To start off this week, a quick heads up: The Folks at DoStuff Media are about to wrap up their 12 Days of Giveaways effort (which we've been sharing about on Facebook and Twitter and such). They've had a boatload of festival tickets up for grabs all around the country, and there's one more giveaway Friday, with a bonus coming on Monday.
Make sure to check 12 Days of Giveaways on Do615 to check out the last few options, and to throw your name in.
With that, here's this week's East Nashville News:
Mad Donna moved out, Wylee moved in
The drawback of a weekly news column: You’ve probably been bombarded all week about the hubbub happening at the (now former) Mad Donna’s space on Woodland. (Including the tip-off we shared here last Friday.) We’ll do our best to give you a few fresh tidbits to top that off, and if nothing else, terrible jokes.
Back story: The longtime providers of two-for-one electric-blue cocktails closed abruptly last week, the owners announcing “sincere appreciation” for nine years of support and “exciting details for a new project soon.”
Rumors quickly swirled around the neighborhood. Was it gonna be on an episode of Spike TV show Bar Rescue? Did Sheryl Crow take over? Was it actually Madonna buying the place and Sheryl and her two brothers are buying that other bar down at 5 Points? (Mighta made up the last one.)
It took a minute for the closely guarded secrets to come to light, but here’s where we are now:
Earlier in the week, surrounding residents started receiving letters from Buckingham Television Inc., announcing road closures and residential filming of a “Untitled Pilot” on Dec. 12 at 1313 Woodland. On Wednesday, Bar Rescue host Jon Taffer announced that he’d be presiding over the “massive TV Grand Opening of a brand new restaurant.” (Not for Bar Rescue, but for said pilot.)
Wednesday night, a film crew and a slew of neighbors gathered around the new awning for the big reveal of Wylee's Cafe and Bar. Why Wylee? Well Crow — who didn't take over, but is affiliated with the project — has sons named Wyatt and Levi. She and longtime Mad Donna’s owners/current Wylee’s captains Rachel Fontenot and Neil Clark were among the assembled masses getting their first look at the freshly renamed and revamped space.
Some details, from our calendar editor Emma Alford: The new restaurant got a full aesthetic overhaul — both front doors are fresh (and working), new planters on the facade, refinished wood, paint, furniture and decor (including a large wooden carousel horse behind the bar).
The vibe is an upscale Southern, "homegrown" thing, with, as you'd expect, a new menu. Remains to be seen how much of the for-TV food offerings will hold moving forward, but the menu posted outside was short on overall items, long on Sheryl Crow song puns. A “First Cut” bison burger. An “If it Makes You Happy” salad. “All I Wanna Do” is Have Dessert.
We imagine a more fleshed-out menu will emerge, as is usually the case with post-TV renovation unveilings. But while there’s been some groaning flowing around the neighborhood about the Crow puns, we vote they steer right into it. My Favorite Misteak? Tuesday Night Music Club (on rye)? Every Day is a Winding Roasted vegetable quiche? Leaving Las ...agna? (If you want any of these, Rachel and Neil, just give a call, we’re willing to talk percentages.)
Congrats to Rachel and Neil and team on what looks like a lovely facelift. Looking forward to soaking up the sun(dried tomato flatbread pizza).
The Rosemary and Beauty Queen set to open in early 2017
The Tennessean’s Nate Rau wrote a great piece this week about The Rosemary and Beauty Queen, two new bars in the works at 1102 Forrest.
Specifically, Rau speaks with managing partners Jim O’Shea and Andrew Mischke about the project’s cool, unusual genesis: 18 investors — almost all Nashvillians, most of them local music-scene players, including the Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johnston and The Shins’ Mark Watrous — teamed up to create a low-key hang “where it feels like you’re at a nice dinner party at your friends’ cool old house in East Nashville,” according to O’Shea.
The first part of the two-stage opening process — the front house, espousing that dinner-party vibe — is set to happen in January. The back garage, a “Studio 54 meets CBGB bar,” is looking more like March.
“We’re really excited to be not only residents but also business owners in East Nashville,” Mischke (who also launched show promotion/logistics company Show This) wrote in the East Nashville Facebook group.
Up, up for AVVAY
Only thing that might be more common in East Nashville than hunting for a lost dog is hunting for space — be it for living, recording, painting, printing, writing, etc.
For the non-living quarters needs, some local artists — including longtime Paramore touring guitarist Jon Howard — are working on a solution.
