Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Tennessee > Kingsport - Johnson City - Bristol
 [Register]
Kingsport - Johnson City - Bristol The Tri-Cities area
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-30-2024, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
10,054 posts, read 14,418,692 times
Reputation: 11234

Advertisements

Yikes. What's going on with downtown Bristol?

There seemed to be an energized resurgence, and now a slew of back-to-back bars and restaurants have closed the past year or so.

It could be the reasons you mentioned, @SeriousConversation. A combination of homeless/addicts/uber and lyft drivers not available and higher rents.

Also, could just be timing.

The Bristol area population is not high enough to sustain a ton of bar/restaurants--they need tourists to flow in consistently. And winter is a slower time for that, too, in general. Maybe that's an issue--not enough year-round business?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-30-2024, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Memphis
506 posts, read 1,474,414 times
Reputation: 447
I think the problem for live music in any of the Tri-Cities is a lack of interest and population problem. The demographics for live music skew younger and single. Something the Tri-Cities lacks.

Johnson City is really the only somewhat viable live music scene and it is not good. Bluegrass, maybe, as long as you aren't relying on it to make a living. Outside of that, you would at least need to drive an hourish to Asheville.

I do know a guy that drums out of Greeneville, but he just plays sporadically with a local group for local gigs once every few months.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2024, 02:01 PM
 
Location: TN/NC
35,057 posts, read 31,258,424 times
Reputation: 47513
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbradleynyc View Post
Yikes. What's going on with downtown Bristol?

There seemed to be an energized resurgence, and now a slew of back-to-back bars and restaurants have closed the past year or so.

It could be the reasons you mentioned, @SeriousConversation. A combination of homeless/addicts/uber and lyft drivers not available and higher rents.

Also, could just be timing.

The Bristol area population is not high enough to sustain a ton of bar/restaurants--they need tourists to flow in consistently. And winter is a slower time for that, too, in general. Maybe that's an issue--not enough year-round business?
I don't know how State Street Brewing went as long as it did.

At least one of the owners appeared to take a regular job last year. It never seemed to be something they were fully committed to. I think the project started in 2017/2018, and it took them a couple years to get it up and running. Once they did, they didn't seem to really have a clear vision of what they wanted to do. With a couple of exceptions, their beer was average at best.

Combine that with Cascade Draft House being basically across the street, and Studio Brew (the other established brewery in Bristol then) then Michael Waltrip Brewing Company (which took over the Studio Brew space) being in town, both of which had a clear vision and better beer, this seemed like a matter of time.

I will say that Michael Waltrip Brewery is actually really good, books a lot of bands, and nailed what Bristol wanted. I thought it would be terrible when it opened, but the beer is consistently good, the food is better than average bar food, and it's a great place to hang out. It would definitely be worth checking out for the OP.

IMO, the same thing happened with Bristol Station Brewery a few years back - not the best beer, not the best venue, just couldn't survive in such a small market.

Also, keep in mind Bristol's demographics - mostly lower to middle income local natives with a smattering of transplants and some tourist draw, mostly a few times a year. For the most part, Bristol locals want typical American beers.

Right now, there are no Ubers visible on the app. I'm about two miles from downtown. I took an Uber out a few times during the warmer months last summer. Sometimes I'd get downtown and couldn't get back. My parents came and picked me up a couple of times.

Contrast this with Johnson City. Ubers are generally available at typical bar times. The city is denser and set up better for ride share. You have small breweries like Little Animals and relatively small venues like The Hideaway that are able to survive because that's where the type of people who would go to a place like that tend to cluster in this area.

I definitely think some of it is unrealistic rent expectations, but there has been a notable increase in "displaced people" and obvious drug-addled people in public over the last few years.

Last edited by Serious Conversation; 01-30-2024 at 02:11 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-30-2024, 05:54 PM
 
Location: TN/NC
35,057 posts, read 31,258,424 times
Reputation: 47513
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppalachianAngler View Post
I think the problem for live music in any of the Tri-Cities is a lack of interest and population problem. The demographics for live music skew younger and single. Something the Tri-Cities lacks.

Johnson City is really the only somewhat viable live music scene and it is not good. Bluegrass, maybe, as long as you aren't relying on it to make a living. Outside of that, you would at least need to drive an hourish to Asheville.

