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A new bar in Providence makes you feel like you’re in downtown Nashville

Moonshine Alley is opening in the former Hanley’s Ale House, which has been vacant for nearly four years

A music stage and big-screen TVs make the venue an entertainment draw at Moonshine Alley, a Nashville-inspired restaurant.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

This story first appeared in Globe Rhode Island’s Food & Dining newsletter, a free weekly email about Rhode Island’s restaurant industry that also contains information about local events, Q&As with chefs, dining guides, and more. If you’d like to receive it via e-mail each Thursday, you can sign up here.

It was Challengers, McFadden’s, and then Hanley’s Ale House. Finally, something new is opening this weekend.

The corner bar space at 52 Pine St. in Providence, which was notorious for attracting rowdy college students, closed in February 2019. For the years that followed, anyone who peeked in the windows saw a scene that looked like someone left in the middle of their shift and never returned: dirty rags, pint glasses on the bar and even half-empty soda bottles.

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But a group of local restauranteurs recently leased the space. For the last 10 weeks, they’ve been scrubbing the restaurant down, repainting the dark hunter green wooden paneling that wrapped around the interior, installing custom lighting, having a local artist work overnights to finish various murals, and putting up a stage for live music.

The restaurant took over a Pine Street spot that was sitting vacant for more than three years.Lane Turner/Globe Staff
The Music City theme even extends to the restroom symbols at Moonshine Alley.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

And on Friday afternoon, ahead of Halloween weekend and Comic Con’s return to Rhode Island, Moonshine Alley will open their doors.

Moonshine Alley is a Nashville-inspired restaurant and bar outfitted with a 15-foot video wall for major sporting events, a stage for live acts, and a food menu with specialty items like Southern hot buttermilk chicken and slow-cooked ribs that are finished on the grill. Other staples include bison sliders, burgers, wings, and hush puppies made from a corn bread batter and grilled corn.

The Nashville chicken sandwichLane Turner/Globe Staff
The BBQ ribs are are slow-cooked for three hours before they are finished on the grill.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Their chef, Randy Carvalho, told me Moonshine Alley is a scratch kitchen, so items like fries and slaw are cut or shredded by hand. But Carvalho, who is originally from Barrington, R.I., and recently worked at Hillside Country Club and cooked at restaurants on the Virgin Islands, wouldn’t provide too many details like the types of spices he uses in various sauces and rubs.

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Cocktails like the moonshine sangria — which uses Ole Smoky Blackberry and apple cider — or the Prohibition Old Fashioned — which is barrel-aged in house — could make their bar program stand out. The moonshine flights, which I’m not sure I’ve seen anywhere else in the city, offer four mini-pours of your choice of 12 different flavored moonshines such as apple pie, butter pecan, mountain java, and pumpkin spice.

Co-owner Tyler Almeida of Moonshine Alley.Lane Turner/Globe Staff
A flight of four moonshine flavors. Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Co-owner Tyler Almeida, who is a partner at the Dublin Rose in Seekonk, Mass., and previously worked at the now-shuttered Whiskey Republic, said he wants customers to feel as though they walked into a restaurant off Broadway in Nashville. Almeida said he recently booked Jackson Dean, who signed with Big Machine Records last year and has charted with the single “Don’t Come Lookin’,” and customers should expects acts like Brian Higgins, Davi Rak, and Dan Greaves in the near future.

There are several venues that regularly host live music throughout the city, from clubs in the Jewelry District to rock venues around Harris Avenue. But Nashville is known for music with a southern twang, and being a spot for country song artists could be what sets Moonshine apart immediately.

If you have suggestions or need a recommendation, shoot me an email at Alexa.Gagosz@globe.com.

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The Nashville Moonshine Sangria, which is made with a red blend, apple cider, fresh juices, and blackberry moonshine. Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Alexa Gagosz can be reached at alexa.gagosz@globe.com. Follow her @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.