April kicked off on a fun note this year in East Nashville, with the unveiling of the Bongo Hotel, “a Luxury 83 Story Luxury Hotel” with self-driving elevators and selfie stations and baby goat yoga on every floor. Thanks for the April-fools and the lulz, Bongo Java.
Elsewhere, openings and changes at lots of local businesses, as always. The latest East Nashville news:
The Candle Bar opens East Side shop
Fresh fun for crafty East Nashvillians: As of Thursday, April 5, 901 Woodland Street (on the alley side) is home to the second location of The Candle Bar, an “an experiential retail store” concocted by Nashville-bred candle makers Paddywax.
If you’re unfamiliar, Paddywax has been in business for over 20 years, crafting high-style candles with creative fragrances, from driftwood and indigo to sea salt and sage. The Candle Bar is a newer endeavor, launched in 2017 in Berry Hill, and at their (now two) locations, shoppers get to learn how to concoct and pour candles, choosing from a wide array of vessels and from the big blend of Paddywax fragrances.
The basics on how a visit goes down: The Candle Bar does accept walk-ins for candle-making if there’s space (though they recommend reservations); once immersed in a workshop, you’ll learn the ins and outs of hand-pouring, while designing your own unique candle (you can choose from more than 40 options on the scent side, and over 50 vessels, and prices range from $25 to $35 per candle, depending on the vessel).
The feel, brand experience manager Brady Heyen says, is as much a party/hangout as a workshop.
“While we walk attendees through each step of what is essentially a science project, we don't want it to feel like chemistry lab,” Heyen says. “The Candle Bar is a place to do something fun and new with friends, family, clients or coworkers.”
East Nashville ultimately felt like a natural place for Candle Bar growth, too.
“We've always loved the walkable nature of the Five Points area, and thought The Candle Bar would be a great addition to the long list of great restaurants and shops,” Heyen said.
As a hello to new neighbors, the Candle Bar folks are offering 20 percent off to shoppers all day on Friday, April 6.
For more, or to book a reservation, visit thecandlebar.co.
Changes at Papacito Nashville
Changes are in the works over at Papacito Nashville, the Latin American restaurant perched at 3249 Gallatin Pike in Inglewood. Don’t fret, though, hardcore fans: It’s not bad stuff.
The restaurant was recently purchased by Jose Merchan (above), former general manager at Las Fiestas Cafe (also in Inglewood), and he has some big plans, including a rebranding, an updated and expanded menu and a new deck area. That rebranding will include a new name, El Fuego, which'll switch out along with new signage and a new mural. The changes are already under way, and expected to be complete by summer. Papacito will be operating regular hours, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, in the meantime (though by as soon as next week, once beer permitting comes through, closing is expected to push back to 10).
Papacito opened in 2017, in the former El Folklor restaurant space, and quickly became a favorite Nashville stop for traditional pupusas (a Salvadorean dish, with savory fillings tucked into a thick masa tortilla).
That specialty isn’t going anywhere, Merchan’s wife/partner Mary Leanderts tells us, but going forward, we’ll see other South American specialties join the mix, some born of Merchan’s own Ecuadorian upbringing.
“His family is from a tiny town called Pucará high in the Andes, and he grew up surrounded by very distinct regional flavors ... that aren’t very easy to find in this area,” Leanderts says. “The idea — at least initially — is to offer a few, rotating menu choices that highlight different regions of South America, in addition to Mexican menu staples.”
As this was being posted, the Papacito website was down, but you can keep up with the latest on the Papacito Nashville Facebook page. We'll update as the new name rolls out.
Record Store Day 2018 in East Nashville
Early heads up: The next Record Store Day — an annual celebration of independent record stores, always including a mix of limited-edition/special releases — is coming up on April 21, and once again, our East Nashville record-slingers have big stuff planned.
For your game-planning:
Fond Object (1313 McGavock Pike)
Parties are going down at both Fond Object locations (the one in Riverside Village and the downtown spot), with live performances (including lots of folks who’ve shown up in our pages, like Steelism and Tim Easton), local vendors selling wares, local adult beverages (Yazoo, Little Harpeth and more) and food trucks galore. The party runs 10 am. to p.m., and you can keep up with details/updates at the Fond Object Facebook event page.
The Groove (1103 Calvin Ave.)
They’ll be partnering again with ACME Radio, with broadcasts from inside the shop and lots of live performances in the backyard, plus food trucks and more. Keep up with The Groove Record Store Day Facebook event page.
