When Ben Bredesen moved Fat Bottom Brewery from its original location on Main Street to the west side of Nashville, he already had the desire to open another business in East Nashville.
“I always wanted to come back,” Bredesen said in an interview with The East Nashvillian. “I live in East Nashville right by Five Points. When I started Fat Bottom in 2012 I wanted to be close to home, but we [eventually] needed more space than we could find in East Nashville, so went out West. Since we did that in 2017, I’ve wanted to come back.”
On Wednesday, Dec. 1, Bredesen makes his return in a big way with the opening of his new, neighborhood bar, The Vic, and the adjacent event space, Emerson Hall, both housed in the former church complex at 2512 Gallatin Ave., which is also home to the recently opened Gallatin Hotel. But the opening of the two businesses isn’t just an expansion of Fat Bottom Brewing, it’s a personal project that Bredesen has embraced with a passion.
“The brewing here will be led by the guys from West Nashville but we won’t be making Fat Bottom brew here,” Bredesen said, “We’ve got really artistic and creative brewers, but they do get a little bored just making an IPA every day. We didn’t have the set-up on the West Side to do more experimental things and let them get creative and do the things brewers really love. I thought about building a second brewhouse or opening a bar with a brewery attached, but this space was the right space at the right time.”
Not only will the brews be distinctive, but they’ll also be served up in a distinctive space. With approximately 40 seats, a long and roomy bar, and comfortable, homey tables, The Vic goes for the groovy, but not garish, 1970s feel — the cool home basement bar where you might run into neighbors Mike and Carol Brady on an “adult’s night” away from the kids.
“We didn’t have a basement bar when I was growing up. but I certainly saw enough at friends’ houses,” Bredesen said. “I wanted a place that was comfortable and was different — a place where neighbors can come over and hang out.”
In addition to the on-site brewed beers (beginning 2022), The Vic will also feature a variety of local craft brews, a full bar, flatbread pizzas, a spotlight meatloaf sandwich, small bites like baked wings, a cheese ball flight, and even the 70s family den classic, Jiffy Pop Popcorn.
While The Vic will be open to the public, the large event space directly above it, Emerson Hall, will be available to rent for special events. The former church sanctuary offers 6,000 square feet of event space, full catering service, and several other accommodations.
As with all projects started in the last two years, the road to opening The Vic and Emerson Hall was much longer than anticipated. But with both spaces now ready for business, Bredesen is looking forward to bringing something new to the neighborhood.
“The hope is that people love it,” Bredesen said. “I think there’s a need in this neighborhood for what we’re doing. There are certainly other bars around us, but we’re trying a different vibe. I wanted to have a place where I would want to hang out. We don’t want to be the trendy bar or the dive bar, we just want to be the neighborhood bar people want to come to, a place where the bartender knows them and knows what they like when they walk in the door.”
For more info, photos, and booking info for The Emerson visit thevicnashville.com.
The Vic opens today, Dec. 1, at 4 p.m., with limited hours of 4 p.m. until “late” through Sunday.
Regular hours begin on Monday, Dec. 6:
Monday-Thursday: 4 p.m. – late
Friday: noon – late
Saturday: 10 a.m. – late