Globally speaking, it’d be hard to say 2014 was the best year in recent memory. But focused a little tighter, on our corner of Nashville, there were some pretty interesting/exciting happenings (peppered with a fair share of bummers, of course).
Like last year, we decided to turn our attention back toward the year that was and recap some highlights and lowlights. The major discussion, of course, was development and growth (we’ve taken a few close looks), but we’re looking beyond. (As with any roundup, we’ll of course miss some, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on key 2014 neighborhood happenings, preferably without the Internet-standard unnecessary list-outrage.)
So here, some of 2014’s memorable East Nashville happenings, in no particular order:
Fanny’s House of Music celebrates five years
Opening an independent instrument store isn’t an easy road, and the fact that Holly Street’s Fanny’s House of Music is standing quite strong after five years — helping local and visiting musicians treat their gear fever, particularly strongly with the vintage strain — is cause for East Nashville celebration. Our contribution to the celebrating: We dug deep into Fanny’s history with a recent cover story.
A&E’s 'Crazy Hearts' puts East Nashville on TV regularly
East Nashville appeared on the small screen quite a lot in 2014, but perhaps most regularly on A&E reality series Crazy Hearts: Nashville, which chronicled the hustle and heartbreak of some good-lookin’ locals, including The Building leader Anthony Billups. If you watched, you saw many a drink drunk and many an argument argued right there in The Building. Of late, The Building’s back to its regular non-televised self, though we feel pretty safe saying you’re welcome to go there to drink/argue/look pretty/whatnot.
Open-air Fatherland venue reimagined as Pavilion East
Early in 2014, the industrial-cool pavilion next to the Shoppes on Fatherland relaunched as Pavilion East, under the leadership of longtime local event producer Jack Davis. Over the course of the year, Pavilion East really bloomed, hosting well-loved events from the second Yum!East festival to the new East Nashville Chicken Chase and Hot Hen Hoedown and the first-ever Bark for Life of East Nashville. Over in this corner, we’re definitely looking forward to what 2015 brings, since it’s a fine space to enjoy music and food and weirdness, and a drink or two.
Five Points Pizza goes late night
The pizza game in Nashville has improved greatly over the past decade. Perhaps the most exciting improvement, for those of us who get out and about in the evenings: Five Points Pizza’s expansion and late-night slice window. Being able to soak up the evening’s activities with a quick few slices until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays? A fine addition to many East Nashvillians’ lives in 2014.
'East Side of the River' documentary hits our eyes/ears
It took a bit longer than director Ron Coons expected, but his East Nashville music-focused documentary, East Side of the River, finally got to us in 2014 through several neighborhood screenings. It’s available via DVD now, too, and features dozens upon dozens of the folks you’ll see at the Wash et al. in any given week.
Wild Feathers fly high
At the tail end of 2013, we put local band The Wild Feathers on the cover of our music issue, in part because we saw big things on the horizon. In 2014, lots of big things came, from performances on VH1 and Late Night With Seth Meyers to appearances on ABC’s Nashville and at major fests including Bonnaroo.
The loss of Ernie Chaires
There are a handful of businesspeople you can point toward who significantly aided the renaissance of East Nashville, and Rosepepper Cantina founder Ernie Chaires certainly counts among them. Chaires passed away in March, and it was a profound loss to both the Rosepepper family and the community. We feel lucky that we got the chance to tell his story — a fascinating and inspiring story — shortly prior.
East Nashville Farmers Market moves and grows
Lovers of farm-fresh foods and locally made goods are also lovers of the East Nashville Farmers Market, and in 2014, we got more to love, as the Market moved to a larger space in Shelby Park. The year’s season included lots of events and celebrations, free yoga and storytelling and farm animal petting, plus lots and lots of fresh food hauls.
Historic home gets offered up for free
As the Walden development on Eastland grew, plans were made for the land upon which the late-1800s Queen Anne-style home at 1818 Eastland sat to host something newer and larger. In an effort to save the home, it was put up for free grabs, for anyone who could move it. Ultimately, moving the building didn’t work out, and it went under the wrecking ball (though many architectural elements were saved for the Tennessee Historical Society).
