Photo by Chuck Allen

East Side Buzz, January 8

New Year, New Buzz!
Hello, East Nashvillians! Welcome to another edition of East Side Buzz, the weekly newsletter from your BFFs at The East Nashvillian. Who the hell am I? I’m Megan Seling, your new East Side Buzz scribe. I’ve lived in Nashville for seven years, having relocated from Seattle after marrying a Nashville native (yes, I have met Bean Dad) and I was the culture editor at the Nashville Scene for four years before becoming a full-time freelance writer.

Likes: Dogs, candy, coffee, hockey, Oxford commas, guitar-driven onslaughts of noise (Bully, Friendship Commanders), and sad AF singer-songwriters (Julien Baker, Joy Oladokun).

Dislikes: Marsha Blackburn.

Send me news tips (and cute pics of yer dog) at buzz@theeastnashvillian.com.

Here we go!

You Have Until the End of the Day Today to Vote for East Nashvillian of the Year
That’s right, voting for the 2020 East Nashvillian of the Year closes today (January 8) at midnite CDT, so get your ballots in! The winners will be announced in the Jan/Feb issue of The East Nashvillian.

There are two categories — Citizen and Business or Business Owner — and one winner in each category. This year’s nominees are an inspiring bunch, including Ronald Gooch Jr. of the Margaret Maddox Family YMCA, Ingrid Campbell, president of the McFerrin Park Neighborhood Association, Madison Thorn, the local photographer behind the COVID-19 photo series “High Risk Humans,” and Margot McCormack, owner of Margot Cafe & Bar. Read more about every nominee’s outstanding contributions at eastnashville.org.

Related: There’s still time to get your business message in the pages of the upcoming issue. The East Nashvillian can’t exist without your continued support, so drop our sales department a note at sales@theeastnashvillian.com to learn more about all our advertising opportunities.

The East Nashville Publix Will Open … February 10?
Way back in 2019, which feels like hundreds of years ago thanks to these slow-moving pandemic days, Nashville-based real estate company H.G.Hill announced big news for East Nashville: The neighborhood would be getting its first Publix grocery store by way of Hill Center Greenwood, a 72,830-square-foot development at the intersection of Gallatin Avenue and Greenwood Avenue.

Through a press release, H.G. Hill said the grocery store, as well as a Starbucks and Chase, were expected to open “during the first quarter of 2021.” Well, it’s 2021 — you may have noticed that Starbucks has opened for business in the new year, so is Publix next?

staff photo

“A date has not been set yet,” said Amy Kovar, H.G. Hill’s publicist, when asked for an update via email. But a person claiming to be the store’s new customer service manager confirmed in a comment on the East Nashville Facebook page that the target date is February 10. Prepare your grocery lists, people — the countdown begins now!

When finished, Hill Center Greenwood will also be home to 14 2,168-square-foot townhomes (starting price according to listings on Zillow is $544,000), and, across the street at 1108 Gallatin Avenue, there will be another 6,000-square-foot building with three retail spaces.

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3 Crow’s Mass Exodus
On January 5th, a former 3 Crow employee sounded the alarm on the East Nashville Facebook page: “Hey guys just wanted everyone to know that 3 Crow bar is no longer the same. They hired a new management team and basically let go the entire staff, people that have worked there probably longer than some of you have even lived in Nashville.”

The post racked up hundreds of comments, and, as is often the case on Facebook, dozens of folks weighed in with a plethora of varying information, theories, and opinions. Still, through the whirlwind of information, the overwhelming sentiment was anger and sadness, as the bar — and the folks who worked there — were clearly beloved by locals. The news felt especially cruel given that many of the suddenly unemployed staffers were the same people who helped both the bar and the neighborhood rebuild after last year’s March 3 tornado.

So what happened? One former employee said long-time owner Bill Carney was “voted out” by the other owners and that’s when the layoffs and resulting walk-outs happened. (Carney didn’t return our call for comment by publishing time.) Local attorney Kevin Teets, who is friends with multiple 3 Crow employees, wrote an op-ed for Scoop Nashville, explaining, “… instead of being greeted with tips from their customers that dearly missed them, they were greeted with proverbial pink slips from the new management hired by the bar’s owners. Many of the bars staff, some who had worked there for over 15 years, were fired. Those who were not fired were told they could walk out the door if they did not like the new direction of the business. And that is exactly what they did.”

Others likened the situation to the closure of Tenn Sixteen, another one of 3 Crow’s owners’ businesses, which shuttered abruptly in November 2019. (Love you forever, fried green tomato BLT.)

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the staffers who were let go “cover their rent, expenses, etc. over the next few weeks while they find new jobs.” The goal is to raise $10,000. You can read more and donate here.

