Because I took a break from the blog for a while, I’ve missed some new art. But I also have a back catalog, if you will, of older art that still needs to make it to the blog. And the double mural at the Commodore Grille is an important work I should have put on the blog a long time ago.
What makes this work important is its location, for the Commodore Grille sits in the Holiday Inn building on West End. This makes the murals at the Commodore Grille some of the very first murals on a building owned by a national chain in Nashville. Depending on how you define “major,” it might also qualify for the very first on a building owned by a major chain. This mural and its companion (which I will feature soon in an upcoming post) were done by Mobe Oner (Eric Bass) in April 2019 in honor of the Grille’s 50th anniversary. As such, they beat out the mural at our local branch of Top Golf by a couple of months and the one at the Kroger near Five Points by a few more. The only mural at a national chain in Nashville that appeared earlier that I am aware of is the one at what used to be a Holler & Dash and is now rebranded as a branch of Maple Street Biscuit Company. That one was created by Meghan Wood of I Saw the Sign in early 2018. Ashley Bergeron of The Studio 208 helped Mobe Oner get the Grille and Holiday Inn to take this leap and put local art on a national chain.
It’s also an early example of an interactive mural, or at least it was. At one point there was a stool in the middle where people could get their picture made between the two songwriters. While the famous wings mural was probably the first intentionally interactive mural in Nashville, as a trend interactive murals didn’t really take off until around the time the Commodore Grille murals went up. (The Gulch wings mural went up in 2016, around the time I started this blog.)
The anonymous songwriters in this mural are an obvious theme for the Commodore Grille, as songwriters’ nights and open mic nights are a regular feature of the entertainment there. If you want to see a very different version of Nashville music from the one found down on Lower Broad, you might want to check out the Commodore Grille.
Located at 2613 West End Avenue. The mural faces west towards 28th Avenue South. This is a busy area with lots of parking, but most of it is tied to local businesses. You might try the parking garage on the 2500 block of West End or look for street parking on Vanderbilt Place a block south of the mural.