With changes ahead, Printer's Alley looks to retain character

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Long before lower Broadway drew a crowd, Printer's Alley was the place to party in Nashville.

Now, the famous district is being reborn through a painful and controversial process.

With some businesses closing and new businesses moving in, Printer's Alley is attempting to walk the line to retain its historic character.

Gary Bowie rents out lofts in Printer's Alley. When he began renovating them, many people told him he was crazy, especially the bankers.

"I went to 23 banks. They told me I was out of my mind, nobody is going to live in downtown Nashville," Bowie said.

Hotel Utopia, a new boutique hotel planned for Printer's Alley, is expected to have a huge influence on the area's future.

The Fleet Street Pub, a local favorite, will stay open throughout the hotel construction that's about to begin.

"I think it will be a little lean ... but we are not going anywhere," said Glenn Henderson with Fleet Street Pub.

Henderson added that in the long run, he believes the changes will be good for Printer's Alley.

The look and feel of the future of Printer's Alley is easy to find. Skull's Rainbow Room was a classic dive, full of character. It is scheduled to be reopened in a month as a gorgeous bar and restaurant.

Business owners still wonder if Hotel Utopia will follow through to light the alley and present convenient access for hotel guests.

Hotel Utopia could also bring two or three new businesses to Printer's Alley.

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