transcendent, similar to an experience on Lower Broadway, and my hope is that Bar Continental will bring that same kind of memories to this side of Broadway, with excellent service, food, and drink in mind.”
Bar Continental’s inspiration is derived from the Japanese “kissa” concept, tea lounges found across Japan that gained popularity in the 1950s, where guests could listen to the newest jazz albums played through extraordinary sound systems. Chef Brock will bring the essence of those bars to Bar Continental to combine an unmatched music experience with the food and hospitality for which Brock’s restaurants are known. In preparation for the opening, Brock worked with musicians, fellow audiophiles, and sound engineers on a high fidelity speaker and amp set up and sourced a library of over 5,000 records. The record collection spans a vast spectrum of classic jazz masterpieces, Mississippi blues, northern and southern Soul, classic rock, 70’s fuzz, and classic honky tonk, which will play on a rotating nightly basis.
Bar Continental will offer classic cocktails, a curated wine list, local beer on tap, and a menu of simple dishes showcasing the best seafood available. Starting later in October, Bar Continental will work in partnership with Nashville-based Now and Then to offer daytime coffee & tea service alongside a selection of pastries.
Focusing on fresh seafood and classic bar items, the menu will offer a daily and rotating selection of bar bites and larger plates. Menu highlights include Heirloom Tomatoes with Mango, Hamachi & Ikura with Yuzu, Maitake Mushrooms & Chimichurri, Bluefin Tuna Caesar, and Steak Au Poivre. Shortly after opening, Brock and his team will serve brunch and offerings from the Prime Rib Cart on Sundays.
Located in the Grand Hyatt hotel in downtown Nashville, Bar Continental will have seating at two distinct bars, The Wolf Bar and The Onken Bar, in addition to the main dining room. Designed for guests to enjoy rare records played through the highest quality equipment, the bar will feature vintage Mclntosh and Tannoy speakers.
The dining room will be split by large black acoustical curtains designed to improve the sound quality of the sound system, and a section of the restaurant will be designated for those who prefer to listen at lower volumes.
With a warm ambiance and wood finishes, the two bars will feature an assortment of bar seats, bar stools in select sections, spacious tables, and leather banquets. Guests will be immersed in a 3D-sound-stage-type experience, listening to records that are otherwise not easily accessible through rare and vintage high fidelity equipment. “Designed for guests to feel the music”, according to the press release, guests “will be able to discern the individual instruments and performers, as though they were sitting in the control room while the music is being recorded – a transcendent experience.”
The Onken Bar seats up to 21 guests, the Wolf Bar accommodates 24 guests, and the main dining room seats 46 guests. Additionally, Bar Continental can also be sectioned off for private parties.
Bar Continental will be open nightly seven days a week from 5pm till 10pm on Sunday through Thursday, and 5pm – 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, head over to the bar’s official website.