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Showbiz dealings, down-home style

But expanding biz dulling city's charm

NASHVILLE — Informality pervades showbiz here.

Agent Joey Lee of Buddy Lee Attractions shows up to lunch wearing typical Nashville attire: a warmup-style jacket with his company logo.

The industry lunch spots here have familiar names, like the Palm or Sunset Grill, but the menu prices are not so recognizable.

The Palm, nestled downtown between the new Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Predators hockey arena, offers a $14.95 business lunch complete with entree, salad and onion rings. The most expensive thing on the Sunset Grill lunch menu is the $16.95 Grilled Angus Beef Tenderloin.

Even in Nashville, where the old kitschy but charming tourist traps near Music Row — landmarks like the Country Music Wax Museum, Hat Country and the World Famous Car Collectors Hall of Fame — have been replaced with office buildings, the industry seems to be losing some of its luster.

“For a long time, country music was the sexy business in town. It’s not any more,” Paul Moore of William Morris says.

He points toward the football stadium downtown. “It’s sitting in the Coliseum. We’re not what we were before the Titans came to town.”

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