Photograph by Chuck Allen

East Side Buzz, May 7

Big news about the news: The East Nashvillian is now on Apple News! If you’re an Apple News subscriber, you can follow us here. How many more times can I fit the word “news” into one installment of East Side Buzz? Who knews?!

This week we announced The East Nashvillian’s Best of East Awards! We’re giving you the opportunity to show some love to all the things you love about the neighborhood. The polls will open in the coming weeks and winners will be announced in our Sept/Oct issue — stay tuned to Twitter and Instagram to know when it’s time to cast your ballots.

Speaking of our print edition now would be a great time to advertise in an upcoming issue to ensure our readers know everything you’re up to. Events are returning! Restaurants are reopening! Salons are cutting hair again! Email sales@theeastnashvillian.com to tell the people all about it.

Holly Street Fire Hall Re-Opened This Week

The Holy Street Fire Hall in Lockeland Springs re-opened this week after being closed for more than a year. The building, which has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1914, lost its roof and several windows in the March 3 tornado — the damage was so bad Engine Company 14 had to temporarily relocate to accommodate the repairs. 

The iconic columns on the front of the building were deemed unsafe, so they’ve been replicated and replaced, and the station’s living quarters were also redone. The Nashville Fire Department posted a quick video tour of the newly renovated station here — that TV room looks pretty cozy!

Photograph by Chuck Allen

“The craftsmanship of this structure is superb,” wrote Council Member Brett Withers on Facebook after attending the station’s opening event. “And now it will last another hundred years.” Cheers to that.

The Gallatin Hotel Opens Next Week

Prepare thy Instagram stories! The Gallatin Hotel will officially open its doors to guests on Friday, May 14. Developers have done their damndest to cram bright colors, murals, and backdrops into every square of the 25-room hotel.

To get to the front door guests have to walk through a tunnel of big, brightly colored juxtaposed frames. Once inside, the lobby’s walls are decorated with rainbows and its ceiling is covered in red and pink streamers. Every guest room pops with its own vibrant color scheme, too — oranges, yellows, purples, and lime green

While I generally scoff at anything that tries so hard to attract influencers, I have to applaud The Gallatin Hotel for their efforts to be more than just an Instagram backdrop. Like its sister hotels The Russell and 506 Lofts — which are also owned by Anchor Rentals — The Gallatin will “give away a substantial portion of each night’s stay to local homeless ministries through their Rooms for Rooms program,” says a press release. Benefactors include the Nashville Rescue Mission, Room in the Inn, People Loving Nashville, and ShowerUp. 

“We tried to find the four non-profits in Nashville that were doing the best work with our homeless community and helping them with different aspects of their lives,” says Micah Lacher of Anchor Investments, which developed the property. “As we open more hotels, we look forward to expanding our giving to more local charities serving those with the most needs in our community.”

With many Nashvillians currently feeling bitter about trendy hotel developments — no thanks to the Exit/In-buying AJ Capital — I asked Lacher how The Gallatin is different than other hotels that appear to be less interested in being a part of Nashville’s creative community and more focused on cashing in on it. 

“We are definitely different in the fact that our business is set up to give away the majority of our profits to help out the community,” he says. “We are the only hotels in the country that do this. We have found that neighbors are super excited to have us, as they love what we are doing to give back and help those who need it most.”

The hotel will share a courtyard with Fat Bottom Brewery’s new location, which is set to open this summer, and it also offers contact-less check-in and check-out, a much-appreciated feature in times of COVID-19 and/or social anxiety.

Learn more, and see progress pics, at thegallatinhotel.com.

MOCAN’s “Radical” Thoughts Show Closes This Month

There are only a few weeks left to catch “Radical” Thoughts at the Museum of Contemporary Art Nashville.

If you just thought to yourself, “Wait, Nashville has a contemporary art museum?” you’re not alone. MOCAN has been in the works since 2018 when they debuted with a one-day pop-up during Nashville Design Week, however, most of their efforts have been done behind the scenes by meeting with artists and talking to members of the community to learn more about what artists feel is missing in Nashville.

Executive director Jami Creel says 2020 was supposed to be a big year for fundraising, hosting their first exhibit, and raising awareness, but, well, you know what happened in 2020.

In March, MOCAN was finally able to introduce its first installment of their Traveling Museum Project, a group show called “Radical” Thoughts. It’s showing at 1004 Gallatin Ave. through May 29. 

