East Side Buzz: Vandyke Bed & Beverage, Bill Martin’s closing leaves grocery gap for community, Metro Diner to open in Madison, Mayor Briley announces “Under One Roof 2029” initiative, and more

Eat, Drink, and Sleep at the Vandyke Bed & Beverage

Vandyke Bed & Beverage, a new luxury boutique hotel and bar from the Nashville-based team behind the popular restaurant and bar Geist, opens April 1 in the heart of Five Points neighborhood.

The property features eight stylish suites, a ground floor bar, and outdoor patio, as well as a private rooftop terrace, accessible to guests only.

Photo: Jessica Amerson
Artist: Emily Miller

“The owners Doug Martin and Justin Prince developed the concept and made it its own trademarked bed and beverage,” says Vandyke Property Manager Tinsley Dempsey. “They saw a need to break the mold of the standard bed and breakfast where you have an odd breakfast with strangers, and it’s not really well-conceived. Doug comes from such a great cocktail, hospitality and food background with Geist that they saw the opportunity for cocktails to elevate the experience of food and your stay, so they wanted to create a bespoke experience to offer that.”

“That’s how we came up with the inspiration of using spirits for each room,” says Dempsey. Each of the eight rooms and suites at Vandyke Bed & Beverage are styled to reflect eight individual spirit themes: rum, tequila, gin, vodka, wine, beer, champagne, and whiskey. The design, led by local interior designer Brooke Prince, ranges from a romantic suite with touches of gold and rose (Champagne) to a vibrant tropical oasis (Rum) to dessert vibes (Tequila) to the loft-like, “top shelf” suite (Whiskey).

Dempsey, also an essential part of the design process, curated the impressive art collection found throughout the property. The art program highlights one-of-a-kind purchases and commissioned pieces from photographers, fine artists, illustrators and installations artists, nearly all of whom are residents of East Nashville. “When I first moved to Nashville I started meeting street artists and contemporary artists,” says Dempsey who’s an artist herself. “I like taking artists who haven’t necessarily painted a mural but could do that with their work. I think a lot of work could be awesome murals even though they’re not used to painting outside of a canvas.”

Photo: Jessica Amerson
Artist: Daniel Holland

“The Red Arrow Gallery on Gallatin Avenue is one of my favorites. Katie [Shaw] is amazing, and so she was the first person I reached out to in terms of trying to find pieces for all the rooms,” says Dempsey.

An anchoring piece in the collection is the large bar installation by Dustin Hedrick that tells the story of the musical heritage of Music City through the faces of some of Nashville’s most celebrated performers, including Todd Snider, Dave Rawlings, Loretta Lynn, the Fisk Jubilee singers, Gillian Welch, and Jack White. “We really wanted to concentrate specifically on East Nashville residents,” explains Dempsey.

Photo: Jessica Amerson
Artist: Jodi Hays

Other artists featured throughout the Vandyke are Emily Miller (Tequila room and courtyard mural), Georganna Greene (Rum room), Jodi Hays (Whiskey room), Daniel Holland (Wine room), and Joshua Black Wilkins (Champagne suite).

“The themes were very tailored and specific per room,” says Dempsey. “This is just the beginning of creating a program here that will grow, and we’ll add pieces, do installations and things like that. We’ve got the rooftop patio space where we can do pop-up programs as well.”

“If a guest comes in here and they fall in love with a piece of art that’s part of our program, and they want to buy it, we’re totally open to them buying it and taking it home with them if they want. We’ll just buy a new piece and constantly rotate them,” says Dempsey.

The Vandyke Bed & Beverage bar will be open to locals and visitors Wednesday through Sunday from 3 p.m. to midnight. Nashville bar expert Freddy Schwenk

Photo: Jessica Amerson
Artist: Joshua Black Wilkins

designed the seasonal menu of inspired craft cocktails, which are complemented by eight rotating beers on draft and wine-by-the-glass options. A limited food menu will be available during bar hours, and brunch will soon be served Friday through Sunday in the bar and on the outdoor patio.

