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Nashville restaurateur Jack Cawthon doesn't want to call it quits
Cawthon opens third Nashville site for barbecue restaurant.

The owner behind one of Nashville’s popular barbecue restaurants opened a third location in the spring at 16th and Charlotte Avenue.

Jack Cawthon’s Bar-B-Que includes an 80-person seating area, as well as a 36-seat patio. Cawthon operates two other Nashville locations, on lower Broadway and Trinity Lane.

“This location just screamed barbecue,” he said. “When I rode by there, I could just see the smokestacks there on that corner. I’m just not ready to retire, and this will keep me going.”

The restaurant features different varieties of barbecue, from Texas to St. Louis, as well as a taste of Tennessee with its pork shoulder sandwich.

Cawthon has been in the barbecue business for 36 years. He started his company with one cook and himself at Broadway and First Avenue, near what is now Hard Rock Café. It was one of the first casual restaurants to open after many years of retail decline in the area. He later relocated to the current space at 416 Broadway.

The Broadway location is home to one of Nashville’s iconic signs among the honky-tonks — the three pigs jumping over Lower Broadway.

“I’ve picked locations that have been underserved,” he said. “I’m involved in the community, too, and I really work hard to raise the bar in the area when I go there. I want to help the community at the same time I’m selling barbecue.”

Community work earns recognition
Cawthon was recently recognized with the 2012 Spirit of the DISTRICT award in recognition of his community involvement and leadership. He received the honor during The DISTRICT’s 25th annual Progressive Party, High Rises and Honky Tonks, an event that celebrates Nashville’s unique businesses.

The DISTRICT is made up of downtown National Register historic districts — Second Avenue, Broadway and Printer’s Alley. The organization is a partnership of the business community, residents, preservationists, nonprofits and government agencies with an interest in downtown Nashville.

A longtime member of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Cawthon has served as past board chairman of the DISTRICT, a board member of the Nashville Downtown Partnership and an organizer of the Nashville Christmas parade. He co-founded and co-chairs The DISTRICT’s merchant group.

“He’s been really involved in the revitalization of downtown,” said Sheila Dial Barton, chairman of The DISTRICT. “Jack is involved in a lot of different organizations and is a big supporter of anything that’s good for downtown.”

- Nancy DeVille- The Tennessean