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Nashville History... The Salvage Store to Brentwood Interiors to The Johnny Cash Museum
We are all familiar with the fact that Nashville is the "it" city as far as popular places to live. And here at Brentwood Interiors (formerly known as The Salvage Store), we couldn't agree more. In fact, we were doing business in Nashville long before the rest of the world realized just how great it is.
Located in downtown Nashville on 3rd Avenue South just off Broadway for 60 years, The Salvage Store was a regular shopping destination for customers from all over the mid South region. Starting in the 1950's, a string of individually owned salvage shops occupied the retail spaces off lower Broadway, and provided all kinds of bargain merchandise for Nashvillians. These businesses eventually transitioned from selling salvage to specializing in first quality items for home interiors, but kept their names and discounted pricing. Customers loved to hunt for bargains, and appreciated the down to earth, friendly nature of these shop owners. There was little need for today's marketing strategies; "word of mouth" was all the advertising that was necessary.
Over the years the neighboring store owners and employees became more than business acquaintances; they became close friends. The Salvage Store, Associated Salvage, Williams Salvage, Dee's Cloth Barn, Harley Holt Furniture and Beasley's Furniture offered items like fabrics and trims, oriental and area rugs, furniture, lamps, mirrors and dress goods in a way that complemented one another and provided growth for the area as a whole. That spirit of friendship and cooperation, and pulling together to succeed are just a few of the characteristics that set Nashvillians apart and make the area such a special place to live.
Owners and employees would often stop in neighboring shops to visit on a quiet afternoon, and they shared many lunches together at the popular diners in the area. Locals coined the phrase "meat-and-three" to describe the cafes that serve home-style meats and a choice of three vegetables on a plate. Some of these favorites are still in business, such as Arnold's, and some are not, like Mack's Diner, but anyone who ever tasted Mack's lemon ice box pie will never forget the treat of a cool slice of sweet, tart, creamy lemon after working in those old buildings on a hot summer day.
As the years went by, retail shopping districts moved to the suburbs like they did in many cities, and one by one the old salvage stores moved out. Some of the original buildings are still there, though, and the area has been beautifully revitalized with new businesses, hotels, restaurants and event venues. In the very same building where we sold upholstery fabric and rugs on those ancient creaky wood floors, is the new Johnny Cash Museum. The exterior looks much the same as it did over 50 years ago, and we're sure if you visit the museum, you'll be greeted with the same Nashville hospitality and charm that helped earn our area the title of "it" city.
In 1997, The Salvage Store opened our new location in the beautiful city of Brentwood just to the south of Nashville as Brentwood Interiors, and we owned both locations for several years. Finally in 2004, the stores were consolidated into one at the Brentwood location, where we still offer first quality fabrics, rugs, furniture and lamps. Our wonderful customers tell us they love being able to shop near their neighborhoods, and folks new to the areas of Nashville, Brentwood and Franklin are happy to find us as well. We absolutely love it here, and are making friends with new customers and neighboring businesses alike. Years later, we're still trying out the lunch spots, such as The Local Taco, Judge Bean's Barbeque, Puffy Muffin, Perch and yes, there really are "meat-and- threes" in the upscale Brentwood area. Just stop by City CafÃ© or Vittles if you don't believe us. We just might see you there sometime!