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'Basement East Is Gone': East Nashville Hit Hard By Tornado

The Basement East, Nashville
AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

A man walks by The Basement East, a live music venue destroyed by storms on March 3, 2020 in Nashville, Tenn.

Damage is extensive across East Nashville after a tornado ripped through the popular area early on Tuesday, badly damaging several buildings, including at least one music venue, and knocking out power for other bars, restaurants and businesses.

The Basement East said on Twitter that its building sustained "significant damage" during the storm, though thankfully all staff members are accounted for. Morning-after images of the scene appear to show a partial collapse of the venue's ceiling and walls, except for a portion of the building containing a mural stating "I Believe in Nashville."

Police officials said they are assessing the damage in the surrounding area, some of which is known as Five Points. "There are businesses in Five Points that basically don’t exist anymore," Precinct Commander David Imhof said, according to a report in The Tennessean. "Basement East is gone. BoomBozz is gone."

Earlier, the Basement East — located at 917 Woodland St. — hosted a benefit concert for Sen. Bernie Sanders ahead of the primary being held today in the state. The event featured several acts, including Joel King of Wild Feathers, Lissie, Sarah Potenza and more.

Known as “The Beast,” the Basement East serves as the sister club to The Basement’s original 8th Avenue venue, also in Nashville. The venue opened in 2015. Live Nation, which signed a multi-year booking deal at the venue in 2019, issued the following statement:

"Our thoughts are with our community of Nashville and all of those affected. We are thankful to have safely accounted for all our local staff and are working diligently to provide support however they need. We believe in the strength and spirit of the city of Nashville and will support however we can."

Scheduled to play the Basement East in the next few weeks: Archers of Loaf, Elohim, Black Lips, The Ataris and Best Coast.

Late Tuesday morning, the venue's management said it was working to relocate as many shows as possible. "We will send updates out to ticket holders, on our website and social media as we determine the status of each show," they said. "Please bear with us as this process could take a few days to weeks."

A nearby building in Five Points that houses The Soda Parlor and Clean Juice was also destroyed. The building housing the 3 Crow Bar was also damaged. “Hang in there friends,” the bar said in a Facebook message. “Love will lift us up. We are happy to report that no one was injured but our building took a hit. Hopefully, we will make repairs soon and we can open the doors up again soon."

A short walk from 3 Crow is another small music venue, The 5 Spot, as well as restaurants like The Tree House, Five Points Pizza East and Margot Cafe, which said on Facebook that it will be closed Tuesday after sustaining "heavy damage" during the tornado. "Thinking of our East Nashville community and our five points neighbors who sustained heavy losses as well," the restaurant said. "Everyone be safe out there."

A manager at The 5 Spot says they are "incredibly fortunate" as the venue had little damage. "The tornado snapped some utility poles in our back lot like toothpicks, but our property does not seem to have sustained any major damage," he said.

BoomBozz, a nearby pizza parlor and tap house, was badly damaged. Buther & Bee, a restaurant a stone's throw from Basement East, lost power but was otherwise unscathed.

The East Nashville twister was one of two tornadoes that caused damage catastrophic across central Tennessee early Tuesday. Officials are saying that at least 22 people have died, with at least 140 buildings destroyed.