Red Headed Stranger Makes Headway, Cleveland Park Community Members Oppose Mixed-Use Project Plans, Bollywood Comes to Nashville, and more

Red Headed Stranger Makes Headway

Executive Chef Bryan Lee Weaver, known for his work at the East Nashville favorite Butcher & Bee, is making headway on the highly-anticipated Red Headed Stranger.

As part of the Butcher & Bee roster, their website describes Red Headed Stranger as, “A casual Southwestern taco shop in East Nashville, where Hatch green chilis, homemade tortillas, and outlaw country music feed the soul.” Taking into consideration Chef Weaver’s early culinary days began when he was 14 at a Mexican food restaurant in Colorado, and one of his musical heroes is Willie Nelson, this statement is quite fitting.

Set to open the restaurant this year in McFerrin Park, Chef Weaver is one-step closer after landing a key permit valued at $400,000. The permit will allow for a complete rebuild of the space at 305 Arrington St., which was last home to Meridian Street Café.

MTLC Building Group, whose clients include City Winery, Burger Republic, Hemingway’s Bar and Hideaway, and more, is handling the buildout.

Former East Nashvillian Business of the Year, Powell Architecture and Building Studio, have designed the space, with Manley Seale as the architect and interior design by Katie Vance. With the design of Butcher & Bee on their resume as well, this will mark the second time Powell has worked with Chef Weaver and owner Michael Shemtov.

Seale says, “Powell Architecture & Building Studio was thrilled to be invited to work with the ownership team from Butcher & Bee again. Michael Shemtov and Bryan Weaver have an inspiring knack for creating concepts that not only deliver quality food but have a soul and deep creativity to them.  We knew Red Headed Stranger was going to be an incredible project to be involved with from the beginning.”

In regards to any hints of what the design is like, Seale says, “The design is complete, and we look forward to everyone seeing it soon. We concentrated on letting the unique character of the space drive the design. Red Headed Stranger echoes the unfussy nature of tacos and echoes Chef Bryan’s personal connection to the Southwest – landscapes, food, and family. The space is warm and inviting with a nod to some classic dive elements. Would it be a Powell project without local artists? We think not! This project is full of local folks that put their heart and soul into what they do, along with the Red Headed Stranger team and us!”

Currently there’s no official opening date for Red Headed Stranger, but in regards to the menu, along with the tacos, hatch green chiles, and homemade tortillas, there’s talk of smoked beef brisket, a green-chili cheeseburger, and a proper breakfast taco (a Nashville rarity and a passion of Chef Weaver’s).

If you’d like a preview of the restaurant’s fare, this Saturday, Jan. 19 is your chance. Chef John Lewis of Lewis Barbecue in Charleston, deemed “famed pit-master and Tex-Mex maestro” by Butcher & Bee, will be joining Chef Weaver at Butcher & Bee for a collaborative menu highlighting the foods of Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. The evening will include a preview of tacos and more from the forthcoming Red Headed Stranger.

Reservations are recommended and are filling up fast. For info and reservations click here.

For more info on Red Headed Stranger, follow them online.

Cleveland Park Community Members Oppose Mixed-Use Project Plans

As new construction continues to spread throughout East Nashville, the Cleveland Park neighborhood has been fairly unaffected until now.

Residents of Cleveland Park are speaking out against a developer’s plan to build a mixed-use space with housing, restaurants, and retail. If this area becomes rezoned for mixed-use, it will allow all properties to be eligible for non-owner occupied short term rentals, in other words, a lot of “Airbnb-type” units.

Residents are concerned about tourists overflowing the neighborhood, and losing the “family feel” of the community, where everyone knows their neighbor. There’s a fear of temporary tenants destroying the culture that Cleveland Park has built and held onto for so long.

The six-parcel property located on the northwest corner of the intersection of North Sixth and Cleveland streets (across from Cleveland Park) was acquired for $1.2 million from the Cleveland Street Missionary Baptist Church by developer Sean Roberge.

Roberge is the owner of RSC, LLC, a Nashville native, and a Cleveland Park local who lives one block from the North Sixth Street properties. Cleveland Park Development will be in charge of the six-parcel project.

