East Nashville News: Chopper’s coming up, WithCo cocktails, Dancer Project, more

To open this week, condolences and love go out to the Fond Object family, and everyone who loved and admired co-owner Jeff Pettit, who passed away suddenly on August 20.
That list of admirers is long, and we’re certainly among the locals who’ve been inspired by the neighborhood hub he helped build and the welcoming, supportive way in which he did it. The Nashville Scene has a memorial up, with a nod to the Gofundme campaign that’s been launched to help Pettit’s family and his beloved business
Fond Object’s Inglewood space is closed this week while friends and family mourn, but a memorial show is in the works for the backyard there, tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, August 29. 
More East Nashville News: 

Chopper’s going up this winter

Three well-known names on the Nashville creative scene have a new East Nashville project in the works, due for unveiling this winter.
The players: Barista Parlor chief Andy Mumma, Isle of Printing’s Bryce McCloud and Husk Nashville cocktail captain Mike Wolf.
The project: CHOPPER, a tiki-tilted bar offering “tastes of the South Seas,” with “flavors and frozen delights of recent island discoveries.” 
They’ll be taking over the former Bar Luca and Moto Moda spaces at Stratton and Gallatin Avenues, steps from Mumma’s flagship Parlor.
This new space’ll mark at least four Mumma-fied locations to tip a glass in Nashville, including Baristas in East Nashville, Germantown and The Gulch.
Keep up with the new project’s progress at the CHOPPER Facebook page or on the CHOPPER Instagram feed.

WithCo Cocktails on the way

Cocktail enthusiasts who are passionate about flavor but less passionate about working for it have a new friend on the way: With Company Cocktails, or WithCo, is getting ready to broadly roll out their freshness-focused cocktail mixers and open an East Nashville “storefront bottle shop.” 
The mixers: Sans-preservatives and sans extracts/concentrated juices, the three WithCo concoctions are meant to be mixed with your favorite spirit for a bright, balanced drink, no fuss required. So far, they’ve bottled up “Bouquet” (with lavender, rosewater and more), “Jackass” (fresh ginger, bitters) and the “Ellis Old Fashioned” (orange oil, vanilla bean, cinnamon). They’re all made fresh by hand right here in town, from recipes developed by co-founder/mixologist Bradley Ryan.
To get those mixers to market, the WithCo team just launched a crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter, offering backing bonuses that range from thank you notes to monthly WithCo mixer subscriptions and a personal WithCo happy hour. 
As this post was going up, the WithCo team was getting ready for their East Nashville Kickstarter launch party at Studio 615, where creators and early backers and supporters were meeting to mix mixes and raise glasses. The funding campaign runs through Friday, September 22, and on day one, WithCo had already made impressive moves toward their $32,000 goal, breaking $5000 by mid-day.
The shop, which co-founder Joshua Ellis says will feature “fresh cocktails, bar tools, glassware, gift sets, and more,” is set for the Shoppes on Fatherland, near The Local Taco. In July, Ellis said they were aiming for an August opening; we reached out for an update and will share when we hear more.
These big moves are a long time coming — the WithCo team’s been working on the brand for two years, perfecting recipes, packaging and approach. Learn more about With Company Cocktails at withcococktails.com, and check out the WithCo Kickstarter here.

The Dancer Project steps toward September opening

Dance-inclined Nashvillians of all ages and experience levels will soon have a new place to practice and learn: The Dancer Project Conservatory is shooting for a September opening in the former Serenite Fitness space next to Vinyl Tap, at 1114 Porter Road.
Led by artistic director and dancer/teacher/choreographer Jen Drake, the new studio is meant to “preserve, produce, and promote performing arts by making dance accessible and affordable to all communities, by way of community outreach performances and competitive tuition prices.”
They’ll be hosting youth and adult classes from ballet to contemporary dance, beginning to advanced. Drake & Co. are planning on opening up registration in the next two weeks (with free class passes on offer). Grand opening date’s coming soon too.
Keep an eye on the Dancer Project’s Instagram feed for the latest updates, and learn more at thedancerproject.com

Nearing third anniversary, Rusty Rats looking toward expansion

Its function as a small-business incubator of sorts means turnover at the cozy Shoppes on Fatherland can be somewhat brisk. Among the now-longtime fixtures, though: Rusty Rats Antiques and Vintage, gearing up to celebrate three years at 1006 Fatherland Street, Suite 305A, as of September 1.
The shop, led by owner Charlie Accavallo, grew out of something else that’s become something of a fixture here: the TV series Nashville. Accavallo’s been on the props team for the show since the first season, and connections he made there led him to launch the East Side gifts-and-more space.
“I love working in TV and movies, and working in production was one of the original reasons I moved to Nashville,” he tells us. “I’m very, very, very fortunate that my store does well enough where I can hire some great people to work (there) so I can step away for filming. But what's cool is, with owning the store and being in the production world, I get calls from my friends that are set decorators and other prop people that need old/antique stuff for shows, music videos, etc. So I do some prop rentals and sell things thru Rusty Rats to a lot of the stuff being filmed in town.”
Included in that stuff, alongside Nashville: CMT’s Sun Records, Netflix series Master of None and the Inglewood-filmed Boulevard (which ended up being comedy icon Robin Williams’ final film). 
During Rusty Rats’ upcoming birthday week, Accavallo’s planning “a huge sale on everything in the store, (as) my way of saying thank you to everyone who supports us.” 
As always, you’ll be able to snag time-seasoned items marked by the shop’s titular rust (Accavallo’s personally drawn to antiques like “rusty gas cans, rusty signs, old rusty toys”), plus a mix of home decor pieces, jewelry, prints, records and more.
Post-anniversary, Accavallo’s planning to keep moving toward a branching-out he’s had in the works for a bit: a “music-related” business he’s not quite ready to drop details on. 
“It’s still under wraps, but I'm very excited about it,” Accavallo says. “All I can tell you is I bought an old building last year right outside of Franklin that we have slowly been renovating. If everything goes to plan, I'm hoping this winter to finalize the budget for the bigger things that need to be repaired, and hopefully get it up and running by spring of next year.”
We’ll get more details in the next few months, he promises; meantime, you can check out more about Accavallo’s current place at the Rusty Rats Facebook page, and plan your birthday-week visit. Shop’s open noon to 5:30 p.m. all week.


The Hollywood Reporter rounded up “Hollywood's New Digital Disrupters,” with 15 “crossover stars … leveraging fame on YouTube and Instagram into careers on platforms their parents actually watch.” Among those stars: Olan Rogers of The Soda Parlor, right here in the neighborhood.
— Our upcoming Music Issue will have a great piece on local talent Lilly Hiatt, but meantime, you can check out some words about her from Rolling Stone. (Also, if you're a local business friend who'd like to get an ad in that Music Issue, there's still time. Reach Lisa at lisa@theeastnashvillian.com.)
Congrats to Good Wood Nashville on five years of turning old barns and forgotten timber into cool new floors and walls and furniture and stuff. 
— The kids at SnapShot Interactive launched a summer running challenge to raise money for the Margaret Maddox Family YMCA Literacy Program. After 31 days and 368 miles, 26 employees and three clients helped hand a $1200 donation over. Nicely done, SS.
That’s it for this week. Tips to share? Please email Nicole.

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