East Nashville News: Chicago chef in at Fort Louise, Chrome Bar opens, Shotgun Willie's and more

photo: Jordan ODonnell
A broad mix this week, from pole dancing to brisket to wine adventures.
On to the latest East Nashville News:

East Nashvillians of the Year honored

At the Historic East Nashville Merchants Association mixer earlier this week, the reigning East Nashvillians of the Year were officially sworn in, as it were, in a fitting place: The Basement East, which is also the reigning Business of the Year. 
Basement East co-owners Mike Grimes and Dave Brown (above) were in the house to be honored, along with East Nashville MOMS Club founder and Citizen of the Year Bonnie Bogen.
Those current champions join a long line of beloved East Nashvillians of the Year, including restaurateur Matt Charette, Metro Council member Brett Withers and (blush) us, among many others.
Like to learn more about our 2016 honorees? Read about East Nashville Business of the Year the Basement East, and read about East Nashville Citizen of the Year Bonnie Bogen.


Chicago chef in at Inglewood’s Fort Louise

Our latest update on the in-the-works Riverside Village restaurant to be known as Fort Louise: owner Jessica Bower, who’s developing the eatery at the former Perk & Cork space, has partnered with and announced a new kitchen captain.
Leading the Fort Louise menu: Respected Chicago chef Greg Biggers, who’s currently working as the executive chef at the Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile’s Cafe des Architectes, and whose resume includes stints at other well-known spots, including Morimoto in Philadelphia, TRU in Chicago and McCrady’s in Charleston. 
Biggers won’t be detaching from the Windy City as he heads south for Nashville — a release from the Fort Louise team noted that he plans to maintain his place at Cafe des Architectes as he takes on this “passion project” here as a chef/partner. But at Fort Louise, he’s planning on nodding back to his roots as an Alabama native, and embracing East Nashville’s low-key vibe.
“My background is clearly focused in fine-dining and I’m thankful to have worked with some of the best in the industry,” Biggers said in a statement. “But I’m from the South, and I’m ready to try something a little different — something much more personal to me. I grew up cooking chicken and dumplings with my mom, and skipped my last final at culinary school to go to a Morphine concert. I’ve been buttoned up throughout my career, but now I’m ready to loosen things up a bit. This project is truly a reflection of my own style, but I’m using everything I’ve learned along the way.”
His planned approach is “a friendly spin on American comfort cuisine” at 1304 McGavock Pike. Renovation work is under way, but an opening date hasn’t been announced yet.

East Side artist community still coming along

Last summer, we got early word that 3rd & Lindsley owner Ron Brice and partner Richard King were exploring an ambitious project in the upper reaches of East Nashville: a large development that’d include an event space and nearly 100 residences, plus other additions, nestled up in the Ben Allen Road hills. 
We got a bit of an update on that project this week, thanks to The Tennessean’s Getahn Ward. 
On the drawing board now, according to Ward’s piece: an indoor-outdoor “event space and beer garden-style lodge” with a music studio, cottage-style homes and townhomes, public and private greenways and more.
"It's going to be something that fits the geography where it's at and the views and be a destination event space in East Nashville," Brice told Ward.
It’s still early in the process — King and Brice are negotiating/working on zoning, so backhoes aren’t backhoeing just yet. But there are some cool details to peruse.


Chrome Bar reopens on Dickerson

East Nashville ladies looking for a new fitness option, welcome a new/familiar face: The Chrome Bar, located downtown since 2013, just moved our way, reopening at 2809 Dickerson Pike this past Sunday.
The name is a nod to a tool of their particular fitness trade: At The Chrome Bar, pole dance workouts lead the way, though the studio also offers barre, aerial yoga and other options, all-around catering to “women looking to experience a stylish, effective and creative workout.”
The original Chrome Bar location, on Lafayette Street, was destroyed in a storm, and owner/pole dance pro Alethea Austin took the event as a chance to rebuild and regroup in a new community.
“I am exceedingly thrilled with our new location in the hip East Nashville community,” Austin said, “and I am even more proud of the beautiful new space we’ve created to look not like a gym, but like a high-end art gallery.”
Other offerings at the Chrome Bar space: workshops, day camps, parties, private training and more. 
To check out the studio, schedules and offerings, hit thechromebar.com.

Shotgun Willie’s BBQ sets an East Side schedule

Last October, we introduced you to mobile Texas barbecue slingers Shotgun Willie’s, and promised to update when an East Nashville schedule for their brisket/etc. was established.
As promised: Owner/pitmaster Bill Laviolette (part of the East Nashville team behind the trailer) tells us that Shotgun Willie’s is going to “roll out on a regular basis” in East Nashville, starting this Friday, Feb. 24, with a lunchtime visit (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at Center 615 (615 Main Street).
Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m., they’ll be at Smith and Lentz (903 Main), and then beginning on March 2, they’ll be at that East Nashville brewery two times a week, with slow-smoked Texas brisket, sausage and specials like smoked hot chicken and beef chuck ribs.
To learn more/keep up with their comings and goings: shotgunwilliesbbq.com.

Monthly wine club The Spill launches

For the oenophiles: Onetime East Nashvillian/all-the-time wine expert Robin Riddell Jones recently launched The Spill, a monthly subscription wine delivery service that features hand-picked bottles, individually wrapped and artfully packaged.
Boxes are priced in three tiers (each with three bottles), ranging from the “easy and delicious” Crema box at $65 to the $125 Oro, for drinkers with “a selective palate.” Each delivery comes with background on the wines for extra education with your imbibing, and deliveries come each month on the Thursday of the first full week, with shipping/etc. included in the subscription price.
Wine consultant Jones helped develop the wine programs/worked on wine service training at a slew of well-loved Nashville restaurants, including The Catbird Seat and Josephine, and the aim, with The Spill, is to provide subscribers with “a monthly education in wine curation.” 
To learn more or order, visit tavolawine.com/thespill.


— Love it when home-focused site Apartment Therapy features locals. Like the owners of this super-cute, historic East Nashville home. 
Big congrats to Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen, who’ll be celebrating their first birthday on Saturday, Feb. 25 with specials and treats at their place, 2905 Gallatin Pike. Free cannoli, discounted fresh and dried pasta (with gifts) and more.
WSMV did a fun piece on the bakers and designers at East Nashville’s Nashville Sweets — learn about their beginnings, famous folks they’ve made cakes for and more.
That’s all for this week. News to share? Please email Nicole.

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