East Side Buzz: Boombozz’s East Nashville opening, Artaya Loka, the Watson Twins, ‘Ramen Otaku’ and more

Quick heads up to whet your appetite for our November/December issue: We’re working on our first food and drink-focused special issue, telling the stories of a slew of folks who make East Nashville more delicious. If you’d like to get an ad in its pages, drop Lisa a line at lisa@theeastnashvillian.com.
With that, fittingly enough, we have some fun food bits this week, plus fashion and music and more. On to the latest bits of East Nashville news:

Boombozz Craft Pizza & Taphouse readies for fall opening

If you’ve spent any time in the 5 Points area recently, you’ve likely spied the impressively large project (rendering above) coming together over at the former Crystal Fountain Church of God in Christ, at 1003 Russell St. 
Said project: a new East Nashville location for Kentucky-bred chain Boombozz Craft Pizza & Taphouse, which is, at long last, getting close to completion.
We first heard rumblings about the new pizza/pints project back in late 2016, and although there are still a few letters to cross and dot before an official grand opening is announced, Nashville market COO Bryan Beach tells us that the third week of October is likely, and that a grand opening week celebration with local breweries popping in is in the works.
The East Nashville location is just one on a list of Tennessee additions from Boombozz, but Beach says it was one the team was particularly excited about.
“There is so much culture and pride wrapped up in this area,” he says. “It gave us what felt like a new opportunity with our concept, by looking a bit outside of the box from our normal brand with items like custom murals and a full-size playground. The demographics in the area also screamed pizza, sports, and beer to us.”
That playground: a very prominent part of the restaurant’s outdoor space, and not a standard thing for all Boombozz locations. A family-friendly setting, however, is standard Boombozz operating procedure.
“We are very focused on surrounding communities and families at each store,” Beach says. “Tuesdays are always 'Kids Eat Free' at each restaurant. We also pair up with local schools and organizations to provide fundraising opportunities and sponsorships. The guests that dine at our restaurants come from our local communities, so that is who we want to support.”
The kind of fare offered to big and small Boombozz diners alike, in East Nashville as with other locations: a mix of approachable, almost pub-foodie items like wings and nachos, and more crafty concoctions, like pizza topped with slow-roasted carnitas or all manner of fajita biz.
“Our slogan, ‘Crafted for You,’ really points toward our menu design,” Beach says. “We have a very diverse set of specialty pizzas to try and reach all types of tastes and preferences, but … we focus on the highest quality on all parts of our menu, all the way down to a cheese pizza.”
An official opening announcement should come soon; keep up with the latest on the Boombozz Craft Pizza & Taphouse East Nashville Facebook page.

Artaya Loka popping up at the Shoppes

Another new East Nashville fashion stop is coming soon: On Nov. 1, Artaya Loka plans to open its first studio/retail space at 1006 Fatherland St., Suite 205, in the Shoppes on Fatherland.
On the racks: a mix of made-to-order and ready-to-wear clothing, plus handmade accessories and art. Shoppers will also get a rare look behind the fashion scenes, too, as the studio side of the space sheds light on the design and construction process for pieces made in-house.
Designer Dana Greaves launched the brand in 2017, sharing pieces at shops, pop-ups and makers markets around town. She came to Nashville in 2016, after launching an earlier line, called Artaya, in her hometown of Washington, D.C.
Her design intent with this current brand (whose first collection will debut with the shop opening): “producing ‘Borderless Designs’ that cross cultural and gender borders with a mix of prints with genderless shapes.
“I encourage shoppers to wear what they love and to find designs that allow them to express themselves authentically,” Greaves says. 
Once the doors open, Artaya Loka hours will be 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, and noon to 6 p.m. Monday.
To get some early insight into Greaves’ style and the Artaya Loka aesthetic, swing by artayaloka.com and/or follow Artaya Loka on Instagram.

Watson Twins ready ‘Duo’

Last week we were looking toward Wished Out, the new LP from My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel, with contributions from bandmate Bo Koster, producer/musician Russ Pollard and others. Column coincidence: Those particular folks sure seem to be on a productive streak — all three also played a role in bringing Duo, the upcoming sixth album from sister team The Watson Twins, to life.
The East Nashville-based Twins’ new set is due out on Oct. 12, and it includes eight co-written tunes that mix strummy folk tones and pastoral country vibes and more, Chandra and Leigh Watson’s harmonies interweaving throughout.
Duo is up for preorders now, and early buys include an instant download of leadoff single “Hustle and Shake,” taste-testable above.
The Watson Twins will also celebration Duo’s release with a hometown show at The Basement on Oct. 13. Tickets for that show are $8 in advance, and on sale now.
For more on the Twins and the new album, stop by thewatsontwins.com

