Illustration: Matt Hudson

East Side Buzz, Friday, May 1

Looking Forward and News for Neighbors

Be Seen in the Pages of The East Nashvillian!
A new issue of The East Nashvillian is now in the works!  We realize we’re a little behind schedule, but just like our city, we’re still standing proud — ready to bring you the best of music, art, culture, and personalities that make our city the great community it is, even in a time of social distancing. To place your ad in our new issue, contact our sales team today at sales@theeasnashvillian.com.

And speaking of issues, our latest is still available for free when you order delivery from many local restaurants, liquor stores, and merchants.  When placing orders online, simply look for The East Nashvillian on the menu and add it to your order or request it when you place your order by phone. Copies are also available for curbside pick-up orders and you grab one from the rack by the front door of many restaurants.  Check out the full list of participating restaurants and shops, and bookmark the page to check back for updates!

Mayor Cooper Extends Safer-At-Home Order While Charting the Path Forward
At a press conference on Thursday, Mayor John Cooper announced the extension of Nashville’s Safer-At-Home Order until at least May 8, 2020. Exhibiting a greater degree of caution and reliance on data than shown by Governor Lee, Mayor Cooper emphasized that while testing data for recent days have shown improvements in the numbers of new cases of COVID-19 in Davidson County, metrics have not yet been met that would allow Metro to move forward with Phase 1 of the Roadmap for Reopening Nashville released last week.

Cooper further emphasized that extra caution in the short term would pay off in the long term with fewer deaths, less stress on the city’s healthcare system, and less likelihood for setbacks for the Roadmap plan.

Metro’s Safer-At-Home Order requires:

  • Non-essential businesses including restaurant dine-in services, retail shops, gyms, and hair/nail salons remain closed
  • No gatherings over 10 people, religious services and other large gatherings not allowed
  • Davidson County residents should stay home unless they are an essential worker or need to shop for food, pick up prescriptions, or visit the doctor or dentist
  • Masks or face coverings are required at all times when not at home
  • Maintain at least six feet distance from others at all times, including while outdoors

More information on Metro’s response to COVID-19 is available at asafenashville.org.

The Clock is Ticking for FEMA Tornado Assistance
A final call for individuals and businesses who were affected by the March 3 tornado. You can still apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), but the deadline is Monday, May 4. The FEMA Helpline at 800.621.3362 (TTY 800.462.7585) is staffed daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Central Time. You can use the Helpline to register with FEMA for assistance, update your information on a previously filed claim, appeal a FEMA decision, and more. Application status updates are also available online at DisasterAssistance.gov, by downloading the FEMA app from fema.gov/mobile-app, or by calling the disaster assistance helpline at 800.621.3362 (TTY 800.462.7585).

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Nashville Restaurants Workers for Second Harvest Food Bank
A high-profile list of local chefs, Metro’s Food Security Working Group, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp., and Second Harvest Food Bank are partnering to provide meals for Nashvillians in need along with providing work for furloughed restaurant workers.

The list of chefs includes James Beard Award winner Sean Brock (Joyland and the forthcoming Audrey), Margot McCormack (Margot Cafe & Bar), Derek Brooks (The Hermitage Hotel), David Jackman (The Catbird Seat), Matt Bolus (404 Kitchen), Marc Rose (The Graduate Hotel), and Matt Farley (The Southern Steak & Oyster). Furloughed restaurant workers will be receiving VISA gift cards for their work on the project. Over $120,000 in gift cards were gifted through donors

Approximately 2,200 meals will be prepared each week to be distributed by Second Harvest partner agencies in South Nashville, East Nashville, Madison, Donelson, and Hermitage. The meals will be available Monday through Friday each week.  More information at secondharvestmidtn.org.

Nashville Pride Postponed
Nashville Pride officially announced the postponement of the 2020 Nashville Pride Festival and Parade, scheduled for June 27-28 at Public Square Park. The Board of Directors of the annual LGBTQIA+ celebration cited continued uncertainty around large gatherings and the COVID-19 pandemic as the reasons for the decision.

In addition to the creation of more virtual and digital experiences, such as the recently launched Nashville Pride Live series of virtual performances, Nashville Pride is planning a celebration for the fall of 2020 to celebrate the history, resilience, and pride of Middle Tennessee’s LGBTQIA+ community. More info and updates at nashvillepride.org.

Business of the Week: Weiss Liquors
Although Weiss Liquors’ building on Main Street suffered relatively little damage from the March 3 tornado, the last two months have been a very rough ride for the venerable East Nashville business.

“Luckily we didn’t lose our building which was huge for us,” owner Anne Nicholas Weiss says. “We lost power for eight days, didn’t have internet for 17, so we couldn’t take credit cards, and as soon as we got back up and running the city got shut down three days later because of COVID.”

Throughout the wild ride of two major disasters, Weiss has kept family and community top of mind. “My number one thing has been to keep my employees paid and serve the community as best as we can,” she says. “We’ve taken as many precautions as we could. We were able to install Plexiglas in front of the registers, and we instituted delivery and curbside pickup for customers that don’t want to come into the store.  We try to take credit cards as much as we can, and we’ve not been doing any check cashing to keep cash handling at an absolute minimum. I really have to give my employees credit as we’ve rolled with the punches on this. I’m really grateful to have such a great staff.”

As Nashville begins to move toward loosening some restrictions, Weiss has continued to make extra efforts to ensure the store remains a clean and safe environment.  Although her staff has remained COVID free, just this week the store was deep cleaned by a professional environmental cleaning service. Weiss is also moving forward with plans to restore the shop’s iconic, 70-year-old metal and neon sign which fell victim to the tornado.

“I was devastated and my parents were devastated [by the loss of the sign]. My grandfather designed the sign and grandmother picked out the colors. We were just starting to figure out how to get it back up when COVID happened. I just met with a sign company this morning and I’m really hopeful. Aside from the cost of the sign, the biggest hurdle may be codes, but I’m hopeful that they will work with us to restore it. We’re really committed to getting it back up because it was a piece of East Nashville.”

For more information and updates follow Weiss Liquors on Facebook. For delivery and curbside pickup, phone the store at 615.227.5505 or order online through Nashville Delivers. For the story of Weiss Liquors’ history, check out this story from our Jan-Feb 2018 issue.

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Quick Bits

  • As announced last week, re-construction of The Basement East should begin soon. It was announced this week that the main floor and front facade of the building are still structurally sound which will enable the popular music venue to be rebuilt faster than initially estimated. A permit valued at approximately $710,000 has been issued for the reconstruction with a projected reopening date by the end of this year.
  • Over the last four weeks, Pearl Diver restaurant and cocktail bar had been serving up tasty meals to out-of-work restaurant workers through their Brown Bag Initiative, with over 1,000 meals served.  To learn more, contact them at pearldiverbar@gmail.com.
  • The annual candlelight vigil for Tabitha Tuders was not held last week due to concerns over COVID-19. 13-year-old Tabitha Tuders went missing on April 29, 2003, as she walked to her bus stop just blocks from her home in East Nashville. The candlelight vigil has been held by her family each year since her disappearance, and Metro Police and the FBI have continued to investigate potential leads in the case. For more information or to report a lead, visit the FBI’s Kidnapping/Missing Persons page.
  • Everyone needs a good howl now and then and the Nashville 8 O’Clock Howl is providing it for quarantined Nashvillians in the most primal way possible! Every night at 8 p.m. step outside your house and let your best howl fly! In the meantime, check out The Nashville 8 O’Clock Howl Facebook groupfor updates and photos of your fellow howlers!