NOBLE first reported last week that East Nashville’s Mad Donna’s was closing its doors after nine years in business for a massive renovation effort, which was being backed by a celebrity.
In an email obtained by NOBLE sent from Mad Donna’s to bands performing last weekend, the restaurant and music venue was “closed for business due to a massive renovation effort at the hands of a an A list celebrity and a major networks [sic] television program,” which was “effective immediately.”
The celebrity involved in the renovation, Nashville Scene reports, is Sheryl Crow.
On Tuesday, Eli Holzman, executive producer for California-based production company Buckingham Television Inc., told the Scene that Crow was tied to the unnamed reality show pilot.
Buckingham Television Inc. posted signs throughout the neighborhood regarding the restaurant’s closure. On Tuesday, a new awning at the entrance of restaurant was installed, which reads “Wylee’s Cafe & Bar.”
In a letter dated Dec. 12, Buckingham Television Inc. said it “proposes to film a reality tv project ‘Untitled Pilot’ at Mad Donna’s Restaurant.”
Buckingham Television Inc.’s letter also states that scenes will be filmed for the grand opening of the restaurant as well as a “curtain drop” to reveal the renovations. The letter also notifies residents of street closures and parking restrictions near the restaurant while filming takes place.
There had been rumors that the reasoning behind the East Nashville restaurant and music venue’s closure was to be part of Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue” show, but a representative from Spike TV confirmed with NOBLE via email that it’s not affiliated with “Bar Rescue.”
“I can confirm this is not for Bar Rescue,” Shana Tepper, Spike TV vice president of communications wrote in an email.
Mad Donna’s announced on its Facebook page that the restaurant and venue would be temporarily closing after nine years.
“Thank you all. The recent outpouring of support from the community has been amazing! The owners would like to extend their sincere appreciation to you all for the last 9 years and are excited to announce exciting details for a new project soon,” states a post on Mad Donna’s Facebook page.
Local bands Jet Black Alley Cat, The Foxies and Alexander had a sold-out show booked at Mad Donna’s for Friday, Dec. 9 and had to scramble to find another venue in time. The show was rescheduled for Little Harpeth Brewery.
“We are very disheartened to see Mad Donna’s close temporarily,” Alexander frontman Alexander Johnson told NOBLE before the show was rescheduled. “Each band is working hard to find another venue or worst case, reschedule the show.”
According to the email, Mad Donna’s will reopen in less than two weeks.
Check back with us for updates.
Samantha Hearn is a photographer and journalist living in Nashville. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.