Fact Check

Did Garth Brooks Cancel His Bar's Grand Opening After Bud Light Controversy?

According to an online article, three investors with a large stake pulled out of Brooks' upcoming bar, Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky-Tonk.

Published June 16, 2023

Updated June 16, 2023
Garth Brooks speaks onstage at "A Conversation with Garth Brooks" during CRS 2023 at Omni Nashville Hotel on March 13, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images) (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Image Via Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Claim:
In June 2023, singer Garth Brooks canceled the grand opening of his Nashville bar after three investors pulled out of the project, an apparent decision connected with a controversy concerning Bud Light.

On June 16, 2023, the dunning-kruger-times.com website published an article with the headline, "Garth Brooks Cancels His Bar's Grand Opening After Investors Bail Out: 'The Brand is an Embarrasment Now.'"

At first, this article may have appeared to be the latest chapter in the ongoing story about country music star Garth Brooks having hinted that he would be serving Bud Light when his new Nashville bar, Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky-Tonk, opens in the Lower Broadway area in the future.

An online article claimed that Garth Brooks' new bar was cancelling its grand opening after investor troubles.Twitter users who replied to this popular tweet appeared to believe the news was real.

However, as we indicated above with our "Labeled Satire" rating, this story was not true. Dunning-kruger-times.com is a website that publishes satire and parody.

In order to fully explain how we arrived at this point, we first need to travel back in time a few days.

June 7: Billboard Interview

Billboard.com previously published an interview with Brooks where he had talked about the upcoming bar and its future patrons. During the interview, which was made available on June 7, Brooks appeared to reference a controversy about Bud Light's previous partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Brooks said it was his intention to "serve every brand of beer":

"I know this sounds corny," [Brooks] continued, "I want it to be the Chick-fil-A of honky-tonks … I want it to be a place you feel safe in, I want it to be a place where you feel like there are manners and people like one another. And yes, we're going to serve every brand of beer. We just are. It's not our decision to make. Our thing is this, if you [are let] into this house, love one another. If you're an a–hole, there are plenty of other places on lower Broadway." A number of artist-owned bars on Lower Broadway, including John Rich's Redneck Riviera and Kid Rock's bar quit serving Bud Light after the brand partnered with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney earlier this year.

June 12: Brooks Speaks on Facebook Live

Five days after the Billboard interview was published, Brooks addressed his previous remarks during his "Inside Studio G" show on Facebook Live.

We transcribed his full remarks on the subject:

We did an interview with Melinda Newman from Billboard, and from that came quite a little bit of a stir. So let's just address that right now.

...

Let's address two things on it. One is diversity. Inclusiveness. That's me. That's always been me. We got the same (inaudible) people wanting to burn our stuff and I was like, I get it. Everybody's got their opinions. But inclusiveness is always gonna be me. I think diversity is the answer to the problems that are here and the answer to the problems that are coming. So I love diversity. All included, so all are welcome. I understand that might not be other people's opinions, but that's ok man. They have their opinions. They have their beliefs. I have mine.

Second thing though. Just, let's talk about being a bar owner. I'm a bar owner now. Are we going to have the most popular beers in the thing? Yes. It's not our call if we don't or not. It's the patrons' call. The bosses. Right? We're gonna bring them in there, and if they don't want it, then I gotta go to the distributor saying, "Man, your stuff's not selling," and then action gets taken, right? But the truth is, it's those people in those seats who make those decisions, and that's what Friends in Low Places is gonna be.

So here's the deal, man. If you want to come to Friends in Low Places, come in. Come in with love. Come in with tolerance [and] patience. Come in with an open mind, and it's cool. And if you're one of those people that just can't do that, I get it. If you ever are one of those people that want to try it, come. Let's go have some fun, ok?

The full video is available for rewatching on Facebook.

June 16: the Satirical Article

Four days after Brooks went live on Facebook with his explanation, the satirical article from dunning-kruger-times.com was published. It began as follows:

Garth Brooks made a huge mistake when he called a majority of beer drinkers "assholes." The promised boycotts of his newly-branded but yet-to-open bar in Nashville have already cost him huge.

Three investors with a massive stake in the venture pulled out, telling Garth that he had spoiled the project. Brooks was forced to cancel his grand opening and consider his options.

"He'll probably have to pander to some special interest groups and hope there are enough weirdos in Nashville to sustain it," said Joe Barron, Chief Investment Counselor for Dim and Witty, "personally, I don't think there are enough drag queens and trans people within a 300-mile radius to pull it off."

Dunning-kruger-times.com is part of the America's Last Line of Defense network of websites. As we've extensively reported, this network has been publishing satirical content for several years.

A review of the "About Us" page on the website describes one of the apparent goals of the network: poking fun at conservative voters who believe its satirical content to be real news. As such, a search of Facebook found several users who shared the satirical story with the caption, "Go woke, go broke!"

As of June 16, the verified Facebook page for Brooks' bar only said that it would be "opening soon."

Sources

Bain, Katie. "Garth Brooks Talks Major Label Radio Dominance, How His Nashville Bar Will Serve 'Every Brand Of Beer' & Possible New Chris Gaines Music." Billboard, 7 June 2023, https://www.billboard.com/music/country/garth-brooks-country-live-panel-nashville-interview-melinda-newman-1235348128/.

Brooks, Garth. "Trust Me, You're Gonna Want to TuneIn!" Facebook Live, 12 June 2023, https://www.facebook.com/GarthBrooks/videos/trust-me-youre-gonna-want-to-tunein/927101271697278/.

"Garth Brooks Cancels His Bar's Grand Opening After Investors Bail Out: 'The Brand Is an Embarrasment Now.'" Dunning-Kruger-Times.Com, 16 June 2023, https://dunning-kruger-times.com/garth-brooks-cancels-his-bars-grand-opening-after-investors-bail-out-the-brand-is-an-embarrasment-now/.

"Garth Brooks Responds to Criticism for Serving Bud Light in His Bar." NBC News, 13 June 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/now/video/-garth-brooks-responds-to-criticism-for-serving-bud-light-in-his-bar-182032453728.

Updates

June 16, 2023: This report was updated to include a screenshot of a popular tweet.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.