When ownership changed a few years back and Nashville Restaurant & Rodeo (RnR) on Route 58 in Chatan came into being, it went from just a country-themed bar to something much more. “For one thing,” says Nashville RnR co-owner Scott Zimber, “we had a plan to start serving food in addition to drinks. Before, it was all just about drinking, dancing and the mechanical bull. There is still plenty of that, but the added food options have given the old guys even more reason to keep coming and new ones a reason to try us out.”
What are these “food options”?
Nashville has stuck with simple Americana. Specialties include Home-Style Chili, Original Bacon Cheddar Sliders and now a Handmade Country-Style Pizza. Other offerings include chicken wings, sandwiches and their original Rodeo Rolls. As for beverages, Nashville started out as a bar and, as such, according to Zimber, serves “almost everything.” Still, some of the best sellers are Nashville’s Lynchburg Lemonade and cold beer.
The two things that make Nashville the place to be, according to Zimber, are the feelings of welcome people get as soon as they come through the door, followed by the sheer fun of the place. “The most common comment we hear from Americans is ‘Wow, this is just like such-and-such a place back home!’ Our Japanese guests – and we have a lot of them — always say: ‘I feel like I’m in America when I come here. It’s not like Japan at all!’”
Now, about the fun factor: on a given night, according to Zimber, whether American or Japanese, you will see people spinning, two-stepping or line dancing on the spacious dance floor. Or trying to stay on the newly reconditioned mechanical bull. Don’t know the dance steps? Don’t worry, Nashville has free country dance lessons every Wednesday. Unfortunately, however, there are no bull-riding lessons to be had: “It’s always fun watching folks trying to hang on,” Zimber says.
Zimber credits his staff with the success of Nashville RnR. “They do a great job of making everyone feel at home whether you’re all-country all the time, or if it’s your first visit to a real county bar.” Either way, in a small town like Okinawa, Nashville provides a real deal down home feel.