Hope you’re all staying warm and dry during this rainy Nashville week. Among the bits of sun we’ve tried to share: giving away tickets to Saturday’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road East Nashville Revue of Elton John; and giving away tickets to Nashville Opera’s trio of comedies, “Three Way.” Please feel encouraged to enter one/both and (maybe) have a night out on us.
With that, here’s this week’s East Nashville News:
Chocolate F/X shop closing
Another Shoppes on Fatherland sweets shop is set to close its doors: Following recent news of Walker Creek Confections' January shuttering, neighbors Chocolate F/X announced that they’d be wrapping things up come February 18.
“We are eternally grateful to everyone who made it possible for us to serve up scares, sweets and smiles over the past three years,” owner Andrea Smith wrote in a goodbye note. “Much like our confections, this experience has been #todiefor, and we’ve loved every single minute of it.”
Smith brought her shop here in 2014 from Atlanta, and, spurred by her background in special effects make-up, began slinging aesthetically and flavorfully fascinating treats — chocolate Friday the 13th masks and skulls, spicy ghost-pepper caramels and whiskey-infused chocolates, and lots more.
Longtime fans won’t be totally out of luck once Smith closes Chocolate F/X’s East Nashville doors — she’ll still be selling her sweet creations through ChocolateFX.net, and plans to host seasonal pop-up shops around Nashville.
Catch up on Chocolate F/X history with this interview from their first year in business here in Nashville, and keep up with what comes next on Chocolate F/X’s Facebook page.
Another hotel headed to Main?
Our previously hotel-shy neighborhood seems to be a-changing. Potentially joining the proposed Holiday Jones boutique hotel on Main Street: a 21-room short-term vacation rental-type hotel at 931 Main Street, called Hotel Air BTB, according to a report in The Tennessean.
The name is a nod to owners Bobby and Kathryn Bubis’ preferred method of booking: using the sharing-economy site Airbnb.
The plan includes a full stable of four-bedroom, two-bath suites, renting at around $500 a night, and the rendering from TLP Architects shows a motel-style design, with exterior room entrances.
Neighborhood response to the proposed Air BTB when it broke earlier this week has been… let’s call it “mixed.” On our Facebook page, sentiments ranged from proclaiming the ruination of East Nashville and sharing figurative middle fingers to likening the hotel to a “douchebag storage facility.”
District 6 Metro Council member Brett A. Withers, meanwhile, had some more measured thoughts.
“I really do believe that Main Street is a good spot for visitor-focused businesses because those visitors will help to support the emerging businesses along that corridor,” he wrote. “…But security is a persistent concern on Main Street. I can't imagine how a staff-less AirBnB hotel on Main Street will not experience crime issues. The police are not meant to be the unpaid security team for this one business or any others like it that might emerge.”
His other concerns swirl around the proliferation of Type 3 STR (or “Not Owner-Occupied Multifamily” short-term rental) spaces in commercially zoned areas, and the possibility of the East Side becoming a ride-sharing “loading zone” for downtown.
There’s still a way to go before this proposal turns into reality — concept plans go to the Metro Development and Housing Agency's design review committee next month — but the Bubises are hoping to have it open by next Spring.
Nikki Lane and The Weeks prep new albums
Need a little local music to distract you from the world this week? Done.
First: Nikki Lane, Americana singer-songwriter and vintage maven at East Nashville’s High Class Hillbilly (4604 Gallatin), is releasing new album Highway Queen on February 17, via New West Records (also home to East Nashville's Aaron Lee Tasjan, among many others). She'll then heading out to flank the country on tour, starting with a stop at Music City Roots in Franklin on February 15.
In advance, she dropped the album’s first video, for “Jackpot,” which, Lane told Billboard, shows her “living out my quirky dreams.” Watch it above, and if you like, preorder the album through PledgeMusic.
