Illustration: Matt Hudson

East Side Buzz, Friday, May 8

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 Announces Plan to Reopen Nashville for Business with Phase One
At his weekly press conference, Mayor John Cooper announced that the city would enter Phase One of the Roadmap for Reopening Nashville on Monday, May 11. While most of the guidelines currently in place under the Mayor’s Safer-At-Home order would remain in place, Phase One allows for the reopening of retail and other commercial business along with dine-in areas of restaurants and bars that serve food. All would be allowed to operate at one-half capacity and both employees and patrons would be required to wear face masks, along with a number of specific restrictions.

Other restrictions include a number of social distancing and hygiene requirements and daily health screening of employees. In addition, all bar areas of restaurants would remain closed, live music is not permitted, and recently enacted exceptions for take-out sales of alcohol would remain in place. Bars and entertainment venues along with gyms and such high-touch businesses as hair and nail salons would remain closed.

The announcement drew immediate criticism. The mayor’s office had previously stated that a level of 80 new cases or less per day for a 14-day period would be required to enter Phase One of the Roadmap.  In the past week, new cases have remained at 100 or more for most days, and Tuesday, May 5 was the deadliest day for the city with five deaths reported. The mayor’s office cited improvements in other health metrics, such as testing and hospital capacity, as the reasons for the decision to revise earlier requirements.

More details on Phase One of the Roadmap for Reopening Nashville along information on Metro’s ongoing response to COVID-19 is available at asafenashville.org.

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East Nashville Farmers Market is Back!
The East Nashville Farmers Market is back for another year of providing fresh local food directly from producers to consumers. Opening Day is set for Tuesday, May 12, 3:30-6:30 p.m. every Tuesday until Oct. 13 in the First Church of the Nazarene parking lot on the corner of 5th and Woodland.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, all market vendors will wear cloth face-coverings and use CDC-recommended hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizing stations will also be located around the market, courtesy of Citizen Kitchens, and all booths and queues will be more distanced and demarcated with 6-foot intervals.

The market is currently accepting applications for new vendors providing packaged foods, prepared foods, take-home meals and beverages, meats, eggs, dairy products, vegan goods, baked goods, desserts, ferments, kombuchas, along with mask-makers and sign-makers. For more information, or to apply as a vendor, contact the East Nashville Farmers’ Market manager at rebecah.boynton@gmail.com.

#TheNewGig to Benefit Musicians
The Jazz Foundation of America will present an online video concert, “#TheNewGig,” on Thursday, May 14 benefiting the JFA’s COVID-19 Musicians’ Emergency Fund. Established in March of this year, the fund helps musicians and their families affected by the pandemic by covering basic living expenses.

The music site Relix will host the two-hour event from 7-9 p.m. CT, with a repeat videocast at 9 p.m. CT, and it will remain online for 24 hours. Hosted by Keegan-Michael Key and helmed by veteran producer-drummer and musical director Steve Jordan, the pre-produced concert will feature new performances by Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Robert Cray, Davell Crawford, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Stanley Jordan, Ivan Neville, Kim Wilson, Angelique Kidjo, Milton Nascimento, and many others, along with archival performances from the JFA’s annual fundraiser. These archival clips will include performances by  Herbie Hancock, Patti Smith, Brittany Howard, August Greene featuring Common and Karriem Riggins, and the Count Basie Orchestra

For more information about the JFA, its work, and visit jazzfoundation.org/covid19.

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Business of the Week: Goodbuy Girls
Although the March 3 tornado was a traumatic experience for every business owner in Five Points, Tanya Montana Coe, owner and sole proprietor of the vintage and new Western Style store, Goodbuy Girls had several reasons to feel optimistic about the shop’s recovery from the storm.

“We had broken glass from our windows and door, but compared to many of the people around us we were very fortunate,” Coe says. “We were also not without power for very long, but couldn’t be open for over two weeks.”

Because of the clean-up efforts and more extensive damage to many neighboring buildings, the shop at 1108 Woodland St. in the Idea Hatchery would enjoy only one full day of a business, before the Mayor issued a Safer-At-Home Order on Sunday, March 22. The shuttering of all non-essential retails shops due to the spread COVID-19 was even more devastating than the tornado.

“After the tornado, we saw a spike of support with online sales and felt really fortunate,” Coe says. “But when virus shutdown happened it affected everyone financially and I think people got really scared and orders came to a halt.”

In the weeks that followed, Coe concentrated on increasing the offerings of her online store, but with little income and no money for advertising it’s was a serious struggle. Looking for alternative ways to reach the market she turned to some of the contacts she’s made in the decade she’s been in business, including singer, songwriter, and poet, Lana Del Rey.

“Last November she was in town to play a show and she just showed up in the shop,” Coe says. “She was very low key and down to Earth, and bought several things. Then she came back the next day and to buy a birthday  gift for her sister.”

With Del Rey’s contact on her list, Coe decided to reach out to her.  “I explained the current situation to her and said I would totally understand if she couldn’t do anything, but if she could and I  would send her a Care Package could she post about it to help us get some online sales. She wrote me back immediately and said, “Of course, dear.”

Del Rey’s Instagram post appeared last Saturday and Coe says the response was immediate. “I’ve had hundreds of orders since then and every day I’m getting more. I’m overwhelmed right now. I would love for this story to get out so other celebrities might help local businesses they love. For a small store like mine, only 320 square feet, this is a huge thing for a celebrity of her status to lend her support.”

While Del Rey’s help has provided a much-needed boost for Coe’s business, she knows that the challenges she and other local, small businesses are facing are far from over. “I’m just taking it day by day,” she says. “Who knows what’s going to happen next with this virus. So far, local shops haven’t got the support or attention that other businesses like restaurants and bars have received. This is going to help us for a couple of months, but it’s only going to go so far. We still need the support of local shoppers.”

Visit Goodbuy Girls online at goodbuygirlsnashville.com.

Quick Bits

  • The renovated retail/office building at 935-937 E. Trinity Lane recently sold at auction for approximately $1.9 million, more than four times the $450,000 its former owner, E Trinity Ln Projects LLC, paid for the property in September 2014. The buyer was not identified. The co-working office space business, Sparkworks Union, is the building’s current tenant.
  • With the kids home extra hours of the day you may be looking for a new adventure to enjoy with your kids in your own back yard. Check out local online, retailer Gnome on the Roam. It’s a great way to inspire the imagination of your children and enjoy some quality time as you create and chronicle the adventures of “Gustav the Gnome.” For more information visit mygnomeontheroam.com.