Lafayette (pronounced Lah-FAY-ett) St. running East/Southeast out of downtown Nashville is a wide street and busy in the daylight hours. Nights are a different matter. At night the street can feel almost abandoned compared to daylight traffic.
Officially the street changes names around Brown’s Creek and becomes Murfreesboro Pike–not that locals take notice or care. Most locals use both Layfayette and Murfreesboro Pike when talking about the street near downtown.
Carol Ann’s Home Cooking Cafe is officially on Murfreesboro Pike but when we wanted to attend the cafe’s legendary music night, “Grown Folks Night Out,” we were told: “Drive down Layfayette and you will see it on the right side of the road. It will be surrounded with cars on a Tuesday night.”
This is a music venue born of the love of music. Carol Ann started the Tuesday night free-for-all (emphasis on free–there was no charge and anyone was welcome on stage–to play rhythm and blues or jazz) and her friend Jimmy Church made sure a band was always on stage.
Carol Ann passed away a few years ago. Her daughter keeps the tradition going.