East Side Buzz, February 5
Oh, hi! You’re here! Happy Friday and thank you for choosing to read another installment of the East Side Buzz. Every time you click to open Buzz it feels like a Redditor buying Gamestop stock for my ego.
Let’s start with some good news, shall we?
Boston Commons is re-opening! Randy Fox has the full scoop here. The restaurant’s soft launch begins February 18 and, Fox writes, a few things will be different this time around. For one, sushi will not be returning.
“Sushi was only 15-percent of sales but it required 30-percent of our resources,” owner Matthew Charette told Fox. “Going forward, our focus is going to be on what we do best. I like to buy the highest quality ingredients and execute well, and I think we do our fried seafood very very well.”
Charette also wrote a thoughtful letter to the community about everything he and his family have been through over the past year, which you can read in full here. Follow the restaurant on Facebook to stay up-to-date on their re-opening progress.
Your 2020 East Nashvillians of the Year Are …
This year’s winners of the annual East Nashvillian of the Year awards were announced on Wednesday.
Related: Sweet 16 Bakery’s “One to GO” has won my personal award for World’s Best Breakfast Sandwich.
Congratulations to all!
Missing Mardi Gras? Join East Nashville’s Yardi Gras!
With this year’s Carnival parades canceled, revelers all over New Orleans have begun to turn their homes into “float houses” by extravagantly decorating their yards and building exteriors with all kinds of props, streamers, signs, and beads. (There are even a few Dolly Parton-inspired designs!) You may have noticed that some East Nashville homes have joined in the fun, too, including a couple of houses on Chapel Avenue (as seen in the pic above).
Organizers Jessica Lyn Doyle and Ann Chadwick Mayo are calling the decorating challenge Yardi Gras, and they’re inviting everyone in East Nashville to give their homes—or porches or yards or even cars—a Mardi Gras makeover. They’ll compile all the participating addresses into a map so neighbors can walk or drive the route on February 16, Fat Tuesday, the plan being to start from Lockeland Table around 4:30. There will even be some warm-up festivities next weekend as residents at the corner of Chapel and Greenwood plan to throw out beads and Moon Pies on Saturday, February 13, between 4-6 p.m.
So far close to a dozen homes on Woodland, Holly, Stratton, and more are signed up to participate. For more information—and to get your house on the Yardi Gras map—visit the Facebook event page.
Shep’s Delicatessen Is Moving into Former Marché Space
Local restaurateurs Howard Greenstone, Ken Levitan, and Pennington Pribbenow of Red Pebbles Hospitality—home to Adele’s, The 404 Kitchen, Emmy Squared Pizza, Bajo Sexto Taco, and more—are opening a new eatery in the former Marche space at 1000 Main Street. Shep’s Delicatessen, named after Greenstone’s grandfather Israel “Shep” Shapiro, will open in late February, “bringing housemade pastrami, corned beef, chopped liver, and traditional egg creams to Music City.”
Jonathan Londer, who has worked at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills and Iron Rail Brewing in Topeka, KS, will be the head chef and the menu features all-day breakfast items like the Bodega (bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll) and Mac & Cheese Pancakes (WHAT?!) as well as hot and cold sandwiches (aka “Stackers”) including the Crispy Chicken Schnitzel and Tongue (“Don’t be shy!!!” says the menu). There will also French toast made with your choice of challah or babka, omelets, and assorted bagels, bialys, and biscuits served with schmear.
The deli will be open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, though owners hope to expand to 24 hours Thursday-Sunday once the pandemic is over.
Don’t forget — Valentine’s Day is near, and there’s still time to get some sweets for your Sweetie. We have the perfect East-centric solution for showing some love to that special someone: A Taste East Nashville Gift Set! Order by Tuesday for guaranteed free delivery by the 14th.
Calypso Cafe’s Gallatin Avenue Location For Lease
Is East Nashville’s Calypso Cafe closing? There may be a fresh For Lease sign in the restaurant’s parking lot, but not all hope is lost, says co-owner Allison Wills Brooks.
“We had decided that it was too much to try to reopen all our locations,” Brooks tells The East Nashvillian. “But of course, never say never. The plan right now, though, is to lease the space if we can.”
