For anyone who’s wondered what it’s like to go to the French Riviera, John Rich is giving you that opportunity – redneck style that is. Dubbed “America’s work hard, play hard brand,” Redneck Riviera is the brainchild of Big & Rich’s John Rich, who developed the brand based around his childhood memories of visiting Gulf Shores, Alabama with his family and the atmosphere created there.
Selling everything from cowboy boots to beach sandals, Rich explained during a conference call about how the phrase is one he’s hears over the years and is used as a way to describe where people go to have fun. Rich began to wonder if anyone had ever “focused” the phrase on a national level and when discovering they hadn’t, he saw an opportunity and ran with it. “It truly is a state of mind,” Rich said. “I love that about it because anybody can create that atmosphere at a moment’s notice.”
Rich has had so much success with the brand (they now sell their brand of boots in all 50 states) that he is opening two Redneck Riviera bars, one in downtown Nashville and the other on the Las Vegas Strip, which the singer describes as “coveted spots” that see more pedestrian traffic than anywhere else in the US.
While Nashville is known for its live music scene, Rich hopes to bring that element to Vegas, making it a unique venture in the glitzy location, which he says has a legion of “die hard country fans.” What will make Redneck Riviera different from other spots on the Strip is the fact that live music will start early in the morning and continue well into the night, just like if you were at a honky tonk on Lower Broadway in Nashville. “I’m pretty excited to bring that element to Las Vegas,” Rich relayed. In addition to a house band that will perform seven nights a week, he also plans to bring in national acts as well.
On the flip side of the coin, Rich describes the Nashville location as “right in the middle of the bee hive” with its home comprised of two buildings between Second and Third Avenue on Lower Broad. The first floor will contain a live band, main bar and interior bar, the latter of which serves as a particularly special place inside Redneck Riviera. Dubbed the “Heroes Bar,” it will be built in honor of our nation’s veterans and active military personnel as a way to thank them for their service. The gesture is one dear to Rich’s heart, who also added that Redneck Riviera will employ veterans and feature memorabilia relating to the military and the veterans that have served our country. “They’re going to walk in and they’re going to know we appreciate them,” he said, adding that he’s excited to chat with World War II veterans when they come into the bar.
But the personal touch doesn’t stop there. Rich also revealed that he hopes to decorate his establishment with special tokens from his famous friends, citing Luke Bryan’s fishing pole and tackle box and Hank Williams Jr.’s half drunken bottle of Jack Daniels as examples of the atmosphere he’s trying to create. And if the venture didn’t sound interactive enough, fans can look forward to getting even more up close and personal with the country star, who plans to knock out a 10×10 foot hole in the building and encase it with glass, creating his own specialized seat in the establishment where people can come up and say hello and take photos with the star. “What a cool interaction I think that’ll be with the fans,” he said.
The presence of Redneck Riviera in downtown Nashville continues Rich’s efforts of leaving his mark on the city (his home in the West End area offers a gorgeous view of the city skyline). “I think Nashville’s probably the greatest place in the world to invest,” Rich divulged, saying how this venture is a way of investing in a city that has invested in him and that talent comes in abundance here. “It’s inspiring.”
It’s safe to say Redneck Riviera will be a place in a class of its own. The Vegas location will also feature the same menu as the Wahlburgers, a restaurant run by the famous Wahlberg family, which sits just below the Riviera and is the No. 1 Wahlburgers location in the world. Rich also mentioned tentative plans to hold a national contest for fans to submit ideas for their favorite cocktail recipes. He also tips his signature cowboy hat to members of the press with a “multimedia component” that will allow media personnel to set up inside Redneck Riviera during big events like the CMA Awards and ACM Awards and even have the opportunity to broadcast performances happening inside the establishment.
It seems that Rich has selected two perfect locations for his “work hard, play hard” establishment, stating that it was the “excitement factor” that drew him to both destinations. “You can feel the energy coming off these people,” he said of both Nashville and Las Vegas. “Let’s start where the action is.”
For more information on Redneck Riviera and to order the brand’s products, visit the official website.