East Side Buzz: Metro Seeks Private Vendor for Metered Parking, Nashville Cocktail Festival, Hunters Station Lineup, Donut Distillery, and more

Metro Seeks Private Vendor for Metered Parking Expansion

The Nashville Mayor’s Office is currently exploring options for an outside vendor to manage on-street parking throughout the city. Also under consideration is an expansion of metered parking that could affect a number of neighborhoods where development is thriving. Several media sources have named Five Points as one such neighborhood likely to see an end to free on-street parking, but Councilman Brett Withers says there is no plan in place for metered parking in the neighborhood anytime soon. He supports Metro’s efforts to partner with outside vendors in modernizing on-street parking systems and, in an email with The East Nashvillian, assures his constituents that “final decisions about where on-street parking should be managed – by a meter, through residential permit parking or in a valet or loading zone – would still be made by the Metro Traffic & Parking Commission with feedback from the District Metro Council Member and business and residential stakeholders considered at the public hearing.”

While the process for determining where and how on-street parking should be managed will remain the same, Withers says what could potentially change “is that rather than having all parking enforcement and analysis work be performed by a total of five Metro Public Works employees for all of Davidson County, parking enforcement staffing would be provided by an outside company, as is done in most major cities including ones that are smaller than Nashville.”

Metro has issued a Request for Quotations from vendors and will definitely seek to expand the area subject to metered parking, as well as to extend hours of enforcement. According to a March 4, 2019 memo from Mayor Briley to the Traffic and Parking Commission, “Metro’s current on-street parking inventory consists of approximately 2,000 spaces located in four Metro Council Districts: 19 (66% of meters), 21 (19%), 18 (13%), and 17 (2%). Based on Metro’s analysis and input from vendors during the procurement process, we believe the current system could be expanded by as many as 2,000 metered spaces, primarily in The Gulch, West End, SoBro, and the CBD.” The memo also states “Enforcement hours should be extended from the current 8 a.m.-6 p.m. to 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Enforcement hours in high-demand zones in Memphis and Knoxville go to 10 p.m. In markets such as Austin and Minneapolis, enforcement hours in some areas go to 12 a.m.; in Denver they extend to 2 a.m. Terminating enforcement at 6 p.m. significantly limits the supply of available spaces during peak demand periods in markets with thriving nighttime business districts.”

The Request for Quotations stipulates that the vendor pay Metro $17 million each year for the first two years of the contract, after which Metro and the vendor will enter into a revenue sharing agreement for the remainder of a 30-year contract. Vendor proposals have been submitted and are currently under consideration.

Although Five Points is not yet specifically targeted for meter expansion, “all of the parking lots in Five Points are privately owned, developable parcels with the exception of the small lot behind the East Library and the parking lot that is attached to the 37206 Post Office,” Withers observes. “Any or all of the other private surface parking lots could become buildings at some point. As development continues to occur in and around Five Points, parking demand will continue to increase beyond where it is today.  We need to ensure that we are able to enhance Metro’s ability to adjust to that change that is inevitable and that was specifically called for and even incentivized by the creation of the Five Points Redevelopment District through a public process that began 20 years ago,” Withers said.

Cheers y’all! The 6th Annual Nashville Cocktail Festival kicks off on April 23

Raise a glass (or several glasses) and celebrate the craft of the cocktail at this year’s Nashville Cocktail Festival, held in multiple venues around town April 23-28. The festival celebrates the history and variety of cocktails, with themed events, dinners, authors’ talks, and opportunities to meet the master distillers, boutique spirits crafters, and bartenders who will be stirring and shaking up specialties for all the occasions.

East Nashville venues will host two main events and two events at smaller venues.

The Art Deco Party: A Glamorous Sip Through the 20s and 30s (presented by Johnnie Walker) celebrates the inventiveness of Prohibition Era cocktails on Friday, April 26 from 7 p.m.–10 p.m., at Pavilion East. Island cocktails will be featured at Polynesian Pop: A Tiki Extravaganza on Saturday, April 27, from noon to 2 p.m. (presented by El Dorado) at the same location.

