Exit/In owner Chris Cobb is not backing down. After the property where Exit/In is located was sold to a hotel developer, Cobb launched a GoFundMe campaign, with a goal of raising $200,000 to offer AJ Capital, who purchased the property, in addition to the money he also secured with Grubb Properties Group, and is doing everything he can to make sure the beloved 50-year-old venue remains in Nashville for years to come.
“So we’ve asked AJ Capital to sell it to us, and basically flip it,” Cobb told Rolling Stone. “And we want to be able to make the most compelling offer that we possibly can. We still have Grubbs’ backing, so we can pay [AJ Capital] as much as they paid for it without another penny, but we want to scrape together as many pennies as possible. And people just kept asking to help, so we wanted to be able to let people give if they want to.”
Cobb initially offered the building’s owner as much as AJ Capital, but believes there is another reason he wasn’t given the bid.
“It’s still the 50th anniversary of the club. That hasn’t changed yet, Cobb said. “But what has changed is that the building is under contract, and not to us. We offered more and still didn’t get the bid … Apparently, it’s about more than just that money. I think somebody’s got a master plan for that block and us being there doesn’t fit into that plan.”
While Cobb knows the option would still exist to move Exit/In to another location, he acknowledges that scenario isn’t ideal.
The name has been part of the lease for longer than … it predates my 17 years there,” Cobb noted. “But if their plan is to tear it down and build a luxury hotel, maybe they would sell the name. I mean, would we consider it to keep Exit/In alive? Sure. But it’s definitely a lot less attractive than keeping Exit/In where it’s been for 50 years. There’s magic in that space. You can feel it. You can’t recreate that.”
To date, the GoFundMe has raised almost $140,000 of the original $200,000 goal, thanks in part to artists like Margo Price, Hayley Williams, Will Hoge and others, who have encouraged their fans to help support Exit/In. Donate to the Exit/In GoFundMe account here.