Mayor John Cooper’s Wife Laura Has Tested Positive for COVID-19
Mayor John Cooper is quarantining and working remotely after his wife Laura tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

“Out of an abundance of caution, I am quarantining after Laura has tested positive for COVID-19,” Cooper posted on Twitter Tuesday evening. “She is currently not exhibiting any symptoms. Like thousands of Nashvillians, I’m following CDC-recommended best practices and am working remotely.”

On Wednesday WKRN reported Tennesee’s COVID-19 positivity rate had climbed to over 20 percent and as of Thursday morning there have been 73,533 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Davidson County, with 6,767 of those cases currently active. Six hundred Nashvillians have died from COVID-19-related illness. 

Meanwhile, the state continues to roll out vaccines; on Thursday the Metro Public Health Department announced that Nashville residents who are 75-years-old or older are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by appointment only. To book your appointment, click here or call 615-862-7777. Identification and proof of residency will be required.

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Soup’s On
For more than 25 years Our Kids, the local organization that supports victims of childhood sexual abuse and their families, has hosted Soup Sunday, a fun (and delicious!) way to raise both money for and awareness of Our Kids’ vital efforts.

Generally, the annual event invites around 50 restaurants to make a tasty and/or innovative soup, stew, bisque, et al., and then gives hundreds of Nashvillians the opportunity to gather at Nissan Stadium to try them all and vote for their favorite. It’s always a fun event, with celebrity judges and, more importantly, all-you-can-eat access to food made by some of the best chefs in the city.

Predictably, organizers have had to reimagine this year’s event, so for 2021’s installment, Soup Sunday is Soup Sunday: Homestyle! No lines, no crowds, just you and some delicious soup (previous entries have included a mojo shrimp bisque, a pumpkin bisque with candied bacon, a Guinness stew, and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup-inspired dessert soup that was shockingly nuanced and palatable).

There are two ways to participate in 2021’s festivities. You can purchase quarts of soup from participating restaurants on Sunday, February 28th or you can buy a Soup Passport, which entitles you to a free cup of soup (with the purchase of any menu item) at all participating restaurants February 28-March 31. Extra hungry? Do both! Yum!

Both passports and soup quarts will be available for preorder on Tuesday, February 9, and the initial list of participating eateries includes The Cafe at Thistle Farms, Steaming Goat Food Truck & Catering, Homegrown Taproom & Kitchen, The Bell Tower, Bacon & Caviar Gourmet Catering, 615 Chutney, Little Fib, and Red Perch. Organizers are adding more restaurants every day, so if you’re a professional chef or restauranteur who wants to share some good soup for a great cause, visit ourkidscenter.com to sign up.

Quick Bits

  • There are still several ways to help the people and businesses who were impacted by the Christmas bombing in Downtown Nashville. The January 4 edition of East Side Buzz has a comprehensive list of related GoFundMe pages, which you can see here, and both United Way of Greater Nashville and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennesee’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund are still collecting donations at 211.org and CMFT’s website, respectively. You can also simply text RESTORE20 to 41444 to contribute any amount to United Way’s disaster relief fund.
  • A new hot chicken joint, Flamies, has opened up at 3225 Gallatin Pike. They reportedly have fried chicken available in a spectrum of spiciness as well as tenders, wings, and an array of sides including fries and potato salad.
  • The Shelby Golf Course re-opened Saturday, January 2, after being significantly damaged in the March 2020 tornado. According to Metro’s website, the course’s clubhouse was given a facelift, and improvements and repairs were made to both the irrigation system and cart paths. Golfers will surely be happy, but Shelby Park’s Instagram page warns others to stay off the course, writing, “While many neighbors have enjoyed walking the course during its closure, with golf activities commencing walking and other no golf activities are no longer permitted on the course.” Sorry, walkers.
  • Why was a barge on Cumberland River blaring its horn for hours Sunday night? WPLN’s Tony Gonzales learned that might not be an easy question to answer.
  • And finally, you can show your support The East Nashvillian by buying a new T-shirt! We have two designs in our online shop, where you can also order issues of the magazine since you might be out and about a lot less often these days. And now, to commemorate our 10th Anniversary issue, the Taste of East Nashville Gift Set! It’s a goodie box packed with Olive and Sinclair chocolate bars, Bongo Java coffee, a spicy seasoning & rub from East Nashville Spice Co., and more. It also comes with a copy of the keepsake-worthy 10th Anniversary issue, which features a collection of The East Nashvillian’s best stories and photos.
Have a tip for East Side Buzz? Email us at buzz@theeastnashvillian.com!
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