The festival also includes NCF Experiences, more intimate events held at smaller venues around town. On the East Side Vandyke Bed and Beverage will be hosting Vive Le Disco, 6 p.m.–9 p.m., featuring glitter, glam, and guilty pleasure cocktails (presented by Grey Goose). Stay Golden/East Nashville will have Punch Out, on Saturday, April 27 at 7 p.m. The event explores one of the earliest cocktail traditions, punch, and will feature a bartenders’ punchbowl competition.

“With the NFL draft and all the tourism downtown, this festival will be a nice escape,” says Jon Yeager, co-founder with wife Lindsay of the cocktail consultancy PourTaste, which is producing the festival. “This is really a festival for people who live here, a celebration of the people who make the city what it is day-to-day. And we won’t be cutting down any plants,” he adds.

Yeager is particularly thrilled about this year’s guests, who will appear at the main events. They include award-winning authors, small-batch mixers, and trend-setting bartenders.

“I’m really excited about our guests, like writer David Wondrich, who is something of a cocktail kingpin. He’s widely regarded as the leading historian when it comes to spirits, and he has very much shaped the way

David Wondrich

Americans do cocktails these days,” Yeager says. “We also have some people, like Shaun Caleb [MasterDistiller], coming from El Dorado [rum], which is on the Demerara in Guyana. They’re making the trip for this festival, so that’s a real honor,” he observes.

Festival-goers will have the chance to hob nob with the cocktail cognoscenti while sampling boutique spirits and varieties of cocktails ranging from the historic and traditional to the trendy. Tickets are available online, and would-be cocktail celebrants are encouraged to get theirs early and save 15percent off the ticket prices at the doors. And of course, ride-sharing to and from events is heartily encouraged. For more information see the website at Nashville Cocktail Festival.

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Vui’s, Tacos Aurora, Grilled Cheeserie, and Others Coming to Hunters Station

The East Nashville restaurant scene is going to see a bit of an expansion in Five Points this summer. Vui’s Kitchen, Tacos Aurora, The Grilled Cheeserie, and Hugh Baby’s will join Citizen Kitchens, a food entrepreneur incubator, on the food campus of Hunters Station at Main and South 10th Streets. Restaurant developer Fresh Hospitality says the project at the former location of Hunters Custom Automotive will also have a marketplace featuring local goods.

Most of the new tenants at Hunters Station already have other locations in town that will continue to operate, and two, Tacos Aurora and The Grilled Cheeserie, have food truck histories. Vui’s, which has restaurants in the Berry Hill and Germantown neighborhoods, will bring its Vietnamese flavors to Five Points. Hugh Baby’s, with current locations on Thompson Lane, West End Avenue and Charlotte Avenue, will offer burger shop and BBQ fare on the East Side. The Grilled Cheeserie, of food truck fame and with another spot on Belcourt Avenue, brings its melty sandwich favorites to the new location.  California-style street food will be served up by the taqueros of Tacos Aurora, currently a food truck operation that will take up residence in their first Nashville brick-and-mortar location.

Citizen Kitchens, which currently operates in West Nashville, will expand operations to an 8,000-square-foot space at Hunters Station. The new kitchen will accommodate up to 150 members, and serve as a home base for a wide variety of food entrepreneurs with many different specialties. Members will have the opportunity to sell what they make in the Hunters Station marketplace. For more on Hunters Station see The Tennessean.

Donut Distillery Opens Storefront in East Nashville

Donut Distillery, which has kept an address running about town in a food truck for the past two years, has a more permanent parking space at 311 Gallatin Ave. in the former Mrs. Winner’s restaurant. The new location, which opened this spring, brings custom mini donuts in easy reach of East Nashvillians. Yes, that’s right. Custom. Mini. Donuts. Cute, delicious, and in their bite-sized frosted tininess, hard to resist.

The Distillery offers donuts with signature toppings like the Whiskey Glaze, Cinnamon Sugar, Sweet Swine (Porter Road Butchers bacon bits and maple syrup), and Dreamsicle (vanilla frosting dipped in Tang). There are plenty of other topping options (graham crackers, mint chips, coconut, for example), so customers can create their own donut delight. Each mini donut is made to order; starting with a vanilla cake donut as the base, customers choose a frosting, a topping, and a drizzle. Donuts are served hot and freshly made.