The show, curated by Brooke Hoffert, is “inspired by the social inadequacies laid bare by the crises of our time.” Twenty different artists — from Nashville, London, Vietnam, Kuala Lumpur, and beyond — contributed pieces that explore sustainability, body politics, racism, and gender roles.

“The title itself is kind of poking fun at the term radical in a way because these thoughts aren’t radical or too out there or whatever people think when they think of the word radical,” says Creel.

“I’m blown away with the wide variety of different mediums that are in the show,” she adds. “We have painting, sculpture, animation film, installation, collage, all of these different elements and all of them are coming from a very unique perspective.” 

“Radical” Thoughts is just the beginning of MOCAN’s mission — once this show comes down, volunteers will begin working on next year’s installment of the Traveling Musem Project, which will take place in a different Nashville neighborhood. 

“The way this museum is coming about is completely different than how other museums come about,” says Creel. “You usually have a really wealthy individual who wants to create a museum or has a collection, and that’s definitely not what’s happening here. We’ve seen tons of artists that are from here or are living here, but they weren’t selling art or finding opportunities they couldn’t find in other big cities that really dedicate resources and money to the arts. That’s something we’re really wanting to change and help support on an infrastructure level.”

“Radical” Thoughts can be seen Thursday-Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. MOCAN is also hosting outdoor After Dark events every Saturday in May with live music and drinks. This Saturday, May 8, features performances by Savvy, DADABASE, and DavidH. Tickets are available here.

#DoughSomething Campaign Raises Money for Asian Americans Advancing Justice

In April, weeks after a 21-year-old man killed eight people, including six Asian women, in a series of shootings at Atlanta massage parlors, Chicago chef Beverly Kim founded the #DoughSomething campaign. She asked her fellow chefs to join her in creating dough-based dishes to raise money for Asian Americans Advancing Justice. 

Several Nashville restaurants have joined Kim’s efforts by way of the Tennessee Action for Hospitality organization — Avo, Babo Korean Bar, Butcher & Bee, East Side Bahn Mi, Locust, Lou, and Nicky’s Coal Fired are all serving up specials throughout the month of May. Lou has offered up their hand-cut noodles, Avo is baking new biscuits. Follow TN Action for Hospitality to keep track of who’s selling what where and go treat yourself to some dough-licious meals for a great cause. You can also donate directly to the #DoughSomething campaign here.

Quick Bits:

  • Metro Council approved the $1.2 billion Oracle development Wednesday. The Tennessean reports, “Construction could begin as early as June.” Mayor John Cooper says, “No new debt is being issued, and there is no burden on our taxpayers.” We reached out to Oracle for design renderings and to say, “Hi,” but haven’t heard a peep. 
  • The Restaurant Revitalization Fund portal is now open for restaurants and bars impacted by COVID-19. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant portal is up and running, too, after having been taken offline due to technical difficulties in April.
  • The International Songwriting Competition organizers announced the winners of the 2020 contest. The grand prize went to Sweden’s Smith & Thell and Peter Kvint. Several Nashville artists peppered the list of genre winners and honorable mentions, including Merry Ellen Kirk and Warren Sellers (2nd place, Americana), John Cirillo and Sarah Spencer (3rd place, country), and Dan O’Rouke (1st place, folk/singer-songwriter). See the full list here.
  • ViB plays the Music Makers Stage at Delgado Guitars tonight at 8 p.m. Catch the livestream here.

Love Buzz

East Nashville’s own Joy Olakodun continues her journey to world domination with her new song and video, “Sorry Isn’t Good Enough” and I have listened to the song no fewer than 1,000 times. But for this week’s Love Buzz I want to shine a light on another local band that has been in my ears as of late, Free Throw. Melodic new emo, my dudes! One of the best genres for summer, so long as you can find the bands and records that avoid thinly-veiled misogyny and white boy whining! 

In the video for their new single, “Cloud Sick,” the band runs all over the city to find out who stole their VHS tape. They hit up Mickey’s Tavern, The Basement East, The End, Exit/In, Wendell Smith’s Liquor Store, The Parthenon, and more. It’s fun to remember what it was like to, you know, go to bars and venues while listening to a song that puts The Menzingers and Taking Back Sunday in a blender.

Free Throw’s record Piecing It Together will be out June 25 on Triple Crown Records; you can preorder a signed copy via Grimey’s here.