Housekeeping: We’re hard at work on the Nov/Dec issue, and if you’d like to get your business in there, there's still time. It’s the one with our Holiday Gift Guide and Service Directory, so it’s always a favorite. Into it? Drop Lisa a note: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meantime, check out last year’s, and move on to this week’s East Nashville News:
Amanda Valentine christens new studio with pop-up
Amanda Valentine is a pretty East Nashville-appropriate brand of fashion designer and stylist — she came up playing in bands, running a vintage shop, styling musicians for videos and carpets. So it makes sense that, after years of calling the East Side home, her work’s now locking down in 37206, too.
On Saturday, Oct. 21, noon to 6 p.m., Valentine celebrates the grand opening of her new East Nashville studio with a celebration/pop-up shopping hang alongside fellow designer Chrissy Fogerty, captain of St. Louis-bred, sustainability-focused clothing brand Fauxgerty.
“I have dreamed of the day I could actually walk to work. Now my studio space — that I hunted down for almost a year — is less than a mile from my house,” Valentine says of the new place, at 919 Gallatin Avenue, #9. “It’s the dream.”
The dream came via… not a nightmare, necessarily, but definitely a bummer, when Valentine lost her longtime studio space in Wedgewood Houston, home to years of creativity, collaboration, art shows and design growth.
“I was terrified to leave my space … because I was surrounded by some of the most brilliant artists I had ever met,” she says. “Kit Reuther, Jimmy Abegg and Dane Carder became dear friends. I could walk downstairs to visit my screen printer Grand Palace. But like is happening to artists all over the city, we all lost our leases. So those glory days didn’t last. Now, I’m surrounded by a new group of brilliant artists, makers and businesses at the 919 space. It’s inspiring, it’s comfortable, I feel safe. Those are all important factors in working and creating well.”
Valentine hopes that the new studio will also be home to more events like these, as the last space was. But for starters, there’s lots of good stuff in store for the East-Nashville hello.
During the event, attendees will get to explore the studio, grab bites from Avo and drinks from George Dickel and Little Harpeth Brewing, and check out Fauxgerty pieces (including some new ones that’ll only be available here). Peek below:
Our city’s growth as a fashion center — something Valentine’s been a visible part of — helped bring Fauxgerty’s Fogerty this way.
“We came to Nashville for Fashion Week and loved the city: the culture, the music, the food,” Fogerty says, “and we're anxious to return.”
Also a little on the anxious side: Valentine, who’ll follow up this studio opening by finding out if she’s snagged Womenswear Designer of the Year honors from the Nashville Fashion Alliance, whose Honors ceremony is set for Thursday, Nov. 16 at Marathon Music Works.
“If I think about it too much I get too nervous,” Valentine says of the nomination. “I’ve been in competitions before and they absolutely make my palms sweat. I’m honored, I’m humbled, I keep thinking they got it wrong. I really can’t tell you how that makes my heart feel. It’s really, really incredible.”
Get to know more about Amanda Valentine at amandavalentine.com, and get acquainted with Fauxgerty at fauxgerty.com. If you’d like to be in the house at the studio pop-up, check out the Facebook event page for more details, and RSVP.
Alegria celebrates 15 years with all-day party
On Saturday, Oct. 14, East Nashville gifts-and-more shop Alegria celebrates a major milestone: 15 years of doing its thing, independently.
Throughout that day, owner Bil Breyer’s hosting live music (Lynn Taylor, Sergio Webb, Patton James and Brianne O’Neill are all set to perform), offering store specials and handing out prizes donated from various neighborhood businesses.
He’ll probably do a little reflecting and reminiscing too, having watched from a front-row perch as a much-loved neighborhood morphed and grew.
“It’s a very different small business community after 15 years,” Breyer says. “When I first opened Alegria there were a handful of businesses here and we had to stick together for survival. We were all in touch on a daily basis. Most of the (neighborhood) entrepreneurs were East Nashville residents and 90 percent of our customers were our neighbors.
“Today … we have investors from all over the country opening restaurants, hotels, bars, retail stores — the gamut. I think it's safe to say that most of our bread and butter comes from tourism. However I have a loyal following of customers who have been with me from the beginning, and I am very grateful that they have stuck with me through the years.”
Breyer’s role in that growth hasn’t exactly been passive. Back in 2004, alongside fellow East Side entrepreneurs Christie Perkins (NitWit), Dan Einstein (Sweet 16th) and Belinda Leslie (Top o' Woodland), he helped form the still-thriving Historic East Nashville Merchants Association, “in order to unite our businesses and to promote East Nashville as a viable business community.”
“We wanted to start chipping away at the negative connotations associated with East Nashville at that time,” Breyer says. “It wasn't easy to convince Nashville that its East Side was a jewel in the rough. I think we succeeded.”
His individual success can’t be glossed over, either. Barely a quarter of small businesses make it to 15 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so Alegria’s longevity earns a big chest puff — though Breyer’s more inclined to tip a hat his neighbors’ way.
