Pull out your platform boots and hot pants, the 70s are coming back to Nashville. The Dive Motel & Swim Club located on Dickerson Pike in East Nashville, recently opened its funky doors to provide one of the coolest spots in a city filled with cool spots.
The checkered tile floors, the shaggy bed comforters, the old-school TVs that flicker above wood-paneled bar, there’s a specific vibe and aesthetic that co-owners Lyon Porter and Jersey Banks wanted for their new location. ‘The romantic nostalgia,” said Porter, who also co-owns, designs and operates multi-faceted hospitality concepts in Brooklyn and Nashville. ‘It's like your grandma's basement, but somehow it's sexy. It transports you to another time and place.’
There’s a distinct look, feel and even scent to the dive motel’s 23 rooms, which feature names like The Jungle Room, Rumors, Scenic, The Vampire and The Captains Suite. There are double-bed rooms, standard king, a honeymoon suite and a pair of penthouse suites.
A hallmark of every room is a handmade disco ball created by Yolanda Baker who also built glitter globes for the legendary Studio 54 and the 1970s classic – Saturday Night Fever. The disco balls are activated by a ‘party switch’ that’s linked to a 70s-inspired music player tuned into ‘Dive Radio’ and its four preset channels: Sex, Drugs Rock & Roll and Sleep. ‘I had so much fun designing it because it wasn’t a “precious” project,’ Porter said. ‘My whole motto with the design here was "nothing is sacred". ‘If I liked something from the ‘50s, I bought it. We went on these crazy pickin’ trips in Round Top, Texas, during the world's largest arts and antiques fair, and we filled up 30-foot trucks full of antiques. It was such a blast.’
After the disco balls, of course, a favorite feature of the motel is the 60-foot beach-entry swimming pool. You don’t have to be a guest to enjoy the pool, membership packages ranging from daily, weekend and seasonal are available for purchase. ‘There's nowhere to swim especially on the east side (of Nashville). To have a drink, lounge by the pool. So we really wanted to create that element,’ Porter said. ‘The history and proximity to Downtown and East is also just too good to pass up, so I fused my favorite things, a dive bar, a motel and an amazing pool and it just happened.’
Other outdoor amenities include a stage for live music performances, a fire pit and soon VIP poolside cabanas and a swim shop that will showcase eclectic pieces from Brooklyn, LA and Nashville. Room rates start at $150. ‘We wanted to create an environment that fosters fun. As adults, we don’t get to play enough. This is a place to get off your phone, jump in the pool and play,’ Porter said. ‘A space for creatives and wanderers, all are welcome....old, young, tall or short, yellow or purple.’