Howard and his partners recently launched AVVAY, which he likens to “an Airbnb for creative spaces."
“We help people find photo/filming locations, studios, event spaces, workshops, and anywhere else creative,” Howard says. “The response so far has been incredible.”
On the site now, you can search through dozens of available creative spaces in the Nashville area, from recording studios and gallery spaces to an old VW Vanagon that’d make a pretty sweet video prop. Space owners can list for free, set pricing and wrangle schedules; renters pay through AVVAY, and the company keeps a 15 percent reservation fee.
“We spent a year and a half developing our platform after seeing the need for it in our own creative lives,” says Howard, who’s joined in the AVVAY founders circle by fellow musicians/creative professionals Clay Hunt and Nick DePartee.
If you have a need or a space that might fit, explore at AVVAY.com.
Sisters of Nature share shop-swap news
A little shop-swap news from the folks at Sisters of Nature: Since they’re leaving for L.A. to focus on the SoN fashion line, their space at 521 Gallatin is up for grabs. Or was, apparently: The Sisters shared on Sunday that East Nashville clothing shop Vinnie Louise, currently at 737 Porter, would be taking over the Gallatin location.
“Passing along our keys will be so much easier knowing our space will be in such good hands with the women of Vinnie,” a message reads. “Supporting and celebrating local brands has always been the backbone of Sisters of Nature, so we hope you can join us in welcoming them to the block!”
The Sisters team, meanwhile, is gearing up for a final blowout: This Saturday, noon to 6 p.m., there’ll be a Holiday Market with the crew of shops at 521 Gallatin (including Barista Parlor). At Sisters of Nature, there’ll be 40 percent off shopping, a dessert/hot chocolate bar, plus pop-ups from Hey Wanderer, People Like Art and others. It’s their very last day open in the neighborhood, so head by if you’d like to shop one last time, and wave goodbye.
Check out Crafted Concoctions’ East-born Bloody Mary Mix
If you’ve had brunch at the Beast Pub here in the neighborhood, good chance you’ve tried Crafted Concoctions’ Tiger Blood Bloody Mary Mix without realizing it — the Pub’s Beast Mode bloody makes use of the stuff, developed here in the neighborhood by a crew of our neighbors.
Crafted Concoctions founders Steven Swarts, Ken Lange and Matt Ferranti have a nice old-fashioned East Nashville back story to their new biz: The trio first started experimenting in a home kitchen last year, tweaking Ferranti’s mom’s bloody mary recipe with a little extra heat, then packing samples up in mason jars for friends. Fast-forward, and the East Nashville pals/partners now have their first product in restaurants across town (also including the Tin Roof and Flipside), and they’re working on launching an online store/direct sales next year.
“This passion project as been fun as hell and we've learned a lot about creating a small business from the ground up,” Swarts says. “We basically get to go to brunches and bars, have a few drinks with our friends while also providing a product that everyone seems to love.”
Keep up with the East Side cocktailpreneurs’ growth by following Tiger Blood on Facebook, and keep an eye out for the Beast Mode next time you’re at the Pub.
Learn to cook with former AVO chef Jess Rice
Earlier this year, we mentioned vegan chef Jess Rice’s exit from West Nashville restaurant AVO, and the possibility that she might be popping up in East Nashville somewhere.
We still haven’t heard about anything permanent, but Rice is certainly not hiding her gifts — as it happens, she’ll be sharing them here during a January series of cooking classes at Graze (1888 Eastland).
The first four Mondays of the month, the chef will lead a two-hour workshop focused on raw, plant-based cooking skills — from knife skills and fermentation to raw desserts. On January 30, she’ll head up a “Winter Cleanse” pop-up dinner, with five courses of organic vegan food.
Tickets to all five events are available now (classes range from $30-$40, and the pop-up dinner is $50 per person). Lots more info/ticket links on Rice’s Facebook event page.
Help Defunct Books grow
In 2015, shop owner Greg Delzer moved his Defunct Books used bookstore from Iowa to East Nashville, setting up right around Five Points at 118 S 11th. Now, in order to grow and “stay viable,” Delzer’s reaching out to the community for help.
The intent behind a newly launched fundraiser is to pull together enough funding to expand into the space’s back room and unleash a fresh stash of books that’s currently in storage.
