Broadway National Register Historic District
The Broadway Historic District, in the shadow of the famed Ryman Auditorium, is probably best known for the many music and tourist-related businesses that remain in this area. Known as Lower Broad, this section of Broadway has for decades attracted country music fans to its honky-tonk bars. Several of the street’s furniture and hardware stores played a key role in Nashville’s economy in the late nineteenth-century; many of these have been adaptively-reused as restaurants catering to locals and tourists alike. The Ernest Tubb Record Shop, at 417 Broadway, was the site of the second-longest running radio show in history, the Midnight Jamboree, still broadcast on Saturday nights on WSM Radio. Singer Ernest Tubb opened the record store and mail-order business in 1947 and moved to this location in 1951. Of particular interest is the former Merchants Hotel, 401 Broadway, a three-story commercial Victorian building. Originally constructed around 1870, the building held a pharmacy and pharmaceutical sales company. The building became Merchants Hotel in 1892, and was rehabilitated in the 1980s for Merchants Restaurant.