Though Springwater Supper Club has operated under its current name since 1978, some kind of alcohol-selling establishment has operated on site since 1896, making it the oldest continuously operating bar in the state of Tennessee. Pre-1900 history can sometimes be a bit of a grab bag, but there is suggestion that the bar was open for operation during the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition in 1897. Rumor has it that both Jimmy Hoffa and Al Capone visited at one point or another, adding an extra layer of dive bar mystique to Springwater Supper Club.
The Nashville dive bar features one of the great dive bar murals in the city, a swooping blue depiction of the bar’s name and a rolling wave underneath that graces the building’s front wall. Inside, green painted wood paneling surrounds the snug space divided into two narrow rooms. A single bar operates on either side of the wall dividing the two rooms, creating a little dive bar passthrough unique as far as dive bars go. A stage sits in the back of the bar’s secondary space, Springwater Supper Club frequently hosting ticketed live music events.
Of course classic dive bar decorations like sports trophies and vintage beer signs dot the space in addition to a designated sticker area filled with numerous, often fading stickers posted over the years. The wear and tear of more than 100 years of operation is thankfully still seen on the walls and surfaces throughout the space, adding the kind of ‘worn’ look that elevates a great dive bar. The space is cash only, naturally, and interestingly enough, hula hoops are banned, so be prepared to surrender yours at the door. The space is so well regarded that band The Black Keys filmed a music video within the space (Little Black Submarine) before playing a pop-up show in the Nashville dive bar’s cramped quarters.