“I’ve now been lucky enough to be around to see my neighbors and long time customers tackle life,” he says. “Fifteen years is a long time — I've seen people date, get married, have children. I've seen young children grow up, graduate college, have children of their own. I've been privileged to be a small part of their lives and hope they will have good memories of shopping with me at Alegria.
“I’m extremely proud to have served this community and to know that I played a part — be it a small one — in helping it become the success it is today.”
If you’d like to raise a glass (and do some shopping) for Alegria’s birthday, stop by 1108 Woodland starting at noon on Saturday, Oct. 14. Keep an eye on the 15 Years of Alegria Facebook event page for updates about happenings, and follow Alegria on Facebook to keep up as we roll into the shop’s next 15 years.
Say hello to Rock ‘n Dough Pizza Co.
Yet another good food scoop from Getahn Ward over at The Tennessean: This week, he reported that Memphis-bred microbrewery/pizza pub Rock ‘n Dough Pizza Co. is working on making its way to Nashville, with a space in the mixed-use Skyline Center.
In the northwestern reaches of 37207 near the TriStar Skyline Medical Center, this’d put yet another pizza/beer slinger in East Nashville’s midst.
This particular pizza provider launched, like several of our local success stories, as a food truck, and now has three brick-and-mortar locations in West Tennessee. Owner Jerry Corley told Ward that this might just be the start of Rock ‘n Dough’s Nashville invasion, and that additional locations are a possibility.
On the Memphis menu: sports-bar-style fare like wings, tots, wraps and burgers, along with ample-toppinged pizza by the slice, craft beer, wine and cocktails. Get to know their offerings better at rockndoughpizza.com.
Rock ‘n Dough is just a piece of the Skyline Center pie — that three-plus-acre, $21 million development is also expected to be home to a Hampton Inn & Suites and more.
Atomic Nashville readies new location
Back in July, Atomic Nashville owner Dan Balog announced that he’d be closing up shop at his 1603 Riverside Drive location, home to his mix of books/art/music since late 2015.
At the time, he mentioned that he hoped to find a new East Side location and reopen quickly. Said location’s been found, quickly: Balog shared via socials that he’s just loaded his bounty of creative buyables into a new space, at 118 S. 11th Street, and hopes to reopen “at some point in October.”
Balog promises to update “with the occasional progress report” as he readies the new Atomic — keep up on the Atomic Nashville Facebook page.
For more, stop by atomicnash.com.
No word yet on what’ll be taking over the 1603 Riverside Drive space, but we’ll update when we know.
— Back in August, we mentioned the in-the-works Peninsula restaurant, promising a Spanish/Portuguese concept and a lack of pretense. Checking back in, because the doors have opened at 1035 W. Eastland Avenue, and Peninsula is now serving Tuesday to Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Learn more at the Peninsula Nashville Facebook page.
— Also freshly open: The new East Nashville drum shop we mentioned in September. The folks behind Drum Supply House and Nelson Drum Co., who are sharing a space at 730 McFerrin Avenue, started their grand-opening celebration on Thursday, and it’ll be running through Oct. 7, 3 to 7 p.m. daily. A raffle with some drum-centric prizes will be going the whole time, and everyone who stops by gets a ticket. More on Drum Supply House’s Instagram feed.
— One more opening update: That Awesome Taco Truck (the new project from longtime Lockeland Table-r Danny Bua that we mentioned recently) has its grand opening dates down. Check out chef Bua’s creative interpretations of Mexican fare on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at Southern Grist (1201 Porter), 4 to 9 p.m., then Thursday, Oct. 19 at Smith & Lentz (903 Main), 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Few more options outside the neighborhood, too. Details at thatawesometacotruck.com.
— New mixed-use community Eastside Heights celebrates its opening this month, with a party on Thursday, Oct. 12 with drinks, snacks, music and giveaways. They’re at 120 S. 5th Street, and the party runs 5:30 to 8 p.m. More at liveeastsideheights.com.
— Looking for some running partners? The new East Nashville Track Club is working on launching this fall, meeting one to two mornings a week at Stratford Magnet School. First official workouts planned for October. More at eastnashvilletrackclub.com.
— This week, optometry providers and spectacular spectacles slingers Look East celebrated one year in East Nashville. Congratulations, y’all. Head to 1011 Gallatin Avenue if you’d like to celebrate their anniversary by buying specs/sunnies.
— Local beauty company Feeling How I Look Beautique grand-reopened a new, expanded location in Antioch in late September, making for two Nashville-area stops for weaves/wigs/beauty classes and more. East Side is 3401 Dickerson Pike, Suite C; Antioch is 5332 Mt.View Rd Suite A. More at the Feeling How I Look Beautique Facebook page.
— Vogue noticed that we were in there and said it didn’t “exactly come as a big surprise.” (TIME noticed too.)
— Let’s be kids again, but with beer. Check out Smith & Lentz Brewing’s Pintwood Derby: Build your own car, race it, chase it with a S’more Stout.
— If you haven’t taken a listen to the beautiful and newly released “Dear Hate,” from our neighbor Maren Morris, here’s encouragement to do so.
That’s all for this week. Any East Nashville news-y tips you wanna share? Please email Nicole.