An offshoot of the bar, the courtyard will be available for drinking and dining. Both the bar and patio will be open to outside customers who are not guests of the Bed & Beverage.

“We wanted to create these spaces where you can immerse the folks from out of town with the locals in the neighborhood. Justin thought it was super important for us to be a neighborhood spot; he didn’t want to come into this historic neighborhood and just do something new for tourists, he wanted it to be a place for people that live here to come as well,” explains Dempsey. “We’re all about community and neighborhood here.”

The official bar opening is yet-to-be-announced, but the hotel is currently taking reservations. For room reservations and additional info visit the Vandyke Bed & Beverage website.

Bill Martin’s Closing Leaves Grocery Gap for Community

Bill Martin Foods, the corner store that has provided East Nashvillians with a family-like neighborhood atmosphere and quality groceries at a reasonable price, has officially closed after serving the community for nearly six decades.

The original owner Bill Martin passed away a few years ago, and last fall the store was listed for sale at $3.5 million. The realtor enlisted to handle the marketing and sale of the property was David Estes, an affiliate broker with Parks Realty. According to the Parks Realty website the sale of the property located at 1105 Fatherland St. is currently listed as “pending.” Estes wasn’t available to confirm the status of the sale.

Based on Metro property records it currently doesn’t indicate that any official sale has occurred.

The zoning description for the property is CN (commercial neighborhood) which Nashville.gov defines as, “intended for very low-intensity retail, office, and consumer service uses which provide for the recurring shopping needs of nearby residential areas.” In other words, the plot is zoned for retail or mixed-use possibilities and limits that parcel to a building similar to what is there now.

Councilman Brett Withers, whose district includes the market at Fatherland and 11th streets, is concerned about how the closing of Bill Martin’s will affect the residents in lower income properties such as Cayce Place, where many residents are without vehicles. The store was about five blocks away from Cayce Place, a short walk for affordable groceries.

“The closing of Bill Martin’s grocery store at 11th and Fatherland Street as well as the Family Dollar at Sixth Street and Shelby Avenue will make food access challenges for residents of the larger Cayce-area even more severe than they already were recently,” says Withers.

“Residents who lack access to a private vehicle living in the MDHA James Cayce Homes and Edgefield Manor senior apartments, CWA Apartments and Samaritan Recovery along Fourth Street and Shelby Avenue, Lenore Gardens and Roberts Park Apartments along Lenore Street and Glenview Drive, and other privately-owned apartments in that vicinity will now have no grocery store within walking distance,” Withers continues. “It is becoming the reality for some of these residents, particularly south of Shelby, that literally, the only businesses within walking distance where food can be purchased are gas stations.”

Withers did confirm that Metro Social Services, Martha O’Bryan Center, and other organizations do provide some access to groceries for residents, mainly through meals-on-wheels programs, and some Cayce youth and families receive food packages through their schools. “But otherwise, East Nashville presently has no WeGo bus service south of Shelby, and even the Shelby bus does not stop at a grocery store,” says Withers.

The Envision Cayce Master Plan does call for bringing grocery stores into the Cayce campus both in the form of a commissary as part of the amenity campus proposed for the area next to Kirkpatrick Community Center as well as a full-service grocery store on South Fifth Street.  “Still, the Kirkpatrick Park-area commissary proposal is still in early conceptual stages and so even if the building were funded and designed, opening day would be a couple of years away,” explains Withers.  “The grocery store proposal for South Fifth Street could not begin to be constructed until the residents of the CWA housing on that block have moved into other apartments in the Envision Cayce mixed-income housing units in order to enable those buildings to be removed and replaced.  A timeline for beginning that phase of tenant relocation and constructions within the northern portion of the campus has not yet been determined.”

