Matters of Development

THE FIERY DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THE loss of historic/older structures in East Nashville rolled on this spring/early summer. In May, mysterious placards started popping up in the rubble of torn-down homes, stating, “Historic Site — Original Neighborhood Home Lost in 2015.” They certainly got neighbors talking (on our Facebook page, among other digital and nondigital spaces). So it makes sense that some of the most loudly celebrated recent development news concerned a historic space being saved.
     Back in April, news broke that the long-empty and long-talked-about historic Gallatin Road Fire Hall Engine No. 18 — next to and owned by Walmart — was finally getting a new owner. The ownership swap was a long and complicated slog: The North Edgefield Organized Neighbors organization was slated to turn the fire hall into an arts center, but a significantly damaging fire to the building led to court rulings that put the hall back in Walmart’s wallet, and on and on. For years, the specter of demolition seemed to hang over the place.
     In June, however, we learned that commercial and residential interior design company Karen Goodlow Designs would be taking over the Art Deco-style 1938 structure, with plans to renovate, restore, and reimagine it.
     “The main engine bay will be a retail showroom with architectural salvage, fine art, and home decor items,” Goodlow wrote to Facebook followers. “There will be several small offices and art studios for rent. [The front room on the right] may possibly be shared office space in the day and art class space at night. There is also a basement space that is perfect for a ceramics studio or a craftsperson.”
     Interior designer Goodlow and her team — which also includes architect Karina Young and Lisa De Araujo Jorge of A&M Builders — were uncovering long-covered windows and doors and prepping for the big job as The East Nashvillian was going to press.
     “We can’t wait to get started,” Goodlow wrote. “The future of this building will be glorious!”
     In more historic-building-with-new-ownership news, 8 Lavender Lane Catering & Events, in charge of managing Riverwood Mansion at 1833 Welcome Lane in Inglewood since last July, has officially taken over the historic manse and event space.
      “I have a long history with Riverwood Mansion,” said 8LL executive chef Debbie Sutton, who now helms the Mansion alongside partners Steve Shelton and Matt Wilson. “Purchasing the home is the realization of a dream I have held since I first walked in the door and fell in love with the place 15 years ago.”
     The new owners plan to continue the come-on-in vibes that were introduced with 8 Lavender Lane’s management.
     “You can feel the uniqueness and energy of the home when you drive [through] the front gate,” Wilson said. “We strive to offer that experience to many more Nashvillians while producing events that offer this highest realm of creativity, design, and attention to detail.”
     And a not-so-historic space with a new captain: The folks from local coffee success story Frothy Monkey recently acquired East Nashville’s Bella Bakery at 1010 Fatherland St., renaming it BAKERY by Frothy Monkey.
     Owner Ryan Pruitt said that the Bella buy was meant to help Frothy Monkey expand its baking capabilities and serve all locations (including 12South and Franklin) better, as they’d outgrown their downtown Nashville location as a baking HQ. What with Pruitt being a longtime resident of the East Side, the addition here isn’t super surprising — and apparently was a long time coming.
     “We love East Nashville … but Frothy has not had the opportunity to be a part of the neighborhood until now,” a statement from the company said, announcing the acquisition. “Although the bakery is not a traditional Frothy Monkey location, we look forward to bringing our baked goods and coffee to the East Side.”
     Another well-received upcoming neighborhood business addition: Defunct Books owner Greg Delzer is getting ready to open a Nashville version of his shop at 118 South 11th St. in East Nashville, with hopes of having the doors swing open in August, to time with the Tomato Art Festival. His Defunct Books story traces back to Spokane, Wash., in the early aughts (the store was then called Inland Bookstore), with moves to Iowa City and now Music City.
     Delzer told us he’d always wanted to live in Nashville, “and now seems like the perfect time.”
     Another expected new face: Eater Nashville reported in May that the owners of 312 Pizza Company in Germantown had eyes on expanding to East Nashville, opening a breakfast-focused restaurant called Maple and Eggs at 941 West Eastland, next to Holland House.
     Co-owner Staci Bockman told Eater that hopes were for a fall opening, with a menu of “traditional breakfast” and lunch, plus a bar program that includes a mix of breakfast-y cocktails, open seven days a week.
     Pop-up foodery POP’s steady provider Otaku RAMEN picked up a permanent place at 1104 Division St. in the Gulch, so East Nashvillians got a new face in that space: Little Octopus, the new concept from POP’s Sarah and Brad Gavigan, launched on Gallatin Avenue June 9. (Hence the giant octopus mural you can’t miss if you drive by.)
     POP’s Daniel Herget leads the Little Octopus kitchen, preparing a menu that celebrates “vibrant, clean, and fresh food that people can feel good about eating every day, incorporating seasonal and organic ingredients whenever possible.”
     Menu items so far have included light dishes like green papaya salad and globally inspired fare like roasted plantains with Cotija cheese.
     Little Octopus is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., at 604 Gallatin Ave., #202.
     East Side fashion fanatics got another new place to shop in early June, as new boutique Upper Eastside Nashville opened at 937 Woodland, stocking women’s and men’s clothes (both vintage and new) and accessories, along with housewares and more.
