Since our last issue, many of the “Coming Soon” entries we mentioned are now up-and-running, including Inglewood’s Fox Bar & Cocktail Club (2905 B Gallatin Pike), Sushi Circle (914 Woodland St.), and Spanish/Portuguese restaurant Peninsula (1035 W. Eastland Ave.). And those are but a few of the big fall business happenings in East Nashville.
NEW AND NOTEWORTHY
Probably the biggest opening in the East Nashville area in some time — literally speaking — was the Topgolf entertainment complex at 500 Cowan St. in late September.
The company’s new spot on our side of the river is absolutely massive, with 100 climate-controlled hitting bays, a restaurant, private event spaces, a rooftop terrace, and lots more filling out 65,000 square feet of sporty fun.
The company’s 34th overall Topgolf location, the Cowan complex has a particularly Nashville-centric twist: a dedicated concert venue with a capacity of 500, about 100 more than the Basement East down the way.
The Topgolf approach to golf entertainment is a high-tech one, with microchipped golf balls that can self-score and measure distance. So if you’re a child of the future with an affinity for a 500 (or so)-year-old sport, this might be your thing. Even if you’re not much for golf, with all the entertainment options (including a Best Buy’s worth of TVs to watch games and such), it still might appeal.
The complex is open 9 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Find out more at topgolf.com/us/nashville.
On the smaller side of the spectrum, East Nashville also welcomed a slew of homegrown independent businesses in recent months, ranging from clothes to cocktails.
On the wearable side, “luxe activewear” shop Longevity opened its doors at 1006 Fatherland St., Suite 204 (in the Shoppes on Fatherland) in early October, stocking an assortment of sporty attire for women.
The common thread in the threads carried there, founder Christine Anguiano told us, is a focus on durability — hence the shop’s name. So you’ll see well-known names like Swiftwick and Alo Yoga on the racks.
“We are trying to get away from ‘disposable’ clothing by offering brands that are made to last and are figure-flattering,” Anguiano said.
Longevity is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; learn more at longevity-boutique.com.
As for drinkables, we have Longevity’s Shoppes on Fatherland neighbors With Company Cocktails, aka WithCo, who opened their “storefront bottle shop” at 1006 Fatherland St., Suite 205, at the start of September.
In the shop’s bottles: WithCo’s own freshness- focused cocktail mixers, meant to be mixed with a spirit of your choice for a mixologistic experience in your home bar (or your friends’ home bar, etc.).
The company’s first three concoctions: their take on an old fashioned, dubbed the “Ellis Old Fashioned,” with orange oil, vanilla, cinnamon and more; a floral “Bouquet,” with lavender and rosewater; and “Jackass,” with ginger bite and stout bitters. All of the mixers are made by hand here in Nashville, and were developed by WithCo cofounder Bradley Ryan.
The East Nashville shop is open noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, noon to 4 on Sunday. Learn more about WithCo at withcococktails.com.
Giving the drummers some: Finally, East Nashvillians who hit things with sticks have a haunt of their very own. In early October, custom drum builders/repair company Drum Supply House and Franklin-bred vintage shop Nelson Drum Co. opened their shared space at 730 McFerrin Ave., bringing a shop full of drum/percussion gear new and old to the neighborhood.
On the DSH side, you can find drum parts and supplies and get one-on-one help with your projects, plus lots more. Nelson chief Bryson Nelson is bringing the vintage bounty he introduced in Franklin to the East Side — you can expect anything from ’50s WFL kits to ’60s Ludwig Jazz Combo snares, and a bunch more.
They’re open noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 1-5 p.m. on Saturday. To learn more: drummaker.com and nelsondrumco.com have lots of details.
More into dancing than drumming? Check out the new The Dancer Project Conservatory, which opened in September at 1114 Porter Road (next to Vinyl Tap). Dancer/ teacher/choreographer and artistic director Jen Drake opened the space with a plan to “preserve, produce, and promote performing arts by making dance accessible and affordable to all communities, by way of community outreach performances and competitive tuition prices.”
The specific way she and her team are doing so: youth and adult classes spanning from ballet to contemporary, for beginners and experienced dancers alike. For more on classes/events/offerings, visit thedancerproject.com.
Another addition from the creative side of things: Locally, nationally, and internationally renowned fashion designer Amanda Valentine — long an East Nashvillian — brought her work to the neighborhood, too, opening a new studio at 919 Gallatin Ave., #9.