Withers stated that along with MDHA and the Mayor’s Office, he’s aware of these residents’ concern about lack of walkable access to locations where they can purchase nutritious food and household and personal care products. “I hope that our community can brainstorm ways to help these residents facing barriers to access transportation to go shopping for necessities.  Anyone with ideas or offers of help are welcome to contact me at brett.withers@nashville.gov or the Mayor’s Office.”

Metro Diner to Open in Madison

Florida-based Metro Diner is planning to open a location in the Rivergate area north of Madison on Tuesday, April 16. The 4,300 square-foot eatery will be located at 2315 Gallatin Pike North in a building last home to a First Tennessee Bank branch.

According to Metro records TTS & H, LLC based in Norman, Oklahoma acquired the Madison property in August for $885,000.

“Located in the heart of a residential community, Madison is the perfect area to open our next Metro Diner where we can offer guests a true diner experience without them having to travel all the way to Nashville,” says Alex Sullivan, Metro Diner director of real estate.

This will mark the second Metro Diner in the Nashville area after opening a location in Murfreesboro this past December.

With the slogan, “We cook for the love of food,” Metro Diner has been serving guests for 27 years. Initially opening as Metro Diner in Jacksonville in 1992, master chef Mark Davoli and family took over in 2000 and elevated the menu to include innovative new dishes created from local ingredients.

This elevated menu earned the diner a spot on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” where three items were featured — including the meatloaf, which moved Fieri to state, “Diners across the world have to take a lesson on this one.”

Featuring a menu of everyone’s favorite diner classics, an all-day breakfast menu will be available along with lunch and dinner options. The diner will provide new twists on traditional dishes and offer beer, wine, Bloody Mary’s, a coffee bar, and a variety of hand-dipped milkshakes.

Loosen your belt, the restaurant is known for half of a fried chicken served alongside a Belgian waffle, topped with powdered sugar and sweet strawberry butter, and the “Holy Davoli,” a half-pound Angus burger stuffed between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Have no fear if you’re on the healthy side, there are options like avocado toast and spinach salad on the menu as well.

The community is invited to celebrate the arrival of Metro Diner by reserving a spot during the special pre-opening charity events. All donations will benefit the Goodlettsville Soccer Club MTFC on Saturday, April 13 and The Humane Society of Sumner County on Sunday, April 14. Guests who provide a donation will receive a sneak peek of the new eatery and enjoy Metro Diner favorites. Reservations can be made for the fundraisers from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m. by calling the diner reservation line at 615-239-5581.

The diner will feature indoor seating for 130 guests and will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

“We look forward to being the go-to diner destination in the Madison-area where guests will enjoy our made-from-scratch menu items served in a family-friendly atmosphere,” says Sullivan.

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Mayor Briley Announces “Under One Roof 2029” Initiative

Mayor David Briley announced details on Tuesday about his proposed affordable housing initiative, which flooded the news last week. According to an official press release this initiative is, “designed to significantly accelerate the city’s efforts to address housing needs.” Deemed the “Under One Roof 2029” initiative, the intent is to invest $750 million over the next 10 years in affordable housing in Nashville, with $500 million of that coming from the city. The initiative is expected to create at least 10,000 new units.

Here’s a breakdown of the “Under One Roof 2029” initiative’s key elements:

–    A total of $350 million of city funds will go to the Metro Development and Housing Agency to accelerate the Envision process and, in turn, help pay for more than 5,000 new units on MDHA properties. This includes adding approximately 1,000 deeply affordable units (the lowest end of the income spectrum). MDHA intends on preserving and revitalizing its existing 2,800 deeply affordable units, complementing the 5,000 new units.

–    City funds totaling $150 million will be invested in the Barnes Fund, which provides grants to affordable housing developers. This investment is projected to help fund the creation of at least another 5,000 affordable housing units throughout the city. This is a 50 percent increase in the funding over the next 10 years for the Barnes Fund.

–    There is a $250 million challenge from Mayor Briley to the private sector to step forward with matching dollars. According to the press release, to better facilitate private investment in affordable housing, the Mayor’s Office is, “exploring a number of avenues, including the creation of an affordable housing Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).” If this challenge from Mayor Briley to the private sector proves successful, this will bring the total affordable housing initiative to $750 million.

