Nashville's iconic club Exit/In has announced it will be closing its doors on Thanksgiving after 51 years of live music. Current owners Chris and Telisha Cobb, who have been involved in running the venue since 2004, posted a statement this morning, writing that their lease is up at the end of the year and that despite fundraising efforts to save it, the company that now owns the building will not be renewing it. The building's owners, AJ Capital, say that they will reopen Exit/In under new management in 2023.
"It appears that 51 years of local, independent ownership and operation have come to an end," the Cobbs wrote. "We're humbled to host this last run of concerts with friends from many eras gracing our stage again. There have been too many incredible moments to count over the 18 years we've stewarded Exit/In. It's an incredibly special place that we are so fortunate to have been a part of. Thank you to everyone who's been part of the extended Exit/In family." They also note that sister bar Hurry Back "will remain open into December, but will close before year's end."
The Cobbs continue: "We don't have a clear picture of what the future holds for Exit/ln. We do know there is a historic overlay on the building (and the Exit/In building only). The exact effect of this zoning is dependent on the Historic Commission, but it should prevent complete destruction of the building. This zoning can be changed, like any other local zoning. You can thank yourselves and public pressure for this historic zoning protection."
AJ Capital, however, do have a picture of what the future holds and gave a statement to Nashville Scene: “The Exit/In will remain open, as it has under the stewardship of dozens of operators over the past 51 years, as its irreplaceable self: an iconic Nashville venue and gathering place for music lovers from all over. We spent the last year securing historic protections for this special and sacred space, which we’re committed to preserving while providing some long overdue physical improvements. We look forward to the next half-century of moments and memories, and to announcing 2023 show dates very soon.”
The Cobbs' statement also says that the money raised via their GoFund Me "will be donated to MVAN and NIVA once this process has finalized."
"We love this city wholeheartedly but are not ok with many current trends here," The Cobbs' statement concludes. "We know Nashville needs Exit/ln and independent venues like it to continue supporting our community of artists, musicians, and the entire ecosystem they center. Thank you again most humbly and sincerely for all your support, for all the shows, and all the memories."
The final shows at the current incarnation of Exit/In will be a pair of Diarrhea Planet reunion shows on November 22 & 23.