This week, we're stoked on pasta, bummed about sweets and scared of The Chrump.
On to the latest hunk of East Nashville News:
Nicoletto's Italian Kitchen opens Saturday
Back in November, we mentioned the brothers behind Nicoletto's Pasta Co. and their plans to open a full-service retail and restaurant space in the neighborhood. That space — Nicoletto's Italian Kitchen — will open its doors this Saturday, Feb. 20 at 2905 Gallatin Pike, Ste. A, serving their namesake handmade pasta and lots more. Though, not an unreasonable amount of “lots more.”
“Our goal for the menu was to keep it as simple and fresh as possible,” co-owner Ryan Nicoletto tells us. “We’re serving our make-your-own pasta bowls with a variety of fresh-cut pastas and fresh sauces, ranging from our classic marinara to Alfredo, and even a 100 percent natural, house-made cheese sauce.”
And don’t worry, carnivores — those bowls will be available with a bunch of locally based proteins, including hand-rolled meatballs. (Don’t worry either, vegivores — they’ll have vegan meatballs too.)
The Italian Kitchen lives in the middleground between restaurant and market — they have a 16-seat eat-in space, a variety of fresh take-out options and fresh and dried pastas plus sauces, desserts and other market items to take home.
Saturday’s grand opening is a big move from a local company that’s built gradually and deliberately. Ryan and partner/brother Danny Nicoletto kicked off a little over a year ago, making small-batch pasta here in the neighborhood and selling it at local farmers markets. Over that time, they’ve developed a devoted local following, particularly at the Nashville Farmer’s Market Grow Local Kitchen over in the Germantown area, where they’ve been regularly slinging handmade pasta bowls and selling packaged pasta.
When it came time to open a more permanent place, though, the Nicolettos knew where they wanted to head.
“We launched Nicoletto’s Pasta Co. in East Nashville … and this is our home, our community, and where we spend the majority of our time,” Ryan says. “The pasta factory is just down the road from the new Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen, so it feels even more like home.”
(Folks across the river can still snag Nicoletto’s Pasta in the Grow Local Kitchen the last week of every month, but we’ve got ‘em all month here in the neighborhood.)
Nicoletto's Italian Kitchen’s grand opening day kicks off at 11 a.m., and good news for folks who tend to spend some time tipping glasses next door at beloved East Side dive Mickey’s Tavern — the kitchen’s open late, until 2 a.m., too.
For more, visit Nicoletto's website.
Will Hoge warns about The Chrump in new children’s book
Past East Nashvillian cover star Will Hoge is best known as a performer/songwriter, but his latest release is a little left of that center. The new The Chrump, which came out February 13, is a Seussian-style children’s book, with colorful illustrations by fellow neighbor Dean Tomasek.
The Chrump rhymes and it’s cute and a little silly, but if the title doesn’t immediately hint it at you, it has layers that’ll grab us big kids.
“A time-honored tale of overblown ego and narcissism and one way of how we deal with that in a person we know,” the book is… let’s say evocative of current events and a certain person who is very currently and consistenly in all of the newses. A certain subsect of parents might really enjoy a winking, knowing nightly read.
Check out the illustrations and listen to Hoge read it aloud in the video above.
Snag a paperback copy of The Chrump to make it part of your night-night ritual, and while you’re at it, read some more about talented illustrator Tomasek from our pages.
Parachute Media moves Eastward from Melrose
If you’ve wandered or driven near the Eastland Kroger recently, you might’ve noticed that the brick building across the way at 708 Gallatin got a bigtime rehab (see above).
The fresh new look comes courtesy of growing creative marketing/social media company Parachute Media, who pulled up stakes over in Melrose to put ‘em back down here in the neighborhood.
“My buddy Robert Drimmer was rehabbing an office structure in East Nashville, and we liked that the space allowed for creativity and collaboration, while at the same time providing the space to put your head down and get to work,” founder and CEO Ryan Carter tells us. “I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to be in a great area that was a central point for a lot of our employees.”
It makes sense that Parachute ended up over this way, too — they work with a healthy share of neighborhood-tied brands, including the Turnip Truck and Edley’s Bar-b-que, and the growth that helped the company quickly outgrow their old space was spurred in part by some in-house brands that have a pretty East Nashville-friendly slant. Like, oh, the enjoyably self-explanatory (and unsurprisingly viral) Camping With Dogs.
