Liftin' on a Prayer: Jon Bon Jovi's New Nashville Bar

For DPR Construction, building Jon Bon Jovi’s new five-story bar in downtown Nashville meant working around 16,000 daily pedestrians, a packed entertainment schedule and a very tight footprint.
By David McMillin
May 6, 2024

When the last notes of the evening ring out on Nashville’s Honky Tonk Highway, there’s one location in Music City that’s been staying very busy: 405 Broadway. What used to be an empty parking lot will soon be JBJ’s Nashville—Jon Bon Jovi’s five-story, 35,000-square-foot bar with two rooftop decks and multiple entertainment stages.

The project kicked off in April 2022, and since then, the jobsite—which at its peak has played host to approximately 100 trade professionals—has been active starting at 2 a.m. “The bars close down around that time and open back up at 10 a.m.,”says Brent Bunting, Nashville business unit leader for DPR Construction, the project’s general contractor. “We’re trying to maximize that slow window to get as much done as quickly as possible and meet the owner’s timeline to get into the space.”

When Broadway’s bars open their doors again just after the breakfast hour, the site is still active with a second shift that runs until 5 p.m., creating additional needs for DPR to juggle the demands of the project with the hustle and bustle of one of the busiest entertainment districts in the country. “Our team has had daily conversations with Nashville Metro and the Nashville Department of Transportation,” Bunting says. “It’s a very complex schedule, and at times, we need to make more room for deliveries or a crane and make adjustments with additional lane closures and utility closures.”


While there wasn’t an existing building to tear down to make way for JBJ’s Nashville, plenty of demolition still needed to happen. “Everything south of Broadway has a ton of rock,” Bunting says. “When we got under the parking lot, we realized that we needed to do quite a bit of rock removal.”

The demolition and excavation phase lasted for 10 months. To break up all the rock in the ground, the DPR team dug holes throughout the site and poured Damite—an expansive grout material—into them. “A lot of the existing buildings are pretty old and have stacked-block foundations,” Bunting says. “Once we got down below grade, we had to do a lot of shoring systems and braces on the inside of the excavation to hold the existing buildings up. As we’re building those floor plates below grade, the footprint is only 8,000 square feet, so it’s a really tight space.”

The confined area created some challenges during the building phase as well. There was less than one foot of clearance between the new structure and neighboring buildings, which made the standard approach of using a tower crane unfeasible. Instead, DPR used Upbrella, a lifting system that allows for vertical building without a tower crane. Instead of swinging heavy loads over the neighboring buildings—which would have required additional permits and created safety concerns—Upbrella deployed a monorail system with trolley cranes around the building.

“It provided a really efficient way to use our approved lay-down areas and lane closures,” Bunting says. “We had trucks pull up with prefabricated pieces for the facade. Then, we would trolley those pieces of panels around the building to the right spot and hoist them down into place.”


The 405 Broadway site marked the first time that Upbrella has been used in the United States. While Bunting said that the technology might have been “a bit more expensive” than the traditional approach to this type of work, it likely saved an equally important resource: time.

“We’re always looking for new ways to do things smarter, safer and better,” Bunting says. “Using a crane may be the more ‘known’ way to do it, but I think when you pile on all those other variables—the street’s hours of operation, the lane closures and the events schedule—we would have ended up being delayed more if we opted to use the crane.”

As for the crowds that have passed by the site over the past two years wondering when they’ll get to raise a toast while screaming the words to “Wanted Dead or Alive,” they won’t have to wait much longer. Bunting says DPR is aiming to complete work by the middle of May, marking an end to the 25-month project.

When the venue officially opens its doors, it will be the tallest bar on Lower Broadway. It seems like a fitting crown to wear: Bon Jovi’s latest single is titled “Legendary.”

by David McMillin

Related stories

Closeout: The Water Is Wide
Harkers Island Bridge Replacement, Carteret County, North Carolina
Great Expectations: Is Your 2024 What You Thought It Would Be?
By Grace Calengor
From interest rates slowing to AI implementation to lagging effects from 2022 and an impending election, can your construction company keep up with what 2024 has in store?
Plan of Steel: Raleigh's Newest Adaptive-Reuse Project
By Grace Calengor
Transforming a nearly century-old industrial site in Raleigh, North Carolina, into a high-end mixed-use development wasn’t anything new for Brasfield & Gorrie. But that doesn’t mean the project was without challenges, including lead remediation, structural issues and—of course—the supply chain.

Follow us

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Stay in the know with the latest industry news, technology and our weekly features. Get early access to any CE events and webinars.