Tootsies Orchid Lounge in Nashville, TN
Originally called Mom's, Tootsie Bess bought the bar in 1960 and after it was mistakenly painted an orchid color, the name was changed to Tootsies Orchid Lounge. Many of her first customers were Willie Nelson, Mel Tillis, Waylon Jennings, and Patsy Cline. It is also here than many performers get their first chance to shine. In fact, Willie Nelson got his first songwriting job after singing at Tootsies.
Tootsie loved music and helped the struggling artists who took the stage each night often slipping money into their pockets. It is also said that she kept a cigar box behind the counter full of IOU's where she had given free food and drinks away to the down on their luck performers. Each year members of the Grand Ole Opry would get together and pay off all the IOU's so Tootsie wouldn't loose any money.
Today, some of the best up and coming artists can be found at Tootsies. There are different stages located in the bar, one upstairs and one downstairs. Music begins when the doors open at about 10AM and continues until the early morning hours at around 2AM.
Tootsies Orchid Lounge is a true Nashville honky tonk. With its rich history it continues to serve as a platform for artists on the rise and keeps the crowds entertained with true Nashville sounds.