Otaku’s Gavigan readies ‘Ramen’ book

While East Nashville’s POP Nashville takes a revamp-focused breather, founder Sarah Gavigan is busy prepping for another Ramen-y release: her new book, Ramen Otaku, due out via Penguin Random House on Nov. 13.
Inside the book’s 200-plus pages, Gavigan’s aimed to “strip the mystique from ramen while embracing its history, magic, and rightful place in the American home kitchen,” with more than 40 recipes and tips on how to master the flavorful Japanese noodle dish.
As the chef and founder of Otaku Ramen (whose full-time brick-and-mortar space is now locked down in The Gulch), Gavigan is a serious ramen nerd. But the book’s billed as a resource even non-nerds can get into — something “accessible to the home cook who wants to learn about the cuisine but would sometimes rather make a quick stock in a pressure cooker than labor over a vat of liquid for 24 hours.”
It’s already earning high praise from high culinary places — food TV mainstay Andrew Zimmern, for one, said, “Ramen Otaku is the book every ramen fiend who loves to cook has been waiting for.” 

More local music:

On Sept. 14, East Sider Cristina Spinei released a new EP, Mechanical Angels, with three works for solo piano and one cello-piano duet, which the composer/performer says are “more personal and exposed than anything else that I’ve written.” Give the video for haunting EP track “Relics” a spin above, and grab Mechanical Angels at cristinaspinei.com.
Next month, she’ll be at TPAC's Polk Theater for three Seven Deadly Sins shows, alongside Nashville Ballet dancers and folks from Nashville singer-songwriter collective Ten Out of Tenn, performing an original composition. It’ll run Oct. 18-20, and tickets are on sale now.
Completely different vibe but just as much East Nashville-ness: Local artist Dean Everett Jackson just dropped a new video for laid-back pop song “Silver Linings,” from an upcoming LP. If you’re an East Nashvillian, you’re sure to recognize a bunch of the faces and places within. Among the folk popping up onscreen: 5 Spot captain Todd Sherwood, Amanda Shires drummer/bandleader Jerry Pentecost and a whole bunch of Five Point Pizza dough, plus, fittingly enough, Jackson and Spinei kickin’ it in Shelby Park..
Give it a watch below. 


Rolling Stone rounded up the “Best Things We Saw” at the 2018 AmericanaFest, and their “Best See You Next Year” pick was Sunday Morning Coming Down, the Sunday shindig we helped wrangle in East Nashville alongside J.P. Harris (with help from a whole crew of other great folks). Big love and many thanks to everyone who took part or partied. See you next year indeed.
— We’re about a week away from Grimey’s being an official East Nashville business. They’re aiming to open up at 1060 East Trinity Lane on Friday, Sept. 28, at 10 a.m.
— This Sunday, East Nashville’s new Shelby Ave Bicycle Co is hosting the first Shelby Ave Bicycle Fest, aimed at raising funds for the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research.
— Some months back, we gave a heads up about another new CBD shop coming to East Nashville. And the folks from LabCanna (1006 Gallatin Ave., right next to Pearl Diver) tell us they’re super close to opening the doors. Inspections/finishing touches, then likely by the first week of October. 
— This Saturday is HON Day, Hands On Nashville’s signature day of service and largest annual fundraiser, supporting Metro Nashville Public Schools. And one of our own schools could use some volunteer hands. Head here to pitch in at Gra-Mar Middle School (projects can include anything from planting trees and landscaping playgrounds to painting murals).
— Senior Ride Nashville, a transportation alternative for seniors, is expanding service to include East Nashville, and they’ll be hosting an information session at the East Park Community Center on Monday, Oct. 1.
Happy first birthday to The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club. They’ll have drink specials, new merch and surprises all weekend to celebrate. 
Project 615 has teamed up with The Shine Project on a collection of special-edition “Be the Change” T-shirts, selling just for the next few weeks, with all profits going toward college scholarships for inner-city students here in Nashville.
New expanded schedule at East Side Smiles: 7-7, Monday through Thursday. 
— Busy weekend at The Bookshop in East Nashville. Friday, Sept. 21, they’re launching a new “Storytime for Grownups” program, with local writers reading books they love. It starts at 6 p.m. On Sunday, author Alice Bolin (Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession) is coming by for the free Sunday Salon, which kicks off at 4:30 p.m.
That’s it for this week. Have some East Nashville news tips to share? Please email Nicole

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