Milwaukee's Nashville Nightmare

If you know the name, Never Stop Media, you know very well that if there is corruption, racism or something to expose that the general public needs to know, we are going to find it and expose it.  Most articles we write take months of investigation, filing open records requests, interviewing witnesses and much more.  For months, NSM heard rumors of what was happening inside of one establishment.  For the first time, NSM went undercover as an employee to see if the horrific rumors were true.  For this one, NSM had a first-hand look into Brady Street’s Country Bar, Nashville North, from mishandling food, to underage drinking and sexual harassment of staff.  This was one of the most challenging investigations NSM has conducted since we had to actually play a legitimate role as an employee in order to expose the treatment of female employee’s that has gone unnoticed for over a year.

Nashville North opened up as a Live Country Music Venue in June 2022 on Milwaukee’s Brady Street by owner Jeff Marsh who also owns the corporate restaurant chain Charcoal Grill, 414 Burger Bar and the pop-up restaurant seen at festivals, El Jefe.  Promises of live music and great food fall short of what really happens inside of Nashville North and if you’re an employee, every shift is a potential nightmare with disastrous consequences where management is complacent to everything, starting with the owners son Taggart Marsh, acting as Asst GM, a 20 year old who doesn’t know the first thing about running a business or protecting employees and runs the bar like a local frat house instead of a profitable safe business.  Racism and Bigotry inside the building towards People of Color or the LGBTQ community along with Trump 2024 hats being worn at the front door by staff and Jeff Marsh’s “We The People” tattoo are the least of the problems inside of this establishment. 


Let’s begin our inside look at the front door where security should be the start of safety and ensuring the legal age of drinking for patrons walking into the bar.  When there actually is security at the front door, you will be met by young twenty something kids who are more interested in flirting with females and getting phone numbers than doing their actual jobs.  Several of the security members refuse to use an ID scanner which saves the information of every ID scanned and detects fake ID’s.  Multiple underage patrons have been let in through the front door due to not using the ID scanner, being friends with security members and worse yet, let in through the back door.  The bartenders, who most make a livelihood from behind the bar due to the amount of money that can be made in a single night become susceptible to permanently losing their bartenders license if they get caught serving underage patrons even due to the laziness of security who couldn’t be bothered to ensure everyone was of legal drinking age prior to walking into the bar.  This doesn’t just fall on security but also the 20 year old owner, Taggart Marsh who also lets his underage friends into the bar to drink as well as himself while acting as Asst. GM or on his days off.

One security member in particular, actually caught a fake ID without the ID scanner.  After having several minutes of exchange with the individual who’s ID was taken, the security member arranged for a time they could meet in order to sell the ID back to the underage patron for $50 and advised the underage patron which bars on Brady Street the ID could be used at without detection.  This is actually multiple felonies that could be charged on both individuals.

One of the most important areas to monitor where you will never find security is the back hallway that leads to the bathrooms and the back door hallway where employees keep their personal belongings.  The back door has been a consistent problem with either being unlocked or left wide open unattended. A design flaw with this area is where the women’s restroom is located.  Down this hallway the entrance to the women’s restroom cannot be seen due to it being around a corner.  This is extremely unsafe as this area is where most female patrons are cornered by male patrons and have been assaulted on Friday and Saturday nights.  It is also a common spot for drug deals to happen.  Patrons are allowed to roam freely even through the doorway that leads into the hall towards the back door. 

One occasion specifically a patron entered the hallway and began rummaging through employees personal belongings.  She was able to steal a pocket knife, a wallet, car keys and house keys out of several employee backpacks and from the credit cards in the wallet was able to take hundreds of dollars out from nearby stores.  The employee who was the first line of defense was of course a security member who did not use the ID scanner.  That night, he was more concerned with his friends bringing him shots of alcohol on the porch to drink.  If the ID scanner was used the woman’s ID would have been saved for law enforcement to know the identity.  This is not the first time employees have had their belongings stolen from this back hallway.  At the very time the woman was stealing employee property what can be seen via security footage is a manager and another employee walking through the back hallway and not saying anything to the woman that she was in a restricted area.  On this particular night security personnel were more interested in getting drunk and doing drugs in the new employee restroom downstairs. 

