NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Nearly six months after an EF-3 tornado tore through Nashville, a beloved music venue is nearing its reopening.

A lot can change in six months.

“I get a phone call saying The Basement’s been hit,” Mike Grimes said. “He said ‘The Basement’s gone.”

Grimes is the co-owner of The Basement East. His partner called him the morning of March 3rd that the business had been destroyed.

He saw the images for the first time on the news. The iconic venue all but leveled, but the “I Believe in Nashville” mural was left standing.

“We have this thing that basically was a major symbol of Nashville’s strength and unity and everything, and it was still there,” Grimes said. “There was a feeling of comfort walking up and seeing that the mural was still there.”

Grimes also found comfort and relief in learning the staff working the closing shift that night survived.

“A couple of them walked outside and saw the tornado coming, grabbed our staff and ran them down to the basement, and then it hit a minute later,” Grimes said.

One week after the tornado touched down, COVID-19 did the same, shuttering music venues across Music City.

Grimes said The Basement East is a little more than a month from re-opening, but there will still be uncertainty.

“Nashville’s built on live music. None of us can wait,” said Grimes, who said he isn’t losing hope. “We will have it again it’s just going to be a little while.”

Grimes believes The Basement East will re-open in mid-October.


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