Roberge needs Metro officials to approve a zoning change from single-family residential to commercial mixed-use designation before he can move forward with the development. He isn’t pushing for the units to become all short-term rentals but is leaving that in each buyer’s hands.

Metro Planning Commission is set to consider the rezoning proposal at its meeting on Feb. 14.

For more information or to sign a petition opposing the zoning change visit

Bollywood Comes to Nashville

Prerna Gupta may spend part of her days as office manager at East Nashville’s Delgado Guitars (check out our feature on Manuel Delgado), but she’s also the Outreach Coordinator for the Upasana Performing Arts Center.

The Center was founded in 2003 by Creative Director Sonia Chaudhuri and is the largest school of Kathak & Hindustani Vocal in Tennessee. Their mission statement is to “provide a rich cultural resource to future generations through the exploration of India’s classical fine arts.”

Gupta is also a member of the Upasana Dance Company (UDC), which Gupta says, “is composed of certain dancers from our dance school at the Upasana Performing Arts Center, but is technically part of the Upasana Foundation.”

The Dance Company will be hosting their first ever Bollywood Night at Plaza Mariachi Music City on Feb. 1, from 6 p.m.-1 a.m.

Gupta says, “Plaza Mariachi approached us about including us as part of their entertainment, but they were also interested in producing more culturally diverse events and welcomed our input. Thus, the idea of a Bollywood night came to be our collaboration.”

“The night will transition into multiple phases. It will start simply with Bollywood music videos and Indian food from Taj Indian restaurant will be available. They’re also trying to secure a henna artist for the event. Our UDC group will lead a 30-minute Bollywood lesson open and free to all, with a couple of performances before and after. The night will then transition to a dance party, with performances from our group intermingled throughout the first couple of hours. We connected Plaza with a DJ who will be playing until 2 a.m.”

UDC is hoping their first Bollywood Night will be a success and there will be more to come in the future.

For more info on Bollywood Night click here.

Additional sites: Upasana Performing Arts CenterUpasana FoundationPlaza Mariachi Music City

Quick Bits

— TriStar Health will open its 14th CareNow® Urgent Care location on Tuesday, Feb. 5 to serve patients in the East Nashville community. The new clinic will be located at 1214 Gallatin Ave., Suite 101, and feature nine exam rooms. Read more at TriStar Health.

— Work is set to begin at 1056 E. Trinity Lane on the craft brewery and coffee curator Living Waters Brewery. Read more at the Nashville Post.

— East Nashville staple Turnip Truck is taking over the West Nashville Cash & Carry building this February and is set to open their third location by the end of this year. Read more at  

— High-profile East Nashvillian, Aaron Lee Tasjan (check out the cover story we ran on Tasjan last year) announces new tour dates for this spring which includes seven gigs supporting power-pop legends Cheap Trick. Read more at Rolling Stone. You can also check out Tasjan’s Tiny Desk concert at, which was released this week.

— Long-time small business owners from Mitchell Deli, Weiss Liquors (check out our feature story on Weiss Liquors), and Wags and Whiskers are thriving with East Nashville’s continued growth. Read more at

— There are big plans in store for James A. Cayce homes. Built over 75 years ago, the goal is to remove all current Cayce buildings and in their place will go a mix of affordable housing with low-income housing, multi-use properties including a public library, and a new K-8th-grade school. Read more about the planning process at Envision CayceCheck out our feature story on Cayce homes here. 

— Metro Police claim East Nashville’s violent reputation is slowly fading, and the community is safe to call home. Read more at WKRN.comAlso, according to Metro Police violent crime is down and auto thefts are up over the last year. Read more at

— East Nashville real estate continues to impress local realtors. Read more at

— The Nashville Cocktail Festival, set for this April 23-28, is hosting a  portion of their main events at The Pavilion East. Read more at the

— If you’re looking for some cost-efficient family fun this weekend, the Nashville Zoo is offering a special carload admission price Jan. 19-21. There will be one $39 admission price for everyone arriving at the Zoo in one vehicle.  Read more at the

That’s it for this week. Have East Nashville news tips to share? Please email Liz.

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