The Newport News country music watering hole Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill starting booking live music last fall, but it's been ramping up its ambitions recently. Country hitmaker Joe Nichols plays a free show there tonight.
The concert starts at 8 p.m. with opener Alana Springsteen. It's open to all ages.
This is a pretty big show to be playing a bar, especially as a freebie. Nichols has three No. 1 country hits under his belt: "Brokenheartsville," "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off," and "It Ain't No Crime."
I Love This Bar & Grill general manager Gabby Sotomayor told me that Nichols' visit is no fluke.
"This is something you can definitely expect to see more of," she said. "So far, every national act we've had has been free."
Two more touring performers are scheduled to play the bar, located at the City Center at Oyster Point development. Zach Lockwood will play there on Thursday, April 25. Tyler Farr will perform on Saturday, April 27.
There will be a $5 cover for Farr's show, Sotomayor said.
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar opened Oct. 17. It's live music schedule kicked into high gear just last month, though, when the tavern hosted a night of music featuring touring acts Katie Armiger ("Better in a Black Dress," "Best Song Ever"), Greg Bates ("Did It For the Girl"), Jana Kramer ("Why Ya Wanna," "Whiskey"), and Maggie Rose.