Rebuilding Together does good in Cleveland Park
In the spring, the local chapter of national nonprofit Rebuilding Together teamed with volunteers to repair/rebuild 15 homes on Meridian and Stockell Street, gratis. For those needy homeowners, it meant a total life-changer. And for the community, it meant more positive change. We took a close look at the effort in our May/June issue.
Todd Snider unveils new book, new band
Self-described “lazy-ass hippie” Snider sure was busy in 2014, issuing his first book, I Never Met A Story I Didn’t Like: Mostly True Tall Tales, and unveiling a new band, Hard Working Americans. Both have been received exceptionally well; neither makes a lazy 2015 seem likely.
Major renovation at Stratford STEM begins
A new era for Stratford STEM Magnet High School is beginning, with a $20 million facelift that will continue its transformation from a bad-rep institution to a high-tech molder of minds. We took a close look at the past and the present (and pondered the future) in our May/June issue.
Tom Hanks caught at Barista Parlor
We weren’t all aflutter because it was somebody famous. We were aflutter cuz it was Tom G-D Hanks.
Riverwood Mansion opens up to the community
Historical beauty is a big part of East Nashville’s culture, but one of our most imposing and elegant pieces of historic beauty — Inglewood’s 200-year-old Riverwood Mansion — has been largely closed to anyone not hosting/attending a wedding or other fancy fête there. No longer: In 2014, the mansion opened its doors to community visits, with events like Local Fest and regular jazz shows and the like. If you haven’t been by yet, you’ll have plenty of opportunities in 2015, too.
Dr. Jesse Register's efforts to reorganize schools gets heated
In 2014, MNPS director of schools Dr. Jesse Register unveiled plans to reorganize public schools in our area (specifically, the Maplewood and Stratford clusters). Passionate, passionate responses followed, including the development of community group East Nashville United. We took a closer look in our most recent issue.
Music City Roots launches free shuttle to/from East Nashville
It’s not that Franklin’s terribly far, but some of us might’ve missed some great Music City Roots shows out of a distaste for making the trek home afterward, particularly post-a few adult beverages. So the launch of MCR’s new, free shuttle — which picks you up from in front of The 5 Spot, deposits you back after the show and lets you enjoy an included beer on the way — was a big plus. (Saving $5 on tickets with the promo code “East Nashville,” another plus.)
Turnip Truck announces major expansion
East Nashvillians have been crying out for expanded grocery options for what feels like forever (Publix is usually big in the convo there), so Turnip Truck’s plans for a new 12,000-plus-square-foot location were received with much enthusiasm. It’ll be mid-year, best case, before we step inside, but there’s a lot to look forward to.
Lots of businesses opened, lots of businesses closed
Not a comprehensive list, necessarily, but a peek at how much change we saw on the business front in 2014:
Two Ten Jack, The Hop Stop, Red Arrow Gallery, Cumberland Transit, Boone and Sons, Bella Nashville Bakery, Smile Mommy!, The Post, Five Points Cocina Mexicana, Local Taco, Chocolate F/X, East Nashville Family Medicine, POP, Old Time Pickin’ Parlor, ONYX, The Yellow House Salon & Barbershop, Pet Community Center, Lynne Lorraine’s, AMOT Eatery, Nest 615, Any Old Iron, Porter House Bistro, Gizmo’s Vapor Shoppe, Curvy Yoga, Natty Kicky, Field House, Otis James, Nutmeg, The Vine, Scout’s Barbershop, Eastside Music Supply, Rudie's Seafood Sausage and Taproom, 2616, Koi Sushi & Thai, Rich Hippies, Serenite Fitness, Moto Moda, Hang the Moon Consignment, Vinnie Louise
Boone and Sons, Thrifty Threads, Kaleidoscope, Logue’s Black Raven Emporium, Studio Green, The Green Wagon, Cafe Fundamental, Antica, Worm’s Way, Watanabe
What are your picks for big East Nashville moments in 2014?