“The only way that the bookstore will be successful is if we open the backroom/kitchen in order to be able to display more of our books,” a note on Delzer’s Gofundme page says. “If we’re able to open this space, we’ll be able to add our large theology section, as well as popular sections such as psychology, business/economics, Eastern philosophy, world religions, health, foreign languages, medicine, sociology, cultural studies, law, education, literary criticism, Judaica, antiques & collectibles, anthropology, hunting & fishing, nature, pets, gender studies, biography, do-it-yourself, family & childcare, as well as large parts of the poetry section, art, transportation, military history, reference, and young adult. Literally, it’s like half the store.”
The campaign’s goal is $5000, and there are a mix of incentives up for grabs, including shop gift cards and use of the shop as event space.
As the campaign's going, the impending shuttering of longstanding Hillsboro Village shop BookMan/BookWoman has Delzer a little concerned.
“If we cannot get enough community support on this, we will probably suffer the same fate,” he says.
If you’d like to learn more and/or contribute, stop by Defunct Books’ Gofundme page.
Help Thirth Productions grow
Love the annual Thirth of July party in East Nashville? Interested in seeing more of those block party-style get-togethers happen around here? Something to consider: Thirth leader Chris Thompson is working on launching Thirth Productions, with the aim of “producing community events that inspire, entertain, and benefit East Nashville and the greater Nashville community.”
Since launching the Thirth in 2001, he’s worked on a mix of events — most recently this year’s Yesterbeer festival — and via a fundraising campaign, he’s hoping to have the funding to focus and expand.
“Historically, I have thrown these events while working for various nonprofits and businesses along the way, but I think I can give more back if I could focus on the events themselves,” a note on the Thirth Productions Startup Campaign reads. “Your support will allow me to focus on providing fun, high-quality community events that will directly give back to those nonprofits that mean so much to Nashville.”
If you’d like to learn more, and/or pitch in, lots of info/details over at the Gofundme page.
— Opening update! All-natural pet food shop Pet Wants Nashville opened Saturday, Dec. 10, at 962 Woodland. More at petwantsnashville.com.
— Another opening update! New fitness spot Title Boxing Club East Nashville hosted its grand opening on Wednesday at 605 Gallatin. More at titleboxingeast.com.
— Sunday night, a fire that began and then rekindled destroyed the Eastminster Presbyterian Church on Gallatin in Inglewood. More from WKRN.
— Little bit of catch-up: Reports in the past few weeks that the property that’s long been home to Charlie Bob's is in the process of being sold. If the sale goes through, plans are for an apartment building to go up.
— And a little love for East Nashville’s own philanthropic fashion company Project 615: Their "Heart For The Smokies" campaign in support of the Gatlinburg Relief Fund — featuring a cool T with that message — has been a major success. On Dec. 11, they’d already raised $63,500; by the next day, they were totally sold out of shirts (updated fundraising numbers coming). Check out more about those folks at www.project615.org.
— Congrats to fashionable East Nashville shop Two Son, celebrating its first birthday with a party this Sunday, Dec. 18. Butcher and Bee are doing small bites, Robin Riddell will have a Tavola wine booth and DJ Russ Pollard is spinning records, 6 to 8 p.m., 918 Main Street.
— Probably the best gift-card deal in town — a $50 one at Edley's Bar-B-Que gets you an additional $25 promo card. So much pulled pork to be had.
— On December 24, Butcher & Bee (902 Main Street) is hosting a First Night of Hanukkah dinner: “Chef Bryan Lee Weaver is preparing a special holiday menu with traditional Hanukkah dishes with a modern twist. The family-style menu will be paired with local and seasonal beers curated by craft beer guru Matt Leff.” Tickets are $85.39, dinner runs 6:30 to 9:30. More here.
— If you’re out shopping this weekend and like local food stuff, it’d be a good time to pop by Abode Mercantile (1002 Fatherland St, # 101). Saturday and Sunday, the Abode folks have a “Tasty Weekend” planned, with samples of a bunch of local food companies' products up for grabs. Saturday, you can sample Soberdough’s limited-edition Gingerbread and Eli Mason drink mixes; Sunday, they have Walker Feed Co. Bloody Mary mix and Southern Culture Foods pancakes. More here.
— Monday, Dec. 19, Rudie's in Riverside Village is hosting a Krampusnacht, with a Chinese buffet, Chinese-inspired cocktails and more. 1402 McGavock, 9 p.m. to midnight. (Bring a toy for Toys for Tots and get a free Black Abbey or Blackstone beer.)
That’s all for this week. Any East Nashville-related tips to share? Please email Nicole.