I do know a guy that drums out of Greeneville, but he just plays sporadically with a local group for local gigs once every few months.
It's not a population problem.

When you bring the two Tri-Cities MSAs together, as well as the "collar counties" that use the Tri-Cities for a cultural and shopping center, you are looking at well over a half million people, probably pushing three quarters of a million when you include some of the more remote SWVA areas that still look to the Tri-Cities for cultural things.

That's a lot of people. It's probably bigger than the Asheville, and definitely Roanoke, "service areas."

The problem is that, as you said, the demographics are completely wrong for live music. Even when the music genre is "right," locals do not get out and support bands.

A few months ago, I saw an internationally touring rock band at Capone's. I've seen them at The Shed in Maryville at least three times, Asheville once, Capone's several years back, and a few other spots around the country.

That Capone's show this year was worse attended than it was a few years back, pre-pandemic. Both were during the week, so that can't be the excuse.

The bottom line is that the local population just doesn't care about music, other than maybe bluegrass or pop country. Bands that could sell out a big venue elsewhere can't sell out a couple of hundred people here, even when the music genre "lines up."

It's really sad and telling. The lack of cultural things like this is a big reason why my house is going on the market in the summer. I'm tired of going to Asheville for everything.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-31-2024, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
10,054 posts, read 14,418,692 times
Reputation: 11234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
It's not a population problem.

When you bring the two Tri-Cities MSAs together, as well as the "collar counties" that use the Tri-Cities for a cultural and shopping center, you are looking at well over a half million people, probably pushing three quarters of a million when you include some of the more remote SWVA areas that still look to the Tri-Cities for cultural things.

That's a lot of people. It's probably bigger than the Asheville, and definitely Roanoke, "service areas."

The problem is that, as you said, the demographics are completely wrong for live music. Even when the music genre is "right," locals do not get out and support bands.

A few months ago, I saw an internationally touring rock band at Capone's. I've seen them at The Shed in Maryville at least three times, Asheville once, Capone's several years back, and a few other spots around the country.

That Capone's show this year was worse attended than it was a few years back, pre-pandemic. Both were during the week, so that can't be the excuse.

The bottom line is that the local population just doesn't care about music, other than maybe bluegrass or pop country. Bands that could sell out a big venue elsewhere can't sell out a couple of hundred people here, even when the music genre "lines up."

It's really sad and telling. The lack of cultural things like this is a big reason why my house is going on the market in the summer. I'm tired of going to Asheville for everything.
I think you are on to something.

The culture in the tri cities region is not live music focused. I think there's quite a bit of the population in the region, that still looks at live music as a "sin" and they don't want to go to bars and stay out too late.

You are talking about a Bible belt region, that is the majority conservative and far right, sort of Bible thumping folks, so-to-speak. A large majority still goes to church every Sunday, and more during the week, I would bet.

For example, many of my relatives (aunts, uncles, cousins) live in Hawkins County, Tennessee, Washington and Lee counties in Virginia, and Sullivan and Washington counties in Tennessee. Most are conservative, but some are middle of the road and more liberal. That being said, if any of them see live music, they'll go to Nashville or Myrtle Beach, or Knoxville or Charlotte. None of them would ever really go "see live music" in Johnson City, Kingsport or Bristol.

I've actually had my aunts say in the past that they "see live music in church," so there's no interest to go out to bars and stay out late to see that.

I think this might be the majority attitude in the region of SW Virginia and NE Tennessee.

So the area can only support a handful of live music joints. As I think about it, it makes sense that Kingsport never had live music venues, really. Not sure if there are any there today, but I had always wondered why, but this could be the reason.

Live blue grass, gospel and choir type music does very well it seems, in the tri-cities.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-04-2024, 05:43 AM
 
643 posts, read 2,384,818 times
Reputation: 535
There is music here, but there is more music in Asheville which is more of a "party town" and only one hour away from JC.

If you add in that other people were disappointed that The Willow Tree and The Acoustic Coffeehouse closed and started going almost exclusively to Asheville or sometimes Knoxville for music...

In some respect, the NC Piedmont is not different. Look at how many times a band will play in Greensboro instead of Charlotte or RTP. In effect the bands play in the middle town to get the draw from a much larger population area.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Tennessee > Kingsport - Johnson City - Bristol

All times are GMT -6.

¬© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top