The whiskey distillery Bob Dylan previously announced for Nashville is now set to become a place even a teetotaler could love. The project is becoming considerably more ambitious, with the addition of an arts center component that will include a performance space and a gallery for the singer’s paintings and sculptures.
The only downside: what was last year declared as set to open in 2019 has now been pushed back to fall 2020.
Most intriguing to patrons of the Dylan-esque arts, imbibing or otherwise, is fresh news about a 360-seat concert venue, as well as a display space for Dylan’s metal sculptures and other visual artwork. The facility has also been announced to include a restaurant as well as guided tours, a “whiskey library” and, of course, the distillery itself.
The downtown Nashville facility will now be called the Heaven’s Door Distillery and Center for the Arts. The “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” reference in the name would have reason enough for being because of the location for the project — the 160-year-old former Elm Street Church — but it also ties in with Dylan’s partnership with the Heaven’s Door Spirits brand, which launched in 2018.
An announcement about expanded plans for the distillery comes on the 50th anniversary of the release of Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” album, which was recently the subject of a substantial exhibit at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame for its influence on country-rock commingling.
“Nashville is the natural home for the Heaven’s Door distillery and the Elm Street Church is a fitting home for Dylan’s visual artwork,” said Marc Bushala, CEO of Heaven’s Door Spirits, in a statement, adding that “when we finally found the deconsecrated church in SoBro, we immediately knew that it would be the perfect physical and spiritual center for the brand, and Bob’s art.”