More good East Nashville juju: The company had neighborhood artist Andee Rudloff (you’ve probably seen her Tomato-tinged work in the neighborhood) put the Parachute name on their new place.
“I had the opportunity to have a larger sign made that would light up at night, like your typical sign, but I wanted to do something that fit in with the design of the building and the neighborhood,” Carter says. “If you look around Main Street and Gallatin, there are a lot of buildings that have an artistically drawn brand mark. Through (COO Nancy VanReece’s) connections in East Nashville, I was introduced to Andee and her style. Because I like to support the local economy where I live and work, and the fact that she’s an East Nashvillian, she was a perfect fit for Parachute Media.”
And — all neighbor bias aside — she did a pretty sweet job, no?
Learn more about these new East Nashvillians at the Parachute Media website.
Sad Sophisticakes news
Last week, we weren’t sure what was happening with East Nashville bakery and sweets shop Sophisticakes. This week, we’re sure, and unfortunately, it’s not the happy news we were hoping for.
"Our Sophisticakes family has recently gone through an unexpected and heart-wrenching personal family situation. While we have been working through it as best as possible over the last several of months, it’s become financially necessary for us to close,” owner Heather Peters tells us. “This decision has not come without a lot of thought, heartache, and tears. We are so grateful for all of those that supported us during our year in business in East Nashville. Every single one of you brought us joy and support that we can never express how truly grateful we have been for it. Thank you for your prayers and love.”
The bakery was located at 707 Porter Road, and over its short span, earned quite a few devoted fans on our side of the river and around town. We’re sad to see it go.
No word yet on what might take over their space, but we'll share when we know more.
Soup’s on at Soup Sunday next weekend
Every year, more than 50 local restaurants ladle out more than 500 gallons of soup to some 1500 attendees at Soup Sunday, an event organized to support Our Kids, which provides crisis counseling and other aid to victims of child sexual abuse. And every year, some of East Nashville’s best restaurants are among the contributors.
This year’s Soup Sunday is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, February 28 at Nissan Stadium, and once again, neighbors are breaking out their best soup skills. Scheduled to serve: Lockeland Table, Eastland Cafe, Margot Cafe, Pomodoro East, Porter Road Butcher and many others.
The event has a competitive component — celebrity/culinary judges (including PGA Golfer Brandt Snedeker, Lightning 100 personality Lt. Dan and chef/Chopped champ Kristin Beringson) will choose Nashville’s Best Soup, and the winning restaurants will get some perks and bragging rights. But for those of us with tickets, Soup Sunday is a chance to explore a glut of soup goodness from top chefs who work all across the city.
Those tickets run $25 per adult ($5 per child, free 3 and under), and are available online. For more about Soup Sunday, visit the Our Kids website.
New in the neighborhood: Lucaya Clothing Co.
We got another fashionable new neighbor earlier this month, as “Boho/beach” clothing and accessories shop Lucaya Clothing Co. opened up at 713 Porter, in the Porter East hub.
Their wares range from dresses and rompers to jewelry and beachy housewares/skincare products, and the shop is open Tuesdays through Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed Mondays). You can also shop online at the Lucaya website.
So hey, hi neighbors.
— Thinking about adding backyard chickens to your family? The Davidson Farmers Cooperative has a free Poultry Workshop coming up. You might've seen a different date in our print pages, but the event was moved to this Saturday, Feb. 20, at 10 a.m. Experts will be on hand to answer all your chicken-y questions. 3511 Dickerson.
— The historic McGavock House in Cleveland Park may get a new life as an expansion of Belle Meade Winery, says The Tennessean.
— Our most recent issue’s cover stars, Dorothy and Jace Seavers, a.k.a. Meet The Seavers, will be performing on February 26 at The 5 Spot to benefit Pet Community Center. Bring a 10-pound bag of cat or dog food to donate, and you’ll get a buck off the cover (it’s $10 otherwise), and the satisfaction of helping furry friends (the food will be distributed to pet owners in need). Showtime’s 9 p.m., and The 5 Spot is located at 1006 Forrest.
— Forbes picked some neighborhood food brains recently: Check out DOH Nashville’s Katy Futrell and The Birdhouse’s Chris Futrell talking things Millennial.
— We're a few days late on this, but: Congratulations on six years in East Nashville, Goodbuy Girls! Stop by and see those vintage-slinging Girls at 1108 Woodland Street, Unit E.
That’s all for this week. News to share? Please drop Nicole a line.