Ryan Griffin moved to Nashville from Florida at age 17 to pursue a career in country music. Since then, he has earned a degree from Belmont University, landed a short stint as tour manager for Jason Aldean, co-penned a top hit for Kelsea Ballerini, and released a handful of songs as an artist and performer.
While living in Nashville, though, Griffin also discovered that Music City has more to offer aside from its bustling music scene. And, that’s comfort food!
Griffin caught up with Country Now to share some of his favorite Nashville hot spots that include everything from local bars to delicious donut shops, and, believe us, his choices had us salivating the entire time.
First on Griffin’s list is Urban Cowboy Public House, a rustic laid-back restaurant and bar located behind Urban Cowboy Bed & Breakfast in East Nashville. The venue features double garage doors that open up to a large patio and outdoor fireplace. But aside from food and amenities, Urban Cowboy Public House holds a special place in Griffin’s heart. It’s where he met the late producer busbee, who unfortunately passed away in September 2019 from glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Before his death, busbee produced a handful of Griffin’s songs, including the singer/songwriter’s debut single “Right Here Right Now,” which dropped in late 2019 via Altadena / Warner Records / Warner Music Nashville. During the stop, Griffin couldn’t help but reflect on the friendship and the treasured working relationship he had with busbee.
“It was right over there at that table where I met him for the first time,” Griffin recalled, pointing out an area inside the watering hole. “It’s where I shook his hand and hugged [busbee’s] neck. It’s where we talked about family, music, and faith. To finally have a single out in the world, and for it to be this song with this message ‘Right Here Right Now,’ it’s such an important part of my life because it’s something that I struggle with constantly, you know, living in the moment and being present.”
Speaking of family and faith, Griffin acknowledges that much of his current music was inspired by his loved ones. A doting daddy to his toddler son, Levi Hart, and a loving husband to wife, Talia, the country up-and-comer has chosen to highlight Five Daughters Bakery as another favorite Nashville business of choice, as it’s where he often treats his family in his free time.
“This is one of our favorite places to come on the weekends,” Griffin said of Five Daughters Bakery, which features the 100 layer donut. “Levi is like every other kid who loves donuts. The time that I get with him is so special and so valuable because I’m gone a lot. I’m on the road, and you know it’s just incredibly important for me to soak in these moments and not take them for granted.”
“So much of my music is about them, like just the way they inspire me. A lot of the record is about my wife and the journey we’ve been on in our marriage and in our relationship and the love we have for one another, but it also talks about the struggles that we’ve had as well. They are everything to me.”
Griffin, who is currently expecting his second son with Talia, recently dropped new music. In June 2020, he released “One Prayer Left.” The uplifting ballad, written with Thomas Finchum, Jason Massey, and Cameron Bedell, is all about realizing what’s important in life and appreciating all of the little blessings that come along with it.
“I often get my wants mixed up with my needs,” Griffin, who recently toured with Old Dominion and Carly Pearce, said in a press release. “I ask for more rather than being thankful. “‘One Prayer Left’ is a reminder to myself to lead with a grateful heart and to appreciate the everyday blessings that are so easily overlooked.”
“One Prayer Left” follows previous releases, “Name On It,” and “Going Going Gone.” Griffin’s major label debut EP, Name On It, arrives August 28.
Be sure to watch the full video above to find out Griffin’s final favorite Nashville hot spot – Outlanders Southern Chicken!