–    The effort will also include a previously announced commitment of $25 million to build 100 units of permanent supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness. These units are to be built with an attached homeless service center that is intended to serve the entire unhoused population of Nashville with bathrooms, showers, and direct links to housing and other support services and agencies.

“Nashville is thriving in many ways, and that is a good thing as growth creates better-paying jobs and generates revenue for schools, roads, parks, and libraries,” states Mayor Briley. “Yet the true measure of a great city is how it treats all of its citizens — making sure growth is balanced by continuing to invest in people. The Under One Roof 2029 initiative will help ensure we all move forward together.”

“When people talk about affordable housing, they can mean different things depending on their circumstances and needs,” Briley continues. “Shelter is the most extreme and urgent need, but living near work and being able to keep a roof over your head while earning even the most modest full-time wage are also critically important. We need solutions for all of the above, and Under One Roof 2029 is a bold step in this direction.”

Councilman Brett Withers, whose District 6 includes the MDHA James Cayce Homes, Edgefield Manor senior apartments, and more, discusses three reasons why he feels Mayor Briley’s “Under One Roof 2029” announcement is so important.

“The first reason is that to date, Metro Government has not invested local infrastructure or housing funding in the Envision Cayce or other Envision projects,” says Withers. “One particular challenge for MDHA has been that the significant utility rebuilds for the Cayce campus have not been funded by Metro. Instead, those public infrastructure costs have added to the bottom line for MDHA’s Envision Cayce housing loans and have made construction of the housing units themselves cost more and take longer to complete.”  Even though the details of how these Metro funds will be used in Envision Cayce and other Envision projects is still to be determined, Withers feels,  “the fact that Metro Government is partnering more closely with MDHA financially to speed up the production of affordable and workforce housing units is promising.”

Withers second reason is that having a local or municipality funding commitment helps to strengthen applications for Federal or State grants for funding programs or opportunities. “The commitment outlined in Mayor Briley’s announcement may help MDHA and Nashville compete against our peer cities for federal and state assistance or loans. I believe that the same is true for the private sector,” says Withers.

The move of Matt Wiltshire from the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Community Development to MDHA marks Withers’ third reason. Mayor Briley confirmed this week that Matt Wiltshire will become MDHA’s Chief Strategy and Intergovernmental Affairs Officer. Wiltshire will work closely with the Mayor’s Office and other community partners to help implement the Under One Roof 2029 initiative.

“The Envision Cayce Master Plan sets out not just to build new housing in Cayce but also to bring resources and opportunities directly to Cayce residents,” Withers explains. “Matt Wiltshire has deep experience at bringing good growth opportunities to Nashville.  He understands the questions that Metro Council Members will ask when scrutinizing agreements. And he knows how to work with District Council Members to find the right fit for the right company and the right location to maximize the impact of a business decision. I am excited to work with Matt Wiltshire in his new role with MDHA as I continue to focus on bringing job and even entrepreneurship opportunities to Cayce residents in particular.”

The Mayor has announced that Jamari Brown will replace Matt Wiltshire as the new director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Community Development. Brown has been serving as director of business development for the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development.

Phil Manz, the chair of the Affordable Housing Task Force at Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH), also shares an enthusiasm for the initiative. “We’re obviously excited, and thankful that the mayor is proposing another $5 million [annually] to the Barnes Fund. I should say he made a commitment at our big meeting last October to have a plan within a year, so we’re glad that it’s out for public discussion and we thank him for following through on that commitment to us,” says Manz.

“The $35 million that will be coming out of capital funds [annually] and going over to MDHA, our understanding is that it will create about 100 net new low-income housing units. What I mean by net-new is a fair amount of this stuff was already in the works, so the city’s additional $35 million will create 100 more low-income housing units than were projected to be built under early plans,” explains Manz.