     The new shop is also home to owner Deborah Huitt’s line of custom bags, DhHeritage — she’s creating and selling pieces there, including leather totes and clutches.
     Upper Eastside Nashville is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
     Business news of a more bittersweet nature: We’ve mentioned this in the past, but now it’s official — craft beer purveyor Fat Bottom Brewing is headed out of East Nashville and is due to set up shop in The Nations. Founder Ben Bredesen announced in early June that the company was taking over a space at 800 44th Ave. North in that bustling neighborhood, and that a need for elbow room was the impetus behind the move.
     “Since the brewery opened … we have grown steadily at a pace beyond my expectations, and we are now at maximum capacity in our current location,” Bredesen said. “This move will allow the business to continue growing.”
     At 16,000 square feet, the new Fat Bottom home allows space for a mix of on-the-horizon changes, including an expanded kitchen and a menu to go with it, full bar and dedicated event space, plus the addition of a sour and barrel-aged beer program. (The latter requires separate brew housing, since there’s a high risk of cross-contamination.)
     Bredesen and Co. are hoping to have The Nations location open and serving in January 2016. The East Nashville location on Main Street opened in 2012, helping to kick off considerable growth at the former Fluffo Mattress hub, which now includes Edley’s Bar-B-Que, Hot Yoga of East Nashville, and many other businesses.
     Also exiting the East Side: Local film lab Film Box moved out of 118 South 11th St. and headed to 90 Oceanside Dr., in the Wedgewood-Houston area. (We profiled The Film Box in our May-June 2013 issue.)
     Shoppes on Fatherland furniture/home goods shop Nest 615 is growing and, thus, moving, but staying in the neighborhood. Owner Ginger Lee dropped news in late May that she’d be taking the shop from 1006 Fatherland over to 1110 Gallatin Ave., just ’round the way.
     At press time, she was still working on rehabbing the new space (and crowdfunding to cover the apparently extensive needs there); we’ll update here and via social media (Facebook.com/TheEastNashvillian and @ eastnashvillian on the tweets) when we hear a grand reopening date.
     Also on the move: Gizmos Vapor Shoppe, which opened last summer at 1009 Gallatin Ave. near The Dog Spot, is planning to shuffle over to 922 Main St. in July. Plans were to keep the Gallatin Avenue location open until the new one takes over.
     By the time this issue hits the stands, the new West side outpost from pet haven Wags and Whiskers should have its doors open — they were putting finishing touches on at 3731 Charlotte Ave. as we were going to press.
     This makes three locations now for Wags, including its 12South retail shop at 2222 12th Ave. S., and the flagship East Nashville store at 1008 Forrest Ave., serving East Nashvillians and their furry friends since May 2004.
      Another beloved East Nashville business branching out: It’s been talked about for a good while, but we now have (literal and figurative) concreteness — Barista Parlor will be opening its latest location in Germantown at 1230 4th Ave. N., near well-loved eatery City House. They’re shooting for a fall opening.
     We were expecting to report in this issue that the new neighboring locations for Pepperfire Hot Chicken and Nomzilla! Sushi Et Cetera, at 1000 Gallatin Ave., were open — there were June 15 grand opening plans announced in late May. But, as is often the case with the complex process of getting a business’ doors open, that opening was pushed back.
     The space for Nomzilla! was coming together at press time, and Pepperfire had a slick-lookin’ new sign up already, but a new grand opening date hadn’t been announced yet. As always, stay tuned to Facebook.com/TheEastNashvillian for the latest.
     Neighborhood eatery Italia Pizza & Pasta celebrated its 10th year at 1600 Woodland in May, and the anniversary came with news of a building and menu remodel in the works.
     Owner Salem Elkhatib told us that to celebrate, he was adding meatless meat and gluten-free pasta to the menu, along with dressing up Italia’s interior and extending the space, adding a patio and outdoor seating.
     Elkhatib also took pride in the fact that he’d be upgrading Italia himself. “Just like my own sauce and dough recipes, it’s all my creation,” he said.
     Hound Dog Commons, the community space built inside a restored 1940s car garage in Highland Heights, opened its doors to members in June. The dog-friendly space includes a workshop, green space, and more. The Commons is located at 1301 Meridian, and more info — including membership options — can be found at HoundDogCommons.com.
     Entertainment complex/driving range Topgolf is expected to break ground on a 65,000-square-foot, three-level Nashville space this summer on Cowan Street, just on our side of the river. Approval to build came through in May.
     Also in May, word bubbled up that the properties at 969, 975, and 974 Main St., long home to Hunters Custom Automotive, had gone up for sale for a total of $6.5 million. At press time, the listing with Urban Grout Commercial Real Estate was still up as active.
     Also up for grabs recently: The Solo East condominium development at Litton Avenue and Gallatin Pike put units up for presale in late June, hosting an event at LP Field to introduce its “high-end living, gated community” and its 130 one- and two-bedroom units.
     At the June 24 sales event, one-bedroom units were starting at $149,900, two bedrooms at $189,900. For more on the development, visit soloeastnashville.com.