East Nashville News: Bar Rosemary opens it doors, Look East throws a party, “Ghetto” sparks backlash and more


First things first, a big congratulations are in order for all the Americana Music Association Award nominees, special shout out to Rodney Crowell (March/April  2017 cover), Aaron Lee Tasjan (March/April 2016 cover), Jen Gunderman, Spencer Cullum, Jr. of Steelism (March/April 2015), and Margo Price.

In other celebratory-worthy news, our May-June 2017 issue is on the racks. Local psych-rockers All Them Witches are on the cover, The Food Sheriff lays down his laws of the kitchen, and an ode to Charlie Bob’s.

Snag a copy on the streets or read the latest issue here.

Now on to our East Nashville news:

 Rosemary Bar blooms in 5 Points


The last week of April, Rosemary Bar (1102 Forrest Ave.) silently opened their doors to local imbibers. A quiet beginning was to be expected. The project started off somewhat mysteriously around this time last year, with a simple graffiti message on the detached garage of the location with the words “RB&BQ Fall 2016.” While it may not have made the cut for their original projected opening date, Rosemary Bar is up and running now. The “BQ” half of the venture—Beauty Queen, is still in the works.  We wrote about this planned joint concept several months back when we caught wind of updates.

Rosemary Bar, managed by Jim O’Shea and Andrew Mischke, rolled out an opening drink menu that offers several house cocktails all priced at $10. The bar lineup has some clever beverage names and descriptions, whether you prefer the classic paloma with the description, “It’s a paloma,” or the “Whipped Cream If You’re Lucky,” which maybe, sometimes promises whip cream on top. The new spot also has a short shot and wine menu with all the prices coming in under that $10 mark, a welcome reprieve from the lofty prices for a stiff drink around these parts.

Rosemary underwent a transformation from home to bar — but the original intent of the property is still evident in the design. The new hang has a seated bar area along with an old-timey library space, keeping the homey vibe alive.  As O’Shea put it, it’s a place “where it feels like you’re at a nice dinner party at your friends’ cool old house in East Nashville.”

They’ve also got an outdoor seating area in the backyard, which sounds appealing for those cool summer nights ahead. While patrons are out back they can snag a bite from local food truck Death from a Bun, which will remain permanently parked to serve up their Asian-inspired bao buns and noods. In keeping with the drink offerings, all items on the food menu are under $9. They’re thinking of a grand opening later this summer, maybe the end of May or early June.

Look East to host grand opening bash


Spectacle wearers of East Nashville: A stop at the optometrist just became fun. On Saturday, May 13, chronic squinters can stop by and take a gander at the neighborhood’s independent, high-quality eye care and eyewear biz that’s appropriately named Look East (1011 Gallatin Ave.). They’re hosting a belated grand opening—complete with free drinks and refreshments from their neighbor The Urban Juicer (1009 Gallatin Ave.), java from Barista Parlor (519 Gallatin Ave), and adult beverages for the day drinkers.

Another thing to get wide-eyed about for the afternoon, MOSCOT eyewear company will have a trunk show, featuring their 2017 collection of New York City frames.  Look East will also be handing out door prizes to visitors,  among the loot are  gift certificates to local businesses and glasses discounts. One lucky looker will even receive a free pair of glasses or sunglasses of their choice (hoping it’s you, progressive high-index wearer).  Only catch is that you will have to pick out your specs that day, so don’t be indecisive.  We are also running our own giveaway for the afternoon; enter here for your chance to win $100 towards eyewear at Look East, which must be used the day of the event. Open your eyes people and stop by for the festivities.

Newly expanded Abode Mercantile hosts tasting with The Shortbread Shop



Sister stores Abode Mercantile and Baxter Bailey & Company have been doing some moving around and expanding recently. Baxter Bailey & Company (1004 Fatherland St #101) took a walk down to the old Chocolate Fx space, allowing Abode to spread their wings and expand into the entire joint at 1002 Fatherland St #101. For both businesses, more space means more products—one for us two-legged humans and another for our four-legged furry friends.

The Baxter team told us, “Having the entire space has allowed us to expand customer favorites like our Soak Body Company products, Abode Mercantile candle collection and our local pantry area. It has also given us the ability to bring in many new gift and local items that our customers are loving.” More on the new product horizon for Abode is happening this Saturday, May 13 when sweet treat supplier The Shortbread Shop will drop in for a tasting event. The Shortbread Shop is the sweet spot for owner and pastry chef Megan Dirscoll—who makes her shortbread cookies in small batches with all-natural ingredients. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. you can give the cookies a quality check at the tasting and sip on some refreshments made with simple syrups from Sallie’s Greatest, also available in Abode.

