It is with great sadness that we share the announcement that Opry City Stage, New York City’s first 4-level country music honky tonk, has shut it’s doors.
Opry City Stage, the first spin-off of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, opened a few short months ago in December 2017. Upon entering the magnificent venue, guests were immediately transported to a place that seemed far outside of the New York City norm. Greeted by cowboy hat wearing staff and immediately having the opportunity to shop the venue’s general store, guests could head upstairs to the full service 2-floor restaurant which featured live music, dining and a bar, or continue to the 4th floor, “The Studio” where private and intimate events were held.
Although New York is statistically one of the largest markets for country music and what we believe is very underserved, it seems that the Times Square venue was just not completely prepared for the fast paced reality of New York City.
It was announced today that the parent company, Ryman Hospitality Properties, is temporarily suspending operations at the New York City location as the company evaluates the venue’s market positioning, concept and operating strategy.
Colin Reed, chairman and chief executive officer of Ryman Hospitality Properties issued the following statement:
“As we have shared over the past several months, our Opry City Stage venue has taken longer to ramp up its operations than we initially anticipated and has unfortunately underperformed our revenue expectations this year. We have decided that suspending operations at Opry City Stage while we evaluate the venue’s ground floor experience and operations is the appropriate course of action.
I would like to thank both our New York City-based employees as well as the artists who have performed at Opry City Stage for bringing an authentic slice of Southern culture to life in Times Square. We look forward to sharing more details in the months ahead.”
Disheartened to hear the news, our team at NYCountry Swag sends our best to the Opry City Stage family and hopes that we can see a re-grand opening in the forthcoming months. Hopefully it’s not a good-bye, just a see ya later!
While we wait for more news, we are taking a look back on some of our favorite memories from Opry City Stage…
The History – Back in October 2017, Stephanie & Christina of NYCountry Swag took a trip down to Nashville where the Opry team treated us to a special tour of the incredible venue and it’s rich history. Sharing the story of the Grand Ole Opry, exploring the memorabilia and catching the live show helped us to capture a better idea of what to expect in New York City. When it came time to check out the NYC location, we were amazed at how much thought and detail went into everything from the design of the space to the menu, truly bringing an authentic taste of Nashville to New York. Check out more from our Nashville trip here.
The Bluebird Cafe Songwriters Series – Over the past few months, every other Friday night, guests could head to Opry City Stage for a special Bluebird Cafe Songwriters Series Night. The Bluebird Cafe is an iconic Nashville staple and bringing that to the New York City venue was an important factor in truly capturing the Nashville experience. Guests had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of writers and stories behind some of their favorite songs, something very unique for New York where fans are generally subjected to the heavily produced shows and almost never treated to a stripped down show. Read more about the special songwriter style show here.
Carrie Underwood’s Album Release Party – Reigning Queen of country, Carrie Underwood, celebrated the release of her record-breaking 7th studio album, Cry Pretty with fans at Opry City Stage. The eventful day included an intimate performance by Underwood, a Q+A with NASH FM 94.7 DJ Katie Neal, and an unforgettable experience for many country fans. The lunchtime party was simply just a taste of ‘what could have been’ for Opry City Stage. Check out more from the exclusive show here.
Front & Center: Brett Young & Carly Pearce – Getting some live action in the heart of Times Square, country music artists Brett Young and Carly Pearce each performed a set for a special double episode taping of the PBS Special, “Front & Center”. NYCountry Swag was fortunately heavily involved in promoting the sold out show which gathered 360+ fans for the Monday night taping. Check out our recap of the event here.
The Country Round-Up LIVE! – Back in March/April, the NYCountry Swag team worked with Opry City Stage’s production team to bring our Weekly Round-Up E-Newsletter to life in this special episode which highlights country music happenings, events and a special glimpse into Opry City Stage. Check it out in the video above.
Live Swag Sessions – Over the past year, NYCountry Swag has hosted over twenty Live Swag Sessions from different locations in New York City. With this, we invite some of our favorite country artists to join us for a Facebook/Instagram LIVE performance where the entertainer performs two acoustic songs and then chats with our hosts. Working with Opry City Stage, we coordinated Live Swag Sessions with Aaron Watson and Ashley Campbell.
The Local Talent – In it’s short time, Opry City Stage quickly became a great connection for local country music talent. Hosting live shows every day from early in the morning to late at night, whenever a country music fix was needed, New Yorkers could always count on heading to Opry City Stage. Local favorites like Lauren Davidson, Jessica Rose, Bobby McGrath and more had the opportunity to connect with fans and share their music with the country music community in New York City and beyond.
NYCountry Swag looks forward to continuing to serve the New York country music community by bringing you the latest in country music news, reviews and events. Make sure you are subscribed to our Weekly Round-Up for upcoming announcements, ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests and more. Subscribe Below: