Imminent: The 2018 East Nashvillian music issue, covering songwriters, sidemen/women and a mess of other folks who make Music City tick, including John Prine and the Oh Boy Records family.
Interested in getting in its pages? There’s still time for ads — reach Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. (For good measure, here’s the 2017 music issue.)
With that, this week’s crop of news ranges from sweet to less sweet, incoming donuts to outgoing shops. On to it:
Donut Distillery uncorking this winter
Finally, that old Mrs. Winner's across from East High is coming back to life: Donut Distillery — a mini-donut-focused family business — is in the works at 311 Gallatin Ave., and hoping to open by December.
Like many other Nashville food entrepreneurs, our donutty soon-to-be neighbors are growing from mobile to brick and mortar, with about a year and a half of serving sweet and creative treats around Nashville in the rearview. Owner Shauna McCoy tells us that she’s particularly thrilled to be making the rolling-to-parked transition here on the East Side.
“We absolutely love East Nashville,” she says. “The community is vibrant, fun, exciting and growing and the people are extremely nice and welcoming. All these qualities are what we aspire for our shop. A brick and mortar has been the dream from the beginning, we just needed to find the perfect home.”
Once that home opens its doors, McCoy says, we can expect “hot, fresh and fun little donuts topped in all kinds of ways,” including whiskey-glazed, maple bacon, strawberry lemonade and mint chocolate, along with “great coffee, donut sundaes, craft beer and wine.”
“We think of new donut combinations daily,” she says, “and are open to all suggestions.”
Natural assumption: The name grew out of whiskey and other spirits (including Bailey’s and dark chocolate liqueur) making their way into their donut recipes. That would be mostly backwards, McCoy tells us.
“The ‘Distillery’ started because we love all the distilleries in Tennessee, and of course the whiskey,” she says, “and thought about how they make whiskey and we make donuts. The whiskey glaze came about as a very fortunate accident of mixing two great things.”
Putting big flavors in little packages, however, was more purposeful.
“Donuts are fun and I wanted to serve something that made people happy,” McCoy says. “Mini-donuts specifically are fun because they are little and easy to eat, [and] give people the opportunity to taste more flavors.”
While the McCoy family works on getting the shop open (Shauna says we should expect to see her husband Todd and their kids, Kylee, 19, Kennedy, 17, and JT, 10, “helping in every possible way”), we can keep up with their progress at the Donut Distillery website, Donut Distillery Facebook page, and Donut Distillery Instagram feed.
Atomic Nashville closing
After nearly three years and two East Nashville locations, Atomic Nashville has announced that its doors will close for good in the coming weeks at 118 S. 11th St.
The shop launched in late 2015 at 1603 Riverside Drive — the space that’ll soon be home to cat cafe The Catio — sharing books, music and art with a healthy amount of local love. Earlier this year, owner Dan Balog reopened in the current space near 5 Points. But, he said in the closing announcement, multiple factors “contribute[d] to its demise,” including “the practice of ‘showrooming’” — shoppers making use of a small business owner’s curation skills to find stuff they like, then heading to mega-retailers to ultimately make the purchase.
“That’s life in the age of Amazon,” he wrote, “but please know that when folks do this, they are telling the store owner(s) that all of those hours spent carefully curating a selection don’t matter, and that they couldn’t care less if that shop succeeds or fails. If you find something you like on the shelves of an independent retailer, please BUY IT THERE!”
Balog said he plans to keep the shop running with sporadic hours over the next few weeks, and that we shouldn’t expect a stock liquidation, since he plans to sell Atomic’s crop elsewhere.
“I want to thank each and every one of our regular customers, many of whom have become friends,” he wrote. “You know who you are! Some people truly got what I was trying to do with the store, and for your loyalty and support, I’m eternally grateful.”
Head to the Atomic Nashville Facebook page for the full announcement, and for updates on open hours as Balog winds down.
East Nashville photographer issues new book
Dazzled by decrepitude? Compelled by corrosion? You very well may fall in love with Inglewood-based photographer and author Jay Farrell’s new book, Abandoned Tennessee, released late last month as part of the America Through Time series.