If you’re not particularly fashion-forward, but Valentine’s name still looks familiar, it might be because of her well-deserved reality- TV notoriety — she was a force on two seasons of fashion competition show Project Runway. (She finished in the top 10 in season 11, and returned in season 13 to place as the runner-up.)
Valentine welcomed neighbors into her new workspace in October with a pop-up shopping event for sustainability-focused clothing brand Fauxgerty. She says events like those will likely happen from time to time on the East Side, just as they did in her longtime Wedgewood-Houston studio.
At press time, Valentine had a lot of other big career happenings going, including a nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year honors from the Nashville Fashion Alliance, who will be hosting their Honors ceremony on Nov. 16. Stop by our social media spots (@eastnashvillian on the tweets and /theeastnashvillian on Facebook) — we’ll make sure to update about the results. For more on our talented and fashionable neighbor and her work, visit amandavalentine.com.
You’ll probably notice a fun change at Bongo Java East this fall, too: Board game cafe Game Point is becoming part of the Bongo experience at 107 S. 11th St., with hundreds of games filling the shelves, and when the Point’s operating in the evenings, onsite coaches who can help you learn new titles and play the night away.
This one’s a joint project from Bongo chief Bob Bernstein and board-game pro Rick Keuler (the latter has a decade of board game-convention wrangling on his resume). The plan, they told us, is to get in a wide variety of games — from classics like Monopoly to newer favorites like Settlers of Catan — and invite neighbors to come in and play, cover- free. The hope is that attendees will play along with a suggested food/drink minimum to keep things going.
At press time, the official Game Point launch was set for October 26.
Also official as of October: New mixed-use community Eastside Heights, which held a hello party mid-month at 120 S. Fifth St., showing off their freshly built surroundings.
On site: more than 200 apartments, lots of amenities (including a fitness space, pool, and multiple courtyards), and almost 7500 square feet of ground floor retail. More at liveeastsideheights.com.
CLOSINGS & MOVES
Gluten-free diners got a big bummer in September, as “restaurant with a purpose” A Matter of Taste, a.k.a. AMOT Eatery, announced its official closure at 1100 Fatherland St., Suite 101.
Initially, owner Kellie Hopkins temporarily closed the restaurant in August, planning to reopen after Labor Day. But, she said, “Unfortunately things did not work out in my favor.” Hopkins told fans of the restaurant that she just couldn’t “keep continuing to do this as a single owner for many reasons.”
A Matter of Taste opened on Fatherland in 2014. No word yet on what might be taking its place.
Up the way toward South Inglewood, LAVA Home Design — led by the twin-sister team behind HGTV series Listed Sisters — closed its doors, too, at 1601 Riverside Drive in late September. The furniture/ home goods shop was in that East Nashville spot for about a year and a half.
This one’s not a total closure though: LAVA leader/interior designer Lex LeBlanc told us that she’ll have a pop-up LAVA for the holiday season inside Native + Nomad at the Cool Springs Galleria.
A few reopenings: Family-owned comfort- food spot Meridian Street Cafe, located at 815 Meridian St. since 2012, closed up there and moved over to 1800 Dickerson Pike, just off East Trinity Lane.
They’re humming away in the new digs now, with breakfast and lunch menu items longtime diners will know, plus fresh additions, including a new dinner and cocktail menu. (If you’re new to Meridian, they’re working with rib-sticking fare from burgers and biscuit sandwiches to ribeye steak and fried chicken.)
Cafe’s open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 to midnight on Friday, 9 to midnight on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. For more, visit 815meridianstreetcafe.com.
Also open in a fresh space: Her Bookshop (previously a Shoppes on Fatherland shop), at 1043 West Eastland Ave.
Owner Joelle Herr soft-opened the new space in October with an author event for Nashville artist/Fat Crow Press owner Julie Sola and her new children’s book, Run Fast, Milo!.
If you haven’t been yet, Herr stocks “a specially curated selection of unique, highly designed books on a wide range of topics,” from art and design to cooking and pop culture. (Lots of local talent featured in that mix.) Check out the new space from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 to 5 on Sunday. More at herbookshop.com.
Another East Nashville book-slinger with a new address: Atomic Nashville picked up from its 1603 Riverside Drive location (where it’d been since late 2015), and, at press time, was gearing up for an imminent reopening at 118 S. 11th St. EAST SIDE BUZZ
Atomic captain Dan Balog stocks books, art, and music with a local thrust, and fans who are itching to get in the new doors should keep an eye on the Atomic Nashville Facebook page (facebook.com/atomicnashville) for progress reports/news. More at atomicnash.com, too.
One more local biz newly open in a new location: Film photography champions Nashville Community Darkroom — who’ve been hosting classes, exhibits and more in East Nashville since 2014 — are now reopened at 625 Hart Lane.
Photographer/board member Erin Kice gushed about the new Darkroom home, telling us it has “a more industrial feel, upgraded equipment and sinks, and more flexibility for events.”
They called 1143 Gallatin Ave. home prior, but had to relocate due to redevelopment moves. For more on the new space/new classes and events, visit nashvillecommunitydarkroom.org.
The reason for Meridian Street Cafe’s move: The building at 815 Meridian St. is set to be the new home for Red Headed Stranger, a creative taco-centric concept from Butcher & Bee owner Michael Shemtov and executive chef Bryan Lee Weaver.
No set opening timeframe from those gentlemen yet, but they do have a lot of culinary details cooking, led by Southwesterner- turned-Nashvillian Weaver’s “passion for flavorful tacos and the Texan cuisine of his childhood.”
When RHS opens, we can expect breakfast/ lunch service with fresh-made tortillas and lots of chiles and something many an East Nashvillian will be happy to see: breakfast tacos.
In the evenings, Shemtov and Weaver are hoping to kind of pick up where now-shuttered East Side restaurant incubator POP left off, and do pop-ups and test kitchens in the Red Headed Stranger space. If you’d like to keep up with their progress, follow Red Headed Stranger on Facebook (facebook.com/redheadedstrngr).
Some other well-established Nashville dining names have another project in the works here on the East Side, too. Barista Parlor captain Andy Mumma, Husk Nashville cocktail chief Mike Wolf, and Isle of Printing’s Bryce McCloud recently announced plans for CHOPPER, a tiki-style bar in the former Bar Luca/Moto Moda spaces at Stratton and Gallatin Avenues (right near the first Barista Parlor).
The intent: bringing out “tastes of the South Seas,” with “flavors and frozen delights of recent island discoveries.”
At press time, demo work was well under way at 521 Gallatin Ave., #3, and last update we heard, the trio was hoping to rev things up this winter. Meantime, best way to keep track of CHOPPER’s progress is on Instagram, at @choppertiki.
From hot tiki climes to cold treats: KOKOS Artisan Ice Cream is the latest Nashville dessert purveyor to get an East Side shop going. At press time, their team was hard at work on getting a KOKOS To-Go Shop ready at 729 Porter Road, in the Shops at Porter East hub.
KOKOS frozen treats will be of particular interest to local vegans and folks with nut allergies, since it’s all plant-based, nut- and peanut-free, made with coconut milk. The team’s been building an ice-cream buzz as a pop-up player all around town for a while now, but this’ll be their first brick-and-mortar location, where prepackaged KOKOS flavors will be available in cups and pints for taking out or eating in.
Those folks have also said that a Nashville scoop shop is in the planning for 2018, too. To learn more/keep up with KOKOS opening plans, head to kokosicecream.com.
Something else to keep an eye on: In September, The Tennessean reported on plans for the former Piggly Wiggly location at 3611 Gallatin Pike — and they’re definitely interesting. Reporter Getahn Ward noted that former Rilo Kiley guitarist Blake Sennett and longtime friend Brian Klugman snagged that Piggly, and have plans to turn it into a potential dining/shopping destination.
“The idea would be to split that building up into multiple spaces,” Inglewood resident Sennett told the daily. “The hope is that we can get some sort of cute, curated businesses in there and bring some more fun stuff up to Inglewood. We want to put the kind of stuff there that we would want to go to.” Ideas thrown about: a restaurant, coffee shop, yoga studio, and more.
We haven’t seen any building permits pop up yet, so it’ll probably be a while. But the new owners’ personal attachment — Sennett told Ward that he “fell in love with the building” — bodes well.
Also in the works, this time reported by the Nashville Post: an East Side home for craft beer company TailGate Brewery.
They’re reportedly working on reimagining the long-vacant body shop at 811 Gallatin Ave. to add another location to their Nashville portfolio. Already up and serving: TailGate spaces in West Nashville and on Demonbreun.
The Post noted that future East Nashville TailGaters should expect access to limited and seasonal releases, plus lots of stuff to soak up the suds, like pizza and sandwiches. Plan as of September was to get that location open by year’s end.
If you’re new to TailGate, get to know their creative concoctions better at tailgatebeer.com.