This week, the community is mourning the loss of Jessi Zazu, Those Darlins cofounder and a force of musical, artistic and human good here in Nashville and well beyond. She passed away Tuesday at the age of 28, from complications due to cervical cancer.
NPR music scribe and East Nashvillian Ann Powers wrote a beautiful tribute, which NPR shares here.
Up top, a photo of Jessi from a 2013 issue of The East Nashvillian that we think captures her well: beautiful, passionate, unafraid.
If you’d like to donate to the memorial fund set up to help with services and remaining medical expenses, it’s here.
This week’s news:
Red Headed Stranger’ll be our new neighbor
Hard to go wrong with a Willie nod and tacos: Butcher & Bee owner Michael Shemtov and executive chef Bryan Lee Weaver are working on a new East Nashville restaurant, dubbed Red Headed Stranger, set for 815 Meridian Street in 37207.
The name, of course, is a nod to Willie Nelson’s much-loved 1975 album (which also happens to be chef Weaver’s favorite). The concept, those folks say, is based around Southwesterner-turned-Nashvillian Weaver’s “passion for flavorful tacos and the Texan cuisine of his childhood,” with a menu that’ll include breakfast tacos with homemade tortillas, brisket, lots of Hatch green chiles and more, during breakfast/lunch service.
“Growing up in the Southwest, I’ve always had a love affair with the food,” Weaver said in a release. “I’m excited to bring my Southwestern roots to Red Headed Stranger, (and) I look forward to being a part of the creative growth in Nashville’s Cleveland Park Neighborhood.” (It’s more McFerrin Park, but let’s not split fun and enthusiastic hairs.)
A full bar is in the planning too, and at night, Shemtov and Weaver hope to host incubator-style test kitchens and pop ups in the RHS space. (That space was most recently home to breakfast/lunch restaurant Meridian Street Cafe, Google Street View image up top.)
Lots happening over in that vicinity nowadays, with a potential restaurant/venue at the old Roxy Theater building down the way, and a new restaurant in the works at 823/825 Meridian, led by the brains behind Germantown’s lauded Rolf and Daughters.
The Red Headed Stranger team tells us that they don’t have an opening timeframe/date in mind yet, since they’re still in the early stages of development. But their social media presence is starting to land, so keep up with the latest at the Red Headed Stranger Facebook page or on their Twitter feed.
Meridian Street Cafe moving
With Red Headed Stranger taking over the former Meridian Street Cafe location, the family-owned breakfast and lunch restaurant needs new digs. And they found ‘em, over at 1800 Dickerson Pike, just off East Trinity Lane.
The Meridian folks say they’ll be bringing longtime favorites from their breakfast and lunch menu to the new location, plus sharing a new dinner and cocktails menu and adding extended hours (and a patio area for al fresco dining).
Planned opening: October 2017. They opened the Meridian location in early 2012.
Lots going on around Dickerson these days too — the new Meridian location is just up the road from sweets-and-comfort-food spot Shugga Hi Bakery & Cafe, which opened at 1000 Dickerson in July.
For more, visit Meridian Street Cafe on Facebook.
Topgolf opening announced
East Nashville golf enthusiasts, good news: The long-awaited opening of Topgolf Nashville is nearly here. The company announced this week that Friday, Sept. 22 would be opening day for their new location at 500 Cowan Street, down by the river (on our side).
If you’re not familiar with the Topgolf concept, to call it a driving range would be a bit… simplistic. Along with more than 100 climate-controlled hitting bays, the 65,000-square-foot Topgolf Nashville has a restaurant, private event spaces and meeting rooms, a rooftop terrace with a fire pit and enough TVs to watch every show with “Chicago” in the title simultaneously, on like 18 sets apiece. You can hit self-scoring and distance-measuring microchipped golf balls, take golf lessons, eventually join leagues… it’s a golf-fun wonderland, pretty much.
This is Topgolf’s first Nashville-area location, but its 34th overall, and logically, it has a Nashvillian twist: It’s the first Topgolf space with a dedicated concert venue. (Capacity’s said to be 500, which is about Exit/In size.)
Eager to plan your first Topgolf excursion? Visit the Topgolf Nashville website for more, and follow Topgolf Nashville on Facebook to keep up with the latest happenings.
A Matter of Taste closes
Bummer news: Gluten-free “restaurant with a purpose” A Matter of Taste, a.k.a. AMOT Eatery, closed its doors officially as of Wednesday, and the business, located at 1100 Fatherland Street, Suite 101, is now up for sale.
The eatery’s closure was initially a temporary one, planned for the first few weeks of August, then extended to post-Labor Day. But “unfortunately things did not work out in my favor,” owner Kellie Hopkins tells us, noting in her closure announcement that she “just can't keep continuing to do this as a single owner for many reasons.”
The location is listed online for $198,000; Hopkins says she’s open to an asset sale “if another restaurant wants to come in and take over the lease and do something else with the space.”
AMOT opened in that Fatherland location in late 2014, and since, it had become a beloved local spot for Celiac sufferers and plenty of gluten-cool diners, too.
Interested entrepreneurs/investors can reach Hopkins at amoteatery(at)gmail.com.
Marin Morris visits ‘Tonight Show’
Local country success story Maren Morris hit The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon this week to perform “Rich.” Give a watch/listen above.
She’ll be back home on September 20 for a “secret location” show, then September 22/23 nights at Ascend Amphitheater. From there, she’ll be back in… oh, 2039 or so. More at marenmorris.com.
Move to the Edge of AmericanaFest
The 2017 AmericanaFest has begun, and shows are rolling at venues throughout the city, including a slew here on the East Side. Fest-goers who head to/stay on this side of the river also get Edge of AmericanaFest benefits: discounts at a slew of local businesses (from drink spots like Duke’s and High Garden Tea to Fanny’s House of Music, Pony Show and many other shops), gained by flashing your pass.
Read more about the Edge of AmericanaFest in our latest issue, and download the AmericanaFest mobile app (just search that term in the app store) to see all participating locations.
For more on the fest: americanamusic.org.
— The freshly listed and newly renovated 714 Russell Street (an 1876 Dutch Colonial stunner, former home of mayor Bill Boner and many others) got some tongues wagging in national real estate/home decor media circles this week, with pieces from Dwell, Curbed and others nodding to its many virtues and its $2.1 million asking price. As of this posting, she was under contract, too. Dream-weave with those hyperlinks, if you’re into homes.
— The Scene digs into East Nashville dining pioneer Margot McCormack’s “Well-Deserved Time in the Spotlight.”
— Can we get a holla for six years of Five Points Pizza? (Congrats, friends.)
— Remember last year when we told you about BoomBozz Craft Pizza working on a location at 1003 Russell Street? Stuff’s really coming along over there.
— The Boot premieres East Nashville fixture Derek Hoke’s “Bring the Flood,” ahead of the October release of his new album of the same name.
— One for the whiskey nerds: East Nashville’s Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co. has a Pappy Van Winkle collaboration up its chocolate-y sleeve. A duo of 20-year Pappy barrels + their Bourbon Nib Brittle = very interesting. No word yet on whether the coming concoctions are gonna run two grand a box.
— The Project 615 folks are working on their annual Nashvember event again, across the river, for November 11. If you’re a maker/vendor, you can apply to take part at nashvember.com.
That’s all for this week. East Nashville news tips to share? Please, email Nicole.