A new addition to Nashville that is a must see is Skull's Rainbow Room! What makes this bar and restaurant in the historic Printer's Alley so special is that it was once a Nashville landmark before it unexpectedly closed in 1999. The doors were shut 16 years ago after the grisly murder of the original owner, David "Skull" Schulman:
Skull Schulman, (Image Credit)
Skull's Rainbow Room opened in 1948 as an exotic dance club. There were many other strip clubs in Printer's Alley at this time, but what set Skull's club apart from the rest was that it had a live band performing music for the dancers.
In the 1990s, Skull converted the club to a country bar. Skull's popularity around Nashville grew, and later the Nashville City Council unanimously declared Skull as the "Mayor of Printer's Alley". Skull befriended celebrities and appeared in several episodes of the television show "Hee-Haw". The bar then hosted celebrity performers including Johnny Cash, Elvis and Jimi Hendrix:
In 1998, one evening while Skull was working by himself in the club he was attacked by assailants and brutally murdered. The criminals were later caught, but the club never reopened until June 2015. For a while, Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar rented the space for storage, but eventually stopped because employees didn't want to go in there, especially after dark. They claimed they would hear Skull's voice calling out to them and they would see ghostly shapes... scary!!
The current owner of Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar, Phil Martin, joined with two other partners to renovate and open the basement-type space. The building had fallen apart over the years so it was a major task to renovate the Rainbow Room to its former glory.
During the renovation process they found hidden treasures behind sheet rock - including amazing walls and the original large food menu for the club:
This sign (above) has been restored and now decorates the main room of the venue.
Skull's Rainbow Room currently serves food (upscale steakhouse food etc.) and handcrafted cocktails. These cocktails remind me of the drinks at Patterson House, look delicious and are named after the people and places from Printer's Alley history:
The bartenders are very friendly and make the drinks so quickly! While you are enjoying your food and drinks you can watch some live jazz music and LIVE BURLESQUE PERFORMANCES on the Rainbow Room Stage:
They have 2 burlesque performances a night. The burlesque dancers are tasteful but I wouldn't consider it family friendly because it's a little racy and the dancers end up wearing minimal clothing!
I didn't get to try the food or the handcrafted cocktails, but I did enjoy a vodka tonic and had such a fun time! The jazz music was amazing and I wanted to film it for y'all to see, but flash photography isn't allowed in there.
I will be going back soon for sure because this was such an entertaining night. The history behind Skull's Rainbow Room makes the experience even more special and I'm so glad the venue was brought back to life!
It was pretty crowded on the Friday night that I went, and even though we were able to get a seat at the bar, I recommend going there first on a week night when it may be a little slower.
The bar opens from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and they have happy hour specials. Their lunch menu opens from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Dinner runs from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. You can book your reservations here!
Let me know what you think of Skull's Rainbow Room and the history behind it below!!