NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A special VIP event and soft open was held Wednesday at the latest West Nashville development spearheaded by singer-songwriter and comedian Ray Stevens.
Stevens, who is known for hits like “Everything is Beautiful” and “Misty,” invited about 700 of his closest friends to show off the new venue dubbed CabaRay.
“It’s a lot like an old-time Las Vegas show room, is what it’s like. No gambling machines,” Stevens’ right hand man Buddy Kalb told News 2.
From the crystal chandeliers to the theater-style seating, CabaRay is no doubt a new thing in West Nashville.
“There are a lot of things in West Nashville. There are a lot of restaurants and tire stores and drug stores, but this is the only thing like this in West Nashville,” Kalb explained.
He told News 2 it’s just 10 minutes from Stevens’ home, and it’s modeled after the singer’s favorite venue in Las Vegas.
“When Ray decides to do something, he doesn’t do market studies to see if it makes any good sense. He does what he wants to do, and he wanted, always wanted, to have a showroom close to home. He had a gut feeling that this was kind of the going place. You know, Nashville is the ‘it city,’ and he felt like West Nashville was the it part of the ‘it city,’ you know. It’s where everything was growing,” Kalb said.
Stevens has spent the last two years perfecting the 3,000-square-foot facility that seats 500 for dinner and offers 200 additional theater seats.
“Everything you see in here is right out of the mind of Ray Stevens, right down to the color and light switch where it goes. Everything,” Kalb told News 2.
All while paying homage to some of Music City’s pioneers.
“You could spend an hour or so in here just reading the wallpaper. This is a little bit of a tribute to the music business and the town that he loves, Nashville,” said Kalb.
There is also a piano bar and a gift shop, but Kalb said this is just the beginning of Stevens’ plans for the 6 acres on the hill. He’s working on putting his recording studio and publishing operations on the property as well.
“At some point in time he will probably have everything he’s doing under this roof in West Nashville, but not immediately. First we [have to] get this big 747 off the ground,” Kalb said with a laugh.
Stevens will be playing the venue in the beginning, putting his mark on it, but other artists are likely to perform at the showroom, too.
CabaRay officially opens to the public on Jan. 18. It will be open Thursday through Saturday nights. Tickets for dinner and a show are $100.