“It’s definitely not your typical donut experience,” says owner Shauna McCoy. “We encourage our customers to be very creative, and they often come up with combinations we’d never considered, and they turn out to be delicious.”

The new store-front location will also allow Donut Distillery to add some beverages to their menu, including Crema coffee, local beers, and wine. With the permit process nearly complete, McCoy is hoping to be able to keep rotating taps of beers from Tailgate, East Nashville Beer Works, Yazoo, Bearded Iris and others, and she is planning for wine and beer donut pairings. “Prosecco is good with the Dreamsicle and Strawberry Lemonade donuts. Red wine, of course, is good with the chocolate ones. My husband says the Fruity Pebble (vanilla frosting dipped in Fruity Pebbles cereal) goes with an IPA,” McCoy says.

Check out the menu and hours at Donut Distillery.

Inglewood Bowling Alley Demolished

Inglewood Bowl, which opened in 1959 and closed sometime in the 1980s, was demolished this past week. Most recently owned by Big Tent LLC, the historic 3501 Baxter St. building had been empty and crumbling for decades. The bowling alley was originally built and owned by the Crescent Amusement Company, which also built the Inglewood Theater next door, facing Gallatin Pike on the same spot where a former, empty drug retailer stands now. Crescent also built the now closed Madison Bowl, and Donelson Bowl, which is still in operation, as well as Woodland Studios. Ownership of Inglewood Bowl changed hands a number of times over the years, with Big Tent acquiring the property in 2017. Future plans for the property are not yet known.

Bill Martin’s Property Sold to Developers

The former location of the grocery Bill Martin Foods on the corner of Fatherland and South 11th Street has been purchased by Glengarry Partners, LLC for $3.54 reports The Nashville Post. Bill Martin, who founded the business in the 1970s, died in 2017, and many in East Nashville were saddened by the grocery’s closure in March of this year.  Some in the community have voiced concerns about the fate of the property. For many, Bill Martin’s was the only grocery store within walking distance, and it was accessible for residents of nearby Cayce Place and Edgehill Manor. There is no word yet on plans for the property. See our earlier East Side Buzz item on the store’s closing, with commentary by Metro Councilman Brett Withers here at East Side Buzz.

Quick Bits

–The East Nashville Eggstravaganza is happening this Saturday, April 20 at East Park from 11 am. to 1 p.m. There will be an Easter egg hunt (bring baskets), a picnic in the park, and photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny. The event is sponsored by the 510 Foundation in partnership Warner Elementary School.

–Shelby Bottoms Nature Center is hosting an Earth Day Weekend Full Moon Hike and Campfire this Saturday, April 20 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.. On Earth Day, April 22, guides from the Center will lead an Earth Day Paddle for kayaks and canoes from 1 p.m.– 4 p.m. For more information see Full Moon Hike announcement, or the Earth Day Paddle Registration Page

–KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School has been selected to participate in Amazon’s Future Engineer project. As one of 100 schools across 21 states, Nashville Collegiate will receive a grant to launch a robotics team with the nonprofit organization FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). The program also funds teacher professional development to learn about robotics, and includes an additional $10,000 from Amazon to expand course offerings in computer science education. Students will also tour the local BNA3 Amazon fulfillment center in Murfreesboro to observe robotics in action. Launched in November 2018, Amazon Future Engineer is a childhood-to-career program designed to encourage and prepare more children and young adults from underrepresented and underserved communities to pursue careers in computer science. For more information about the program visit: Amazon Future Engineer.

–The Nashville Entrepreneur Center is seeking nominations for NEXT Awards + Entrepreneurs’ Hall of Fame. According to Center’s website, “The NEXT Awards recognize the entrepreneurs, startups, and entrepreneurial-minded businesses who make a significant impact on the economy in Middle Tennessee. All stages of companies, from emerging startups to well-established market movers, are celebrated during this event as contributors to making Nashville one of the best cities in the U.S. to start a business.” A Hall of Fame award “celebrates visionary business leaders who have laid a foundation of support and helped foster entrepreneurship in Nashville. These innovative entrepreneurs have made an indelible mark on Music City and represent both the great past and bright future of Nashville.” For more information or to submit a nomination, see Nashville Entrepreneur Center NEXT Awards. Nominations are due by April 24th.

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