If and when security actually does their job, escorting someone out of the building is typically done with aggression and violence which has led to multiple physical encounters between security staff and patrons that if ever reported would lead to criminal charges of assault.  Most times though security is nowhere to be found when problems occur and it’s left to bartenders and kitchen staff to solve the issue.

Forget about MPD checking capacity.  Kitchen staff is told to bribe them with food to prevent them coming inside and to keep the good relationship with law enforcement which helps give Nashville North free reign to push capacity limits, allow underage drinking, and push closing time to its limits.

The kitchen is no better.  The signature sauces promised to the public are not signature to Nashville North.  The Nashville Hot Sauce is nothing authentic to Nashville and in fact only signature to Sweet Baby Ray’s as it’s one of their bottled products.  The BBQ sauce is purchased in 5 gallon Sweet Baby Ray buckets and then watered down.  The other sauces are nothing more than bottles mixed together of various products.  Whether it comes in a bottle or individual serve packet, I’d still be weary as most of these products that come from the Charcoal Grill warehouse are expired.  These expired products are not only sold on a daily basis between Nashville North and Charcoal Grill but were also served at 2023’s Summer Fest.  Since there have been recent patron complaints about expired sauces, the company’s solution to this was to take the cover off the individual packets before serving them to guests or to place the sauces into bottles and poured into plastic ramekins to give to patrons.  Employees that spoke up about it were told to keep quiet or lose their jobs.  Besides the lack of creating anything signature or serving non-expired product, these sauces are taken out of the cooler at 10:30am and left to sit at room temperature for 12-14 hours including sauces made with ranch or mayonnaise allowing the growth of bacteria.

One recent new hire cook has led to many food safety issues that have been consistently ignored despite multiple issues being reported to management including the kitchen manager.  Multiple products during the week are not being heated up properly during opening to kill bacteria and then left inside warmers at under 140 degrees.  One bartender reported during Brunch they had rung in Biscuits and Gravy and the cook stated the gravy was frozen.  Frozen perishable foods have a high risk for bacteria growth and rapid defrosting of these types of foods or improper cooking of them can lead to food poisoning.  The only way to have served the Biscuits & Gravy at such a fast rate was to use the microwave.  When thawing food in a microwave, it should be cooked immediately after thawing because some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during the thawing process (bringing the food to "Danger Zone" temperatures). Holding partially cooked food is not recommended because any bacteria present wouldn't have been destroyed and, indeed, the food may have reached optimal temperatures for bacteria to grow.  Protein taken out of the freezer and left to thaw at warmer than room temperature for more than 6 hours is highly dangerous has also happened on multiple shifts.  Recently the cooler that holds protein, dairy and produce went down twice and temperatures rose to more than 60 degrees for over 10 hours with food left inside.

Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was not out for more than four hours and the refrigerator door was kept shut.   It is recommended to discard any refrigerated perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs or leftovers) that has been at refrigerator temperatures above 40°F for four hours or more. Perishable foods with temperatures that are 45°F or below (measured with a food thermometer) should be safe, but should be cooked and consumed as soon as possible.  None of this food was thrown out.

Foods that are most associated with staphylococcal food poisoning include meat, poultry, egg products, and foods that are eaten cold such as salads (specifically egg, tuna, chicken, potato, and macaroni), cream-filled pastries, sandwich fillings, and milk and dairy products. Anytime you leave food out too long, you risk food poisoning which can lead to fever, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and in rare cases paralysis, meningitis, and death.   The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) explains, that bacteria exists everywhere in nature, and it is not uncommon for trace amounts staphylococcus aureus, salmonella enteritidis, E. coli, Campylobacter, clostridium perfringens, or Bacillus cereus to be present in food.  Bacteria grow most rapidly between 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius) and 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) the temperature the USDA refers to as the "danger zone"  and can take as little as 20 minutes for the number of bacteria to double.  According to experts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, just one bacterium can grow to over 2,097,152 bacteria in seven hours when kept at room temperature. 

