OBITUARY: Matthew Edward McMullin

Matthew Edward McMullin

Matthew Edward McMullin, age 53 of Nashville, TN passed away August 26, 2021.

Matt was born on Nov. 30, 1967, in Santa Clara, CA. His parents, Charles and Rita, took Matt as a young child to Denver, CO where he would spend many of his formative years. He attended Manual High School in Denver, where he pursued drama and cross country with the track team. He went on to attend Colorado University in Boulder, CO from 1986 to 1991. Matt earned the name ‘Sir Rodent, Earl of Libby’ from his closest friends.

He was a DJ for the campus radio station KUCB, and with his close friend Brad, hosted back-to-back shows. Matt focused on old-school country, his friend, hip-hop. Their campus claims to fame was a show called “Naked Radio” where they hoped to encourage expanded listenership by promising to remove one article of clothing for every call-in request. This turned into a roaring success, having them naked before the end of their time slot despite going in with multiple layers of clothing on.

Matt’s love of music was vast and covered many, many genres from New/Dark Wave, Old-School Country, Bluegrass, Steampunk, and Sea Shanties to Electro-Swing and so much more. He continued to DJ throughout his life. He participated in a punk band in college called ‘The Dead Orbisons’ where he was lead singer- or lead screamer. The band performed one gig before disbanding.

Matt graduated from CU Boulder in 1991 with a double major in English and History, more affectionately known as a “Pre-Restaurant Degree”. From Boulder, he went back to Denver, where he began his long love affair with Hospitality and Bartending. He started at Trans Alpin and quickly moved to Le Central French Restaurant, which is where he met his future wife, Kim. Matt married Kim on Sept. 18, 1993, in Silver Plume, CO after a failed attempt to elope in Las Vegas. Together they managed Le Central and bartended until leaving Colorado for St. Louis, MO in 1995.

Once in St. Louis, Matt met Blake Brokaw, became fast friends, and embarked on a wild ride helping him to run Tangerine from 1996 to 2004. He helped put cocktail culture on the map in St. Louis in the ’90s and inspired so many people with his knowledge and professionalism. This vast knowledge and interest in the world made him a great bartender and he touched countless lives. He truly understood the business as well as the connection it had to the people he served. He managed his employees like friends. His management motto was always: “If you think a job is beneath you, it never will be.”

Once Tangerine closed, Matt went on to other fine establishments in St. Louis such as Momo’s, I Frattellini, Zoë Pan-Asian, Mattingly Brewing Co., Lola, The Restaurant at the Cheshire, and Boundary before leaving for Nashville, TN.

Nashville saw him take a brief stint at Maggiano’s until the opening of Nashville Underground. Matt made a distinct impression on all whom he worked with in his life. He was poised for a bright future at Martin’s BBQ before the pandemic hit.

Matt was a devoted runner most of his life. After the birth of his only child, Sherwood, he gave up smoking and began training for marathons. He ran multiple half marathons before making the commitment to train for full marathons. By estimation, he ran more than 25 in his life and has the medals to prove it.

A consummate fisherman, Matt pulled countless fish out of the city ponds in St. Louis as well as the mighty Mississippi River. Nashville afforded him countless other fishing opportunities which he navigated by kayak.

He was a self-ascribed comic book nerd and lover of science fiction. Definitely a DC man over a Marvel man, he listened to audiobooks and read comics by the dozens.

Faith became hugely important to him and was a member of Oak Hill Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, Mo, and then moved his membership to Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN.

Preceded in death by his mother, Rita M. Marcelle McMullin.

Survived by his wife, Kimberly Kay Nichols McMullin; his son, Sherwood Matthew; his brother, Sean Patrick; and his father, Charles Richard.

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