Once we move into spring, we’ll also be getting a new LP from East Nashville-based rock band The Weeks, recorded at Memphis’ famed Ardent Studios with producer Paul Ebersold. Their Easy LP is due out April 7 on Lightning Rod Records, and according to frontman Cyle Barnes, the title reflects how much that particular word does and doesn’t match the band’s day-to-day.
“Every time I make music with these guys, it’s easy,” Barnes said. “It feels good. But the other side of it is there’s nothing easy about being in a band. There’s nothing easy about staying together for ten years and still wanting to make music. We have the hardest and easiest job on the planet. But it works for us.”
Grab an early peek at that LP below, with the video for leadoff track “Talk Like That,” shot by Weeks drummer Cain Barnes.
You can preorder Easy via PledgeMusic as well (and there are some packages in there that include one-of-a-kind artwork made by the Barnes brothers).
More mixed-use development in the works on Trinity
Development on East Trinity Lane continues to move swiftly — reports hit recently that another condo/flat complex is in the works for an acre-plus property at 1041 East Trinity Lane, with about 6,000 square feet of commercial space included.
That would neighbor up with in-the-works mixed-use project The Edison at 1063 Trinity Lane, which, once complete, is set to include 16 townhomes, plus a mix of apartments and retail. (Earlier this month, Greenline Partners announced that they were weeks away from occupancy on the first townhome there.)
Developers hope to start work at 1041 early next year. More at NashvillePost.com.
Neighborhood businesses team up to support Martha O’Bryan Center
This month being Poverty Awareness Month, a crew of East Side businesses have combined forces to support East Nashville’s Martha O’Bryan Center and their efforts to fight poverty in Nashville.
Among the businesses contributing time and funds to the effort: Scouts Barbershop (904 Main), Italia Pizza and Pasta (1600 Woodland), Sweet 16th Bakery (311 N. 16th), Ugly Mugs (1886 Eastland), The Post (1701 Fatherland), The Wild Cow (1896 Eastland) and The Pharmacy (731 Mcferrin).
A few specific ways you can contribute to their contributions:
Every Thursday this month, The Wild Cow is sending 2.5 percent of sales to the cause. The Pharmacy and The Post are both hosting a “soap drive,” collecting soap, toothpaste and other personal hygiene products.
“We are honored and grateful to have the support and participation from the local businesses here in East Nashville,” Martha O’Bryan CEO Marsha Edwards said in a release. “We appreciate our neighborhood businesses and especially the fact that they are helping the people of our community.”
For more about what Martha O’Bryan Center does for our community, drop by marthaobryan.org.
— Did you read the piece in our new issue on East Nashville author Lydia Peelle and her excellent new book, The Midnight Cool? If not, please do, and then make plans to head over to Parnassus Books for her author event on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show will be there providing musical accompaniment, too.
— If you’re a maker/seller/etc. of things, vendor applications for the 14th annual Tomato Art Fest (August 11-12) are open now.
— East Nashville’s Nashville Community Darkroom shared a fresh schedule of workshops through March, focused on film development and printmaking (including how to use their darkroom). Tickets range from $25-$35 — if you’re into/curious about film photography, they’re a great way to get started. Schedule/tix at nashvillecommunitydarkroom.org/learn.
— A good weekend to get your pet microchipped: $10 at the Pet Community Center Vaccine Clinic, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., 943B Dr. Richard G. Adams Drive.
— It’s almost Ice Cream for Breakfast Day again! On that day, you can have ice cream for breakfast! Anyhow: celebration, Saturday, Feb. 4 at Pied Piper Creamery, 8 a.m. to noon. There’ll be waffle sundaes and bacon and other fun.
— New fun thing for those of us who like to rage in a more laid-back way: The folks at Bongo East are hosting Board Game Night at their place (107 S 11th), from 3 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 22. Catan, Dominion… or bring your own. #Turnt
— Applause for Mitchell Delicatessen, which got named among Thrillist’s 33 Best Sandwich Shops in America. Their Asian Flank Steak sandwich, the rundown says, is now “legendary.”
That’s all for this week. Tips to share? Please email Nicole.