A New Beginning for Bellshire Pizza

 
We are looking to relaunch and rebrand Bellshire Pizza, a small business (pizza place/DIY space in East Nashville that was served an extremely unfair eviction notice), and if we are able to raise the money to do so, I will be coming onto staff as a manager, talent buyer, and partner in the business. This is where I need your help. We're trying to raise as much money as possible to create a new future for Bellshire, with a focus on rebranding as a community art space. While, yes, we still want to eventually make a profit, to sell pizza, to sell beer, and to be successful as a business, we are equally interested in re-investing in the community. I want to foster a space where literally ANYBODY is welcome to perform. I want to host live music, comedy, drag, film screenings, community markets, meetings, fundraisers focusing on social justice and radical change, etc.., all while serving good food, good beer, and having a good time. My current job has helped me realize that the hospitality industry for me, is not just a way to make ends meet, but a calling. I want to welcome people into our space and I'm committed to curating an amazing time.
 
Here's some of what I have planned for the relaunch of Bellshire Pizza:
 
All-ages music shows every Friday and Saturday night.
We will PAY our artists. 40% of ticket sales will go to the bands. Tickets for shows will never exceed $10.
Visual art by local artists will decorate the walls and rotate on a regular basis.
A complete relaunch of the food and drink menu with a commitment to reasonable prices, some local ingredients, and the addition of local beers.
Regular events including but not limited to: comedy, theatre, drag, community markets, karaoke nights, fundraisers for social justice and the local community, and much, much more.
A drop-off location for dry food donations for Nashville Community Fridge.
A partnership with To-Go Records, which will include To-Go-hosted/sponsored shows as well as a physical home for them, with a small office space provided.
Video and board games!
A space for private events, music video/film shoots, art installations, community meetings, Narcan trainings and just to hang with friends.
A small staff focused on great service.
 
Shows will always be cheap. Food and drink will always be reasonable. The vibe will always be welcoming and unpretentious.


Hi everybody! My name is Ryan Sans, and I live in Nashville, Tennessee! I'm a wearer of many hats- I'm a writer and an actor, I have a band, I'm a service industry/hospitality professional, and am generally active in the music/art/theatre worlds. I moved to Nashville from Brooklyn in 2020, during a time when let's face it, life REALLY sucked. Due to the inherent isolation provided by the pandemic, my first year in Nashville was difficult, to say the least. I missed so much about my pre-Covid life: live music, theatre, restaurants, bars, community, etc.....
 
When I was able to get vaccinated, I did so immediately. I quickly quit the retail job I hated and accepted a job as a server. Once fully vaccinated, I began to familiarize myself with the local music scene, frequenting DIY shows around Nashville. In August of 2021, I attended a small punk show at a local pizza place on Dickerson Pike in East Nashville. The beer was cheap and the pizza tasted good, but what impressed me most was the environment itself. The walls were decorated with Chicago memorabilia. I looked around and saw older regulars sipping Budweiser and shooting pool as 20-year-olds moshed to hardcore punk music. I was surprised at the coexistence of the two. Everyone seemed to be enjoying myself. "I have to play a show here", I thought to myself.
 
About a week later, I called Bellshire to ask who booked the shows. My only intention was to book a small show for my band (which was barely a band at the time) to play. A man answered and said "Me. But we're not going to be able to stay open, we're getting evicted and I'm not sure how much time we have". That's how I met Lenny, the owner, who relocated to the Dickerson location from Madison in 2009. I asked if there was anything I could do to help. I have experience curating many different kinds of events, so I offered to throw a benefit show for Bellshire and give the proceeds to Lenny. At the time, I wasn't very emotionally attached, but I wanted to help out a small business and I wanted to have a place for my band to play, so I thought, what the hell? My buddy Jacob Corenflos and I quickly organized a show, which we threw the next week. The show was a success and we raised a good amount of money. So I threw another. And another. And another. The next thing I knew, I wasn't just throwing shows- I was helping foster an entire community. There was just so much love in the room. I stood in the corner and watched new friendships form, watched as artists shared their work for the first time, and observed the mere joy of unpretentious, anyone-is-welcome- DIY shows as I made them happen. After a year of sitting at home, depressed, alone, and purposeless, I started to feel a sense of purpose and belonging again. If there are two things that I'm passionate about, they're art and community, and I'm proud of how I brought people together for a lively, communal experience. I'm proud of those shows. I'm proud that there are kids who have been to every single show I've thrown at Bellshire. I'm proud that I booked shows that were the first time some artists ever played live. And I'm proud of Lenny, that after all he's been through (especially with COVID), that he still envisions a future for Bellshire. I just didn't know how much I'd be involved with that future.
 
 
Like I said, I started this journey merely searching for a venue for my band to play a show, but after witnessing the love and passion in the room, I just can't let this place die. This is my dream, and I'm absolutely committed to it.
 
I'm asking for your help. My goal is to raise $15,000 (more would be great) to help Bellshire relocate (we won't be able to stay in the current location), and in the meantime, move everything into storage as we search for a new location. I have a history of throwing parties, music shows, theatre, and fundraisers, and welcoming people into my space. If every person who's attended an event I've thrown donated just $20, we'd reach our goal, and help Bellshire survive.
 
The holidays are coming up. If there's one thing I want for Christmas, it's for Bellshire to remain open, and to thrive. If you know me, if you've come to my events in the past, if I've touched your life in any way, I ask that you consider a donation. You'll be giving myself, Lenny, and Bellshire, a real chance for an exciting future and a new life.
 
Thank you for reading this. I look forward to sharing a beer with you at a Bellshire show and listening (or moshing) to some great music.
 
Much Love,
Ryan Sans
@bookingatbellshire
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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  • Mark Pierce 
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  • Laurie LeGore 
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Organizer

Ryan Sansiviero 
Organizer
Nashville, TN