Recently, a decision was made to lower food cost more which ultimately sacrifices the product being served to patrons.  Instead of purchasing pre-rolled ground beef for the Nashville North smash burger, tubes of ground beef were purchased to be hand rolled to 4oz by the kitchen staff.  Periodic weighing of the burgers was found to vary between 3.25oz and 4.6oz.  You're either getting shorted or poisoned if you order a burger here.  Once the ground beef has been rolled and stored in the pull our drawer cooler in the kitchen, it is still not properly stored.  While in a normal restaurant purchasing logs of ground beef to be hand rolled may seem cost effective, for Nashville North it is not, as the product is not used fast enough and blood from the beef collects at the bottom of the pan and the beef dries out and spoils. Beef muscle not exposed to oxygen (in vacuum packaging, for example) is burgundy or purplish in color.  After exposure to the air for 15 minutes or so, the myoglobin receives oxygen and the meat turns bright, cherry red.  After beef has been refrigerated for about five days, it may turn brown.  This darkening is due to oxidation, the chemical changes in myoglobin due to the oxygen content.  This is a normal change during refrigerator storage.  Beef that has turned brown during extended storage may be spoiled, have an off-odor, and be tacky to the touch and should not be used

Ground beef is generally safe refrigerated for up to 2 days, anything more and it becomes dangerous to serve.  Management, including the Asst. GM Taggart Marsh was shown ground beef that was being served to the public and yet nothing was done about it.

You would think with the plethora of issues that run rampant inside of Nashville North, management would be attempting to resolve these issues especially when what is happening could result in lawsuits, license revocation and ultimately the permanent shut down of the establishment.  But management isn’t concerned with fixing problems as they arise; they are more concerned with their own personal benefit than protecting employees and patrons.  During the day, the establishment is pretty much a ghost town.  Once 10pm hits and a DJ starts the music, the frat party begins.  Each manager is out to pit the other one against them.  As for the music in Nashville North, you will be lucky to find a young energetic band trying to make a name for themselves, instead it's primarily washed up has beens telling stories of the glory days of their youth, all booked by the Entertainment & Sound Manager Matt Cambell who can't appropriately run sound and is typically not there to run the sound.  The DJ's ran by Marcus Angel are also young, more concernced with getting free alcohol, handing out free shots to females, and having free roam of the bar and kitchen.  Instead of fixing food safety issues inside the kitchen, The Kitchen Manager, Don Woppert is more concerned with drinking Two Hearted Pale Ale beer during his shift or taking advantage of every opportunity to be out of the kitchen and play guitar on stage.  Dozens of text messages were sent to Woppert as well as phone calls and in person conversations warning him of issues in the kitchen and the bar including product theft, time theft and sexual harassment of staff, none of which were ever dealt with.  Woppert specifically stated that he did not want to know or hear about any of these issues because it was "drama".

One of the most useless and dangerous managers at Nashville North is Matt Cambell, the Entertainment & Sound Manager.  Cambell can't actually do much in the role of management as he has limited access to the register, or backend of the POS System, so he claims. He basically sits at the bar, on the couch, in the office or sleeps on the couch during his shifts.  If you remember the article written by TMJ4 when Nashville North first opened, Martin Fenton was the General Manager.  Fenton is no longer with the company due to an altercation with Cambell.  As the story goes, the two were in a verbal altercation over something Fenton challenged Cambell about.  This verbal altercation led to Cambell physically assaulting Fenton.  Fenton ultimately lost his job despite Cambell’s physical attack on him.  Cambell still brags about this incident and how his long time friendship with owner Jeff Marsh is what got Fenton fired and that it would be very difficult for anyone to get Cambell fired. Cambell recently threatened another employee with physical violence due to an alleged comment that employee made outside the presence of Cambell.  That employee also no longer works for the company.

