CALLING ALL COOL CATS, MUSIC HEADS, AND WHISKEY LOVERS...WHEN YOU ARE IN NASHVILLE, BE SURE TO STOP BY THE BLUE ROOM FOR A PROPER SLOW & LOW OLD-FASHIONED AND MUCH MUCH MORE...
THE BLUE ROOM IS THE COCKTAIL BAR ARM OF THIRD MAN RECORDS IN NASHVILLE, TN. WE GOT TO COZY UP TO THE BAR AND CHAT WITH BAR MANAGER, RACHEL MULLINS Johnson...
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BARTENDING?
I’ve been bartending for about 9 years on and off. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Retail Merchandising and Product Development but I started as a barista in high school and eventually got certified by the Specialty Coffee Association so bartending is pretty similar to skills I developed early on.
ARE YOU A MUSICIAN?
Playing music has never come easy to me but it has always been one of the most important parts of my life. Although, I am married to a musician who can literally pick up any instrument and play it. I may or may not be a little jealous…
WHAT LED YOU TO THE BLUE ROOM?
7 years ago, my husband and I wanted to get out of our small beach town where we met and try our luck in the “big city” of Nashville. I continued some work in coffee when we arrived and about two years later found my way in at Third Man Records via the retail side of the business.
It was my dream to combine working in the music industry with whatever skills that I had acquired so far. Fast forward to right before the pandemic when I was offered the opportunity to help open the Blue Room Bar as its own entity and not just a venue space attached to the label. There are definitely ups and downs of opening a business during a pandemic but we have really found our niche in the community and celebrate 1 year of the Blue Room Bar this month!
ON ANY GIVEN NIGHT, WHAT'S THE VIBE?
The vibe is different almost every night, which is something I love about it. We try to schedule programming that offers something for everyone. This ranges from comedy, live jazz, music trivia, themed DJ nights and dance parties, art shows, film nights and local and touring bands from around the world.
Nights when we have smaller events with the full set up of refurbished mid-century modern furniture and moody blue lighting are quite special. Not to mention our lush green themed patio, complete with astroturf, trees and vines, that is tucked away between high rises and the chaos of downtown nashville. Our team really put some love into reimagining this space.
THE BLUE ROOM IS GREAT FOR CHECKING OUT LIVE MUSIC. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST SHOWS YOU'VE SEEN FROM BEHIND THE BAR?
So many great ones this year alone… A highlight for me is definitely Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros. I love a wide range of music but the jam scene is close to my heart so that was pretty surreal.
The Nude Party, S.G. Goodman, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dijon, Ata Kak, Ezra Furman, Mdou Moctar, Nate Smith, Lola Kirke and a new supergroup of semi-locals, Crooked Rhythm Band No. 1, have all put on some captivating shows in the Blue Room just since we’ve opened the bar. There’s been over ten years of shows in this room before that as well. We really try to bring a variety of music to the community and I love being a part of that.
SHARE A PLAYLIST FROM THE BLUE ROOM?
Our playlists are all over the place. Lots of Detroit punk, blues, funk and soul classics, jazz, dark wave, and the occasional disco or classic country thrown in the mix. Doesn’t hurt that our coworkers and friends from the label always have great suggestions!
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO DRINK SLOW & LOW?
I like to dress it up with a Luxardo cherry and of course, orange peel.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE WHISKEY DRINKING SONG?
“I’m a Ramblin’ Man” Waylon Jennings. I’ve settled down quite a bit these days but I still enjoy channeling some Waylon energy from time to time.
WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO STAY CONNECTED TO THE BLUE ROOM AND KNOW WHAT IS UPCOMING?