Vinyl Tap (2038 Greenwood Ave.)
Our neighborhood record shop/bar is opening early on Record Store Day (at 10 a.m.), and along with RSD releases, they’ll be offering 15 percent off everything else in the shop. Local label Cold Lunch Recordings is wrangling a day of free, all-ages live music, including Desert Noises, Sun Brother and lots of others. Drink specials are in the mix too, including Tito’s Vodka-based mixed drinks and beer from Dogfish Head. Keep up on the Vinyl Tap Record Store Day Facebook event page.
For more on Record Store Day, including other shops hosting events around Nashville, hit recordstoreday.com.
The Growcery offers hyper-local leafy stuff
Something for the serious home chefs and kitchen pros among us: The Growcery, an East Nashville urban farm, is sprouting microgreens and hydroponically grown produce, and offering delivery here in town.
Launched about a month ago by husband/wife team Gloria and Michael Gordon, The Growcery was born out of a desire to offer fresh greens to Nashvillians, produced with as little environmental impact as possible, including as little travel as possible.
"After falling madly in love and getting married, we purchased our first home in Nashville. We wanted to work together and create something that combined our passions for farming, the food industry, and providing the community with something beneficial," Gloria tells us.
Toward that end, they’re growing a wide array of micro-crops without using any herbicides, pesticides or GMOs, and shooting to keep their travel from farm to store/table at under 15 miles. The broader intent, says Gloria, is to encourage us to reframe how we approach food in general.
“We want people to rethink ‘local,’” she says. “Why settle for something that's traveled hundreds of miles — the average meal in America travels 1500 miles from farm to table — when you can order fresh produce grown five miles from your Nashville kitchen? We want people to rethink ‘nutrition’ — why just have a bowl of your favorite kale when there are kale microgreens that contain anywhere between four and 40 times more nutrients with the same amount consumed? We want people to rethink ‘eco-friendly’ — why accept conventional farming and its use of substantially more water, land and resources when microgreens and hydroponically grown produce can be grown with a near zero environmental footprint?
“TL;DR: Michael and I love to try new techniques, push limits, and shake things up —The Growcery brand allows us to do just that.”
Theirs is a young micro-farm — the Gordons purchased their place in Highland Heights in January, and quickly got their gardens growing. (They’re already working on additional growing areas and greenhouses, which they hope to have up and running by the year’s end.)
But agriculture is a lifelong thing: Both Gordons grew up around farming — Michael on a small farm outside Charlotte, Gloria hailing from a family of orange farmers near Tampa.
Their own family farm’s menu is meant to be ever-growing, and fast-changing — they’re doing a bi-monthly micro-menu, with current offerings ranging from spicy arugula and superfood kale to broccoli, beets and more.
Intrigued? You can order directly through The Growcery, and if you’d like to lock down regular deliveries, you can sign up for a freshly picked basket of microgreens, delivered to your doorstep twice a week. (An online store is in the works for The Growcery website, too.)
— First Kristofferson and now John Prine; The Basement East is hot in the legends game right now. Info on the (already sold out) April 30 performance from Prine at the BEAST.
— Parents/caregivers/wranglers of small East Nashvillians: Swing by Her Bookshop (1043 West Eastland Ave.) on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., for Storytime. Danielle Davis, author of middle-grade book Zinnia and the Bees, will be in from L.A. to read and lead a crafts project (pom-pom making), and Emily Arrow will be in the house to share her song inspired by the book. More on Her Bookshop’s Facebook event page.
— This weekend brings the April installment of First Sunday at the Shops at Porter East, with lots of food trucks, sales, a braid bar from Darling Salon & Blow Out Bar and lots more.
— Dino’s has been closed this week, but it’s nothing worrisome; they had a water leak, and by the time you read this, they’ll likely be reopened.
— Float center/alternative therapy spa Float Horizen has some April events on the calendar, including a Float and Singing Bowl Zen Workshop on April 7 and a yoga/salt therapy/private float session on April 13, and you can save on those and other stuff with the flash-sale promo code SAVE10, good through April 9. More at floathorizen.com.
— Oddly and perplexingly heartwarming: “Suspect feels guilty, returns stolen guitars to East Nashville owner.”
— Turnip Green Creative Reuse is accepting submissions for the 3rd Annual Celebrate eARTh group show, “highlighting your creativity in transforming ‘stuff’ into something new and original.” If you’d like to submit you artwork for the group show, hit the application by April 10.
That’s all for this week. Have East Nashville news tips to share? Please email Nicole.