Cambell’s capability of physical violence inside of Nashville North is not the worst of it.  None of the female bartenders feel safe working with Cambell due to his harassing comments that are sexual in nature.  Female staff has reported Cambell numerous times to other management, Taggart Marsh and to Jeff Marsh.  The complaints range from inappropriate comments, touching, making them feel uncomfortable and cornering them in small spaces.  What NSM observed over the course of four months with Cambell is frightening to say the least and one of the biggest potentials for lawsuit.  NSM witnessed Cambell first hand intentionally leaving the hall lights off where the restrooms are located and making excuses of why he needed to go into the hallway when female staff was using the restroom.  If female bartenders needed liquor from the liquor room he would escort them downstairs to the office.  Instead of grabbing the liquor for them, he would allow the female bartender into the office and then stand in the door way watching them bend over to grab bottles or stand on their tip toes which in some instances revealed the under boob depending how the female employee wore their shirt.  Comments would be made to the female staff member about how their “ass” looked or “just a little higher and I would have seen your tits”.  With one female bartender Cambell made a comment about how her and one of the cooks could have sex on the bar and to send him pictures since he wasn’t going to be in the building.  He also made comments to both of those employees about how he would “pay to see them naked” during the Naked Bike Ride that Milwaukee hosts once a year.  These are only a handful of incidents of sexual harassment towards female employees.  There are dozens more.  Employees have have gone so far in their complaints to express personal fear working with Cambell and even thoughts of suicide, with management ignoring all of it.  One female employee, NSM was told about wrote several pages complaining of issues at the bar and multiple occasions of sexual harassment before she quit.  Her concerns were also not taken seriously.

One conversation that NSM and Cambell were engaged in was in regards to an event NSM had filmed.  Cambell was described the event and shown pictures and video from the event, one of those pictures was of a three young girls who were 14 and 15 years old on their knees praying.  Campbell’s first comment about the picture was how if he was there he would have “made them look up, pulled his dick out and told them to open up, as if they were taking communion”.  This was also reported to Woppert and Taggart Marsh, that the sexual comments from Cambell are taking pedophile turns.  Again, nothing has been done.

During one shift where Don Woppert was not only working the kitchen but also the manager on duty, he had walked over to the back stage to use the company laptop to fix a sound issue.  Once at the laptop he noticed Cambell had his personal Facebook account open along with his Facebook Messenger chats.  What Woppert saw on the computer was disturbing.  NSM along with a bar back who was off duty walked over to the laptop.  NSM took pictures and video of what was open and in view to the public and any employee who would have looked at the laptop.  What could be seen was Cambell engaged in a conversation with someone who went by the name “She She” and a video was sent of Cambell masturbating.  There were also videos sent to Cambell of “She She” masturbating along with other pornographic images sent to each other.  According to the time stamps of messages sent, a majority were sent while Cambell was clocked in as a manager sitting at the bar.  At the time he sent the video of himself masturbating, Cambell was at the bar currently sexually harassing a female bartender.  Due to the nature of the images, NSM blurred the image for this article but does have the original copies of photos and video. On a previous occasion, Cambell was also caught by an employee masturbating in the employee bathroom while on his phone face timing someone.  A second male employee also stated to NSM that he was sexually harassed by Cambell.

Each comment, each instance, was reported to management.  To date, Cambell still has his job and is still sexually harassing staff.

To go back to underage drinking, there was a recent incident where one of the newer security staff knew there were underage females in the bar, one of them was accompanied by their parent.  Under Wisconsin law, anyone under the age of 21 accompanied by their parent of legal guardian is allowed to drink.  It’s an old caveat carried over from when the drinking age in Wisconsin was 18.  What was different about this incident is that the female who was not 21 was sharing her drink with others who were not 21.  They were all asked to leave.  When they wouldn’t, the staff member went to Cambell for assistance.  Cambell stated he knew the girls and it was fine.  Only after the security member pressed the issue and other employees got involved did Cambell ask all of them to leave and then proceeded outside to talk to all of the underage girls and comment about their clothing and flirted with them.

For multiple employees to come forward with serious allegations of sexual harassment and have nothing done to protect them, and other employees getting fired over it or forced to quit this is the EEOC’s dream case and seriously opens Nashville North up for lawsuit.  For an Independent Journalist to have to go undercover as an employee in order to legitimize safety concerns and employee harassment is absolutely astounding.  The establishment itself ran by children, overseen by adults that don't care does not provide a safe environment for not only employees but also patrons.   Staff has been nervous about proceeding with legal complaints with the fear their complaints would once again go unnoticed and ignored.  One of the most bizarre aspects with female employees reporting countless sexual harassment claims is that most of the staff employed at Nashville North are friends of Taggart Marsh.  If action isn't taken to protect his friends, what hope do patrons not associated with him have?  Hopefully this article legitimizes their stories should any formal investigations be opened up against Nashville North, it’s management and owners.  This is not an establishment that Brady Street or the City of Milwaukee should continue to license and allow to operate under such disregard for the law and safety of their employees.


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