Manz does stress some concern with the amount of money that has been asked of the private sector, because “historically companies haven’t provided money for housing.” Manz continues, “The challenge is that over 100 people die in our city streets each year from homelessness, so the task at hand is still a big one. We’re hopeful that other people will commit money, and that will be great if that happens, but no one has stepped forward yet.”

There’s also concern stemmed from the fact the appropriations of annual and capital money being proposed would have to be voted in every year for the next 10 years by the mayor and metro council.

“The plans that were already in place by MDHA and have mixed-income housing and the like, we want that project to work. Make no mistake, mixed-income is something that our group would aspire to, and that’s still a big project. It isn’t that the effort underway for mixed-income isn’t a huge effort that’s already ongoing. We’re just discussing what’s new that the mayor proposed as to what was already in the works,” says Manz.

Many details about Mayor Briley’s “Under One Roof 2029” initiative remain to be determined.

Follow the East Side Buzz for updates on this developing story.

Many details about Mayor Briley’s “Under One Roof 2029” initiative remain to be determined.

Fourth Annual American Roots Hoedown at The 5 Spot

Magnolia Roads, an artist and live music advocate — and one-stop shop for booking, management, and promotion, is hosting the Fourth Annual American Roots Hoedown at The 5 Spot April 26 – 27.

According to an official press release the Hoedown is “inspired by the music that grew from the roots of America at honky-tonks and dive bars, juke joints and roadhouses to backyards and campfires. It will feature artists who epitomize American roots music through their blend of bluegrass, blues, country, folk, funk, and rock ‘n’ roll, flavored with the deep grooves of the South and an occasional West Coast psychedelic twirl.”

This showcase of the Magnolia Roads’ roster and friends will feature 12 bands over two nights. The lineup includes Arkansas Dave, Bonnie Blue, Bryan Haraway, Chris Wilson & The Heresy, Don Gallardo & How Far West, Funkyjenn & The Fringe Benefits, Jason Daniels Band, Jeff Mix & The Songhearts, Lady Couch, Mike Younger, Rich Mahan Band, and The Truehearts.

A portion of the proceeds from the American Roots Hoedown will be donated to the Ben Eyestone Fund at Music Health Alliance. The event will include a silent auction to raise funds for this non-profit advocacy group that provides for members of the music community.

Founders Brewing Co. and GHS Strings sponsor the event.

CommUNITY Canvas Project will be hosting a live art project for attendees who will be invited to paint, doodle, or play on a big blank canvas.

Click here for more info on the event.

Click here for more info on the Ben Eyestone Fund and Music Health Alliance.

New Play IPA Available in April

The New Play IPA birthed from a partnership between Nashville Repertory Theatre, and TailGate Brewery will be on tap in all three TailGate locations the first week of April.

Brewed at the Charlotte Pike location, this mango milkshake IPA is described as, “A heavily citra and mosaic hopped hazy IPA with loads of mango puree and lactose. Pillow-soft mouthfeel and tons of fruit from the nose to the finish.”

The new beer will support Nashville Rep’s Ingram New Works Festival taking place this May. The Ingram New Works Program and Festival are now in their 10th year. Read more about Nashville Rep’s Ingram New Works Program in The East Side Buzz.

Quick Bits

― Steve Earle and The Dukes’ new record GUY is officially out today, Friday, March 29. A return to New West Records, the 16-song set is comprised of songs written by one of Earle’s songwriting mentors, the legendary Guy Clark. Check out our current cover story on Earle to learn about his new record and more. You can also read about Earle in a recent article by The New Yorker.

― Non-profit Poverty and the Arts has a new home in East Nashville on Dickerson Pike. The organization “provides a professional art studio, art supplies, workshop training, and a marketplace for individuals impacted by homelessness to sell their creative work,” states founder Nicole Brandt Minyard. Read more at New Channel 5.

― Porch pirates are becoming more prevalent in the East Nashville community. Metro Police are asking victims of porch theft to file actual police reports and advertise surveillance. Read more at WKRN.com.