Both the East Nashville and Charlotte Avenue locations have been temporarily closed since March, due to COVID. For now, fans of Calypso’s black bean nachos can still get their fix at the 100 Oaks location, which is currently open under limited hours, Mon-Sat 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday Is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day
Every day is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day if you’re not a coward, but should you need permission to buck societal expectations, consider February 6 your hall pass to start your morning with dessert because Saturday is Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.
Sadly, Pied Piper Creamery won’t be able to celebrate with their annual all-day pajama party—the physical shop closed indefinitely on March 3 due to tornado damage—but the company’s ice cream elves are still churning out some of your favorite flavors and selling it by the scoop at Citizen Market in Hunters Station. The current menu includes Trailer Trash, pumpkin, gingerbread, Minty Python, oatmeal raisin, vegan chocolate, and strawberry, and Citizen Market can serve any flavor affogato, which totally counts as breakfast.
Jeni’s on Eastland Avenue will also be open, serving their brand new Everything Bagel flavor. A not-too-sweet cream cheese base is dotted with chunks of everything bagel-spiced streusel and, yes, it is very garlicky and oniony, but it is also very delicious!? I couldn’t believe it either.
While Sip Cafe doesn’t have any ice-cream-for-breakfast-specific specials, the shop says, “We would definitely recommend an espresso milkshake and a homemade pastry for breakfast that day!” Sounds like breakfast to me!
The Imagine East Bank Planning Study Project Has Begun
On Thursday, February 4, the Metro Nashville Planning Department held an informational public meeting to introduce the Imagine East Bank Planning Study Project and discuss the future of the 150-acres that sits along the Cumberland between 1-24 and Jefferson Street. The meeting was an opportunity to introduce the project’s team and begin gathering community and stakeholder input.
There has been a lot of talk in recent months about what could and should happen to the area — Tennessee Titans officials, for example, have said they hope to upgrade the 22-year-old Nissan Stadium and the surrounding neighborhood with new retail and office space, housing, and riverfront parks.
But council member Brett Withers said via email that it’s still very early in the process.
“The Request For Qualifications process is still ongoing and so a contractor has not yet been selected,” he says. “There has been a strong interest among the design community in this proposal and Metro is still evaluating candidates. This scenario is a good sign that we may have the best and brightest technical talent come on board soon to help us evaluate challenges and opportunities for reimagining this key area in the heart of our city.”
There will be more opportunities for community input “in the coming months,” Withers says. Future meetings and events will be posted here and you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information.
- Temperatures are expected to drop into the mid-teens within the next week so now is a good time to get familiar with, and spread the word about, Nashville’s Cold Weather Community Response Plan. Metro has also set up an overflow shelter at The Fairgrounds Nashville (500 Wedgewood Ave.). It’s open to anyone experiencing homelessness and pets are welcome.
- Metro Nashville Public Schools have begun to phase in in-person learning.
- Two mixed-use buildings have been approved for 918 Main Street and 3 McFerrin Avenue. District 6 Councilman Brett Withers talks about their neighborhood-friendly design here.
- The Nashville Community Fridge has introduced a reimbursement program and now volunteers can be reimbursed for up to $50 worth of groceries when filling the free fridge outside Drkmttr on Dickerson Pike. Learn more about the program here.
- Two new sushi restaurants are coming—the owner of Samurai Sushi is reportedly opening a Las Vegas-inspired restaurant in the former Eastland Cafe space and Bite a Bit Thai Sushi is moving into what was once home to Rudie’s Seafood and Sausage.
- In other food news, popular Charleston, NC eatery Xiao Bao Biscuit is coming to Nashville in 2022.
- Justin Timberlake is the newest co-owner of Music City Grand Prix. The inaugural race will take place in August and the track starts and ends near Nissan Stadium.
- East Nashvillian cover star Aaron Lee Tasjan releases his new album Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan! today and it just so happens to also be Bandcamp Friday, the day when Bandcamp waives their fees, and 100-percent of all purchases go directly to the artist and/or labels. Check it out.
Before you go, I want to try something new. I love music. You probably love music, too. We live in Music City! So every week I want to end East Side Buzz with a jam from a local band or musician that I’ve been really into as of late. New, old, there will be no rules, really. This week, I want to leave you with the latest from Inglewood’s own Bully. Alicia Bognanno recorded a striking cover of PJ Harvey’s “Dry” for Sound of Saving’s “Song That Found Me At The Right Time” series. She also opened up about her own experiences with anxiety and Bipolar II disorder. Watch the song and interview here.