flying saucer


Ah, the Flying Saucer. I have a tortured relationship with this bar. This place is somewhat of an enigma to me.

First, the premises. This bar is located in one of the coolest buildings in Nashville next to Union Station itself — it’s inside what I believe was the freight building for Union Station, the L&N railroad terminal. It’s a gorgeous building that feels (and nearly is) as old as Nashville itself.

Second is the beer — over 200 beers on tap, and more beyond that in bottles. It’s a beer connoisseur’s wet dream.

Third is a bit of a curveball: the food. For a bar, they have awesome food. The beer cheese soup is simply divine. It’s a heartattack in convenient bread-bowl form factor, but when you fall over, writhing in pain, dying of coronary angina, you’ll go with a smile on your face, and know it was all worth it. The turkey meltdown sandwich is also one of my favorites — generous slabs of smoked turkey on french bread with avocado and cheese. It’s hard to go wrong.

So where am I going with all of this? Despite all these obvious pros, I never go to the Flying Saucer, because of one big fat giant con:

The music.

I don’t remember specifically when they started, but at some point, the Flying Saucer decided it would be a good idea to start having writers’ nights out on the patio. They charge a cover for it — anywhere from $3 to $5. I distinctly remember the first night I walked up to the door, my heart full of hope and yearning for a good night of beer and revelry, only to be greeted by a doorman demanding money. “For what?”, I asked. His answer was reflected in the shocked expression on my face, drained of color and joy. Live Music? Live writer’s night music? At the saucer? My heart was broken.

I can only imagine this was a decision made at the corporate level. “It’s music city,” they figure, “we need to have some music.” No, no, no! If I wanted to hear writers’ night music in Nashville, I’d go .. well, anywhere. When I go to the Flying Saucer, I want beer, food, and cigars. I don’t want to pay a cover. But it gets worse. These days, it’s not even “writers’ night”. They call it that, sure, but mostly what you get these days is coverbands. Last night we actually went to the Saucer for the first time in years (why? food at 2AM, of course. we even paid the cover.) We were subjected to covers of everything from Stone Temple Pilots to .. Pearl Jam. Yeah. Want to get an idea of what you’re subjected to? Check out the google images search for “flying saucer” nashville.

So this is my personal plea to the management of the Flying Saucer: ditch the music. You’ve got a good thing going — one of the best bars in Nashville. I went there last night, paid the cover, and even endured a horrific cover band just to have a beer and some good food. You don’t need live music. Your “stage” takes up prime dart-playing real-estate. People like playing darts while they drink beer. What they don’t like is yelling to eachother because they can’t hear their conversation over the crappy cover of Aerosmith (no offense to anyone that enjoys acoustic Aerosmith covers. May god have mercy on your soul.)

2 Comments so far

  1. Sarcasto (unregistered) on February 28th, 2006 @ 8:52 am

    One of the best shows I have ever seen in my life was The Dempseys at the Flying Saucer. Thankfully, they didn’t play any Aerosmith covers.

  2. Kate O' (unregistered) on March 1st, 2006 @ 10:29 am

    It’s always too damned loud. I know that sounds old and crotchety, but it IS. It’s smokey as hell in there, and that’s bad when you’re an ex-smoker, but that’s manageable for the atmosphere. But the damned loud music! You end up having to shout to have a conversation with your friends, and between that and the smoke, my throat is always shot the next day.

    No thanks.

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