Another word to wise for you East Nashville doggo lovers, Baxter Bailey & Company are working on a new Homo sapiens apparel line, “Rescued Threads;” a portion of all sales will go towards pet rescue.

East Nashvillian songwriter’s song “Ghetto” incites backlash


East Nashville songwriter and yoga instructor Ashlee K Thomas has risen to internet fame, but probably not in the way she dreamed of.  Thomas’s video, “Ghetto,” has been spreading across the internet like wildfire, sparking outrage and backlash—with many deeming the song racially insensitive and rife with white privilege. Not to stoke the fire, but you can watch the video here.

“Ghetto,” which Thomas calls her “love song for the ghetto,” kicks of with police sirens and a line about “flashy rims and lowriders” being up to no good. Calling herself a gal that’s moved from the suburbs whose good at “living in the ghetto,” the now notorious anthem comes off as tone-deaf and exploitative.

The song seemingly makes light of the plight of the homeless, welfare recipients, and the poor neighborhoods that often must deal with gun violence on a daily basis. The song is a hard pill to swallow for most, particularly with it coming from the mouth of a white yoga instructor from Utah. With the rapid pace of gentrification, it seems like a bit of a stretch to call the East Side “ghetto."

A quick Google search of the song will bring up plenty of news results, but a former East Nashvillian at Vice wrote up a response to the video that’s worth a read.

INSTRUMENTHEAD book launch for local photographer Michael Weintrob this weekend


Musician portraits tend to be a pretty standard commodity, but local Photographer Michael Weintrob has found a way to turn the mundane into something fresh and bold. It started with Weintrob telling a musician to stick his bass down his shirt, and turned into an unconventional, unique portrait project that has spanned years.

Weintrob had been a concert photographer for years, shooting for magazines like Spin, Rolling Stone, and Time. But quietly, he’d been working on the portraits that now make up his 369-page deluxe photography book, INSTRUMENTHEAD.

In conjunction with the Eastside Art Stumble this weekend, we here at The East Nashvillian have partnered up with DO615 and the artist and to host his book launch on Saturday, May 13 at Weintrob’s studio and gallery space located at 919 Gallatin Ave, Studio 6.  The party kicks off at 1 p.m.  There will be local, live music throughout the night from Ben Rubin, Daniel Walker & Megan Palmer, Roy “Future Man” Wooten and more. At the free event you can purchase a signed copy of INSTRUMENTHEAD and view portraits from the book on display.  If you want to read up on Weintrob’s work first, check out our story on him from our March/April issue here.


The Historic East Nashville Merchants Association, or HENMA, is hosting their second quarterly meeting of 2017 at The Treehouse (1011 Clearview Ave) next Tuesday, May 16 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The free quarterly meetings offer a chance to meet HENMA members and learn more about the group’s work.  Members of HENMA aim to improve the quality of life and commerce this side o’ the Cumberland through collaboration with local government officials and neighborhood associations. They are also the organization behind the East Nashvillian of the Year Award Ceremony, more on that here. It’s an open opportunity to meet with local business folk and get a pulse on the community we live in. Plus, you can meet with our publisher Lisa McCauley who is the president of the association; she’d be happy to welcome you into the fold. If you’re a local business that want’s to learn more about HENMA, check out their website.

Quick Bits:

Animal lovers: if you’re willing to take a short trip down the road, this weekend on Saturday, May 13, New Leash For Life will host their annual Bark in the Park at the James E. Ward Ag Center (945 E. Baddour Pkwy) in Lebanon, TN. You can expect some fun contests for doggos plus family-friendly games for us humans.

It sounds banal, but this is exciting news for most of us. The dicey intersection at Eastland and Chapel Avenue will be getting a stoplight as early as this month. Pedestrians of the area can appreciate that. No more risking your life for that scoop of Jeni’s.

The Tennessee Senate has delayed a vote on regulating short-term rentals until 2018, leaving room for Metro Nashville council members to make moves to phase out the non-owner occupied rentals during their vote next week. More on The Tennessean's website.

Firefly Artisan Fair will be “illuminating the artists of Nashville,” this weekend on Saturday, May 13 from 7-11 p.m.  The unique night market event takes place on the Clay Lady’s Campus (1416 Lebanon Pike # C), featuring shopping and food trucks from all local vendors. Might be a good pit stop for those in need of Mother’s Day gifts.

That’s all, folks. Got tips? Email us!


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