To populate the book’s pages, Farrell snapped shots of forgotten spots in various Tennessee towns, from crumbling kitchens in old homes to long-fallow businesses with their rusted metals and corroded corners.
From the book description:
“Abandoned structures are places that open the imagination and invite interpretation. Distressed wood and weathered remnants of human life are crossed by time and animal tracks, inviting one to picture what once was. Abandoned homes and buildings offer a unique, distressed beauty. While often overlooked by passers-by, their skeletal remains act as the perfect subject for the lens of a camera, quietly waiting to be captured and shared.”
If you’re intrigued, Abandoned Tennessee is available through various outlets, including the publisher (and we’d venture to guess that if your favorite East Nashville book shop doesn’t already carry it, they can probably get it for you).
Farrell’s work isn’t exclusively tied to lurking in dark corners — he also works as a headshot and documentary wedding photographer here in town, capturing much more lively moments. Learn more about Farrell and his work at jayfarrellphotography.com.
Local Listening: Justin Hiltner and Daniella Mason
A broad sonic spread to lead into your weekend:
Rosebank-based banjo player and songwriter Justin Hiltner has a new collection called Watch it Burn — a collaboration with friend, songwriter and International Bluegrass Music Association Songwriter of the Year Jon Weisberger — coming out on Aug. 17 via Chapel Hill label Robust Records.
Above, sample the fleet-fingered title track, featuring contributions from Molly Tuttle, the first woman to win the IBMA’s Guitar Player of the Year award.
For more, and/or to preorder Watch it Burn, head to the Robust Records website.
A little further down the release-schedule line:
East Sider Daniella Mason — whose songwriting resume includes tracks recorded by the pop-superstar likes of Nick Jonas — has a new EP, Emotional State, due out on Sept. 21.
This one’s planned as the first in a four-EP “State of Mine” series that she’ll unveil over the next year (Physical State, Mental State, and Spiritual State will follow).
In the leadup to that release, she just shared massively hooky, glitchy single “Human” — a track with a genesis that the workaholics among us will relate to.
“‘Human’ was born out of an experience last year where I was working constantly, keeping my head down, clocking 90 hour weeks,” Mason said in a release. “My husband always had the perfect timing of poking his head into my studio and asking me to dinner or simply sitting with me as I worked, and that human connection would always shake me from my work trance. One night I said to him, ‘You remind me that I’m not a machine.’ I wrote it down because I knew it would come back around. And as it usually unfolds, the song ended up having an even deeper meaning because it tells the larger story of how we’ve both become so much more alive, so much more human, because we decided to be vulnerable with each other. Neither of us are naturally inclined to be that way, so our daily choice to expose the things we’re tempted to hide is truly the most beautiful of all of the journeys we’ve been on together.”
Give a look/listen below, and keep up with more/prep to purchase Emotional State by following Daniella Mason on Facebook.
— It’s Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Party week! Saturday, Aug. 18’s show features Nora Jane Struthers and Keats (and you, if you’d like to bring a stringed instrument and contribute to the soundtrack), and “doors” open at 6 p.m. at the historic Cornelia Fort Airpark.
— East Park Donuts and Coffee (the new business taking over the former Bagel Face location) has set a soft-opening date! They’ll start slinging donuts and coffee on Wednesday, Aug. 22, and initial hours are 6:30 a.m.-1p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
— Domino magazine listed out “9 Companies Making Your Custom Wallpaper Dreams Come True,” and included East Nashville’s own New Hat.
— TFW Reese Witherspoon ’grams about your East Nashville restaurant’s marquee and then LeBron follows up and then Octavia Spencer volleys and then Halle Berry sends it home. Just a normal day for The Rosepepper.
— Big congratulations to Tower Market and Deli, whose third birthday is coming up on Sept. 1. They’re already celebrating by giving away raffle tickets with any purchase, which’ll net some Tower fans door prizes on the big day.
— Another round of big congratulations to East Nashville’s Friendly Arctic Printing & Design, who’ll be turning 10 in September, and celebrating with a “10 Years of Adventure” party on Sept. 14, with beer, music, food and a “print your own T-shirt” setup.
That’s all for this week. Have some East Nashville news tips to share? Please email Nicole.