From pinball to puppies to peculiar pizza, this one’s fun. The latest round of East Nashville news:
Hunter & June opens in East Nashville
New East Nashville friends for furry family members: Pet supply shop Hunter & June opened on Tuesday at 727 Porter Rd., offering “beautifully designed and unique products for dogs and the people who love them,” including bandanas and Ts, collars and leashes, toys and treats and pup-themed towels and art for pet parents.
Led by husband-and-wife team (and onetime East Nashvillians) Pete and Kalina Stormer, the new brick-and-mortar is an outgrowth of the Hunter & June online shop, which has been up and going since last September. Putting physical roots in that particular spot has special resonance to the couple, too.
“When we were first getting started, we were invited to be a pop-up retailer — we, of course, call them ‘Pup Up’ shops — at First Sundays at The Shops at Porter East,” Kalina tells us. “It's a fun little street fair that's held at the shopping center on the first Sunday of every month. We had no idea what to expect since it was our first time selling our items in person, but we were blown away by the response. We had so much fun meeting people and their adorable dogs, and continued to have success with our other pop-up shops in the area. With such a positive response to our concept in the neighborhood, when a space became available there, we knew we had to jump at the opportunity.”
This is the couple’s first entrepreneurial venture, and to build it, they’ve been pulling bits from their professional backgrounds — luxury retail and PR for Kalina, digital marketing for Pete — along with their personal lives (“Hunter” and “June” are past and present family pets) and tastes.
“When we shop for ourselves or for our homes, we are intentional about the quality and aesthetic,” Kalina says. “Our goal is to offer that same experience for pet owners. We also keep the majority of our products made in the USA, and if not made here then purchased from a U.S. vendor. We are ‘crazy dog people’ ourselves, so it comes naturally for us to connect with and understand our audience.”
Going from online-only to an in-person option gives the couple the chance to explore more of that “crazy dog person” energy, too.
“We're excited to be able to expand the products we carry and incorporate some fun experiential elements that we couldn't offer just selling online,” Kalina says. “For example, we've installed a mirror that sits on the floor so dogs can see themselves when they try things on. Our love for dogs is larger than life, and we wanted to create a space that reflects that.”
The Hunter & June shop is open now 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 to 4 Saturday and noon to 4 on Sunday. For 24/7 shoppers (and more info), stop by hunterandjune.co.
Pinball bar No Quarter coming to Main
Nashville has its share of video-game bars — Headquarters Beercade downtown, Two Bits on Demonbreun. But the in-the-works pinball-and-pints spot No Quarter, at 922B Main St., is aiming to offer a mix of drinking and playing with much more of an East Nashville-centric vibe.
“We’re going for just a neighborhood bar feel,” says East Sider Seth Steele, who’s launching No Quarter alongside co-owner Scott Holdren. “We’re not trying to be super fancy or anything.”
More, they’re trying to be enthusiastic advocates for pinball — a passion the co-owners/longtime software developers both picked up over the past few years. For Steele, it started with one vintage game, and learning how to fix it up. An interest grew into a collection, and over time, he and onetime co-worker Holdren ended up amassing 30-something pinball games, which they housed in an office space over by Cannery Row. The collection then inspired a series of pinball-night gatherings.
“We started getting like 50, 60 people coming out, and we were like, ‘OK, what do we do now?’” Steele says. “So we started looking for spaces.”
A year and a half or so later, the co-owners are putting the finishing touches on No Quarter, in the spot that most recently housed vape shop Gizmo’s. There’s seating next to a low-key bar that’ll have lots of local beer on tap, plus a vintage jukebox, all tucked behind an open space full of pinball games spanning decades — like Joker Poker pinball from the ’70s, set across from a fresh Guardians of the Galaxy game that pipes up with movie clips on an LCD screen. Swing by for a drink or snack, and you’ll be able to try out pinball games from the 1950s up through last year.
“We have these tokens with our logo — if you come in and buy food or drink we’ll just give you some tokens so you can play,” Steele says. “So in theory, as long as you’re buying stuff, you’re playing for free.”
The co-owners are aiming for an early September opening, if inspections/licensing come through as planned. But meantime, neighbors Smith & Lentz are helping to introduce No Quarter to East Nashville a little earlier, hosting a Pinball Tourney at the brewery (903 Main St.) on Sunday, August 12, 3-5 p.m. Steele and Holdren plan to bring a few games over so folks can get acquainted, test-drive options and test their pinball skills.
“We just both fell in love with pinball, and want to get more people interested,” Steele says. “A share-what-we-love kinda thing.”
For more on that event, stop by the Pinball Tourney with No Quarter Facebook event page. Keep up with the latest about the bar at the No Quarter Facebook page.
Trisha Yearwood talks cheese
Locals who tune in this weekend to Trisha Yearwood’s Trisha’s Southern Kitchen show may recognize some neighbors: The country star/food guru stopped by East Nashville recently to talk curds and whey at homegrown shop Follow Me Cheese, at 1006 Fatherland St., Suite 206.
Danielle Deak, who runs the shop with sister Casey, tells us that Trisha’s folks reached out to their young business a few months ago — Follow Me Cheese just opened last August, stocking a curated selection of American cheeses, and barely half a year later, one of country music’s best-known stars was looking to book and film a visit.
“We, of course, said ‘Yes!’” Deak says, noting that they spotlighted the creations of local/Southern farms for the Food Network series, now in its 12th season. “They were excited to have some local options to try for a cheese tasting at our shop, and use for the recipes on their show.”
The cheesemongers and singer/TV personality bonded, too, over similar familial experiences.
“Trisha told us she has a sister and asked Casey and me if we fight,” Deak says (Yearwood and her sister, Beth Bernard, have worked together too, onscreen and on cookbook writing). “We told her that we definitely have our moments. Running a business with someone in your immediate family can be challenging, but it also has the benefit that you have a partner that understands you and that you can trust.”
The Follow Me Cheese episode of Trisha’s Southern Kitchen — fittingly called "Cheese, Please!" — is set to air on Saturday, July 28 at 9:30 a.m. Central. (If you can’t catch it then, it’s due to re-air on Tuesday, July 31 at 11 a.m. Central).
For more on Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, stop by foodnetwork.com. To get to know Follow Me Cheese better, head to followmecheese.com, or stop by the Fatherland shop Monday to Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sunday noon to 5.
TailGate Brewery readying East Nashville taproom
More good news for local beer lovers from The Tennessean’s Lizzy Alfs: She shared an update this week about Nashville craft beer providers TailGate Brewery, who should have their new East Nashville taproom/brewery open in the “next couple weeks.”
Their new home, at 811 Gallatin Rd. (next to the new East Nashville Dental Co. and Cured Nails), joins existing TailGate locations on Charlotte Pike and near Music Row, which both include all manner of house-made pours alongside sandwiches, pizza, pasta, and more, which we can expect at the East Side location as well.
Both the food and beer menus at TailGate range from simple to surprising. On the food front, you can order a Cobb salad and Reuben sandwich, or a mac & cheese pizza for dinner and a Goo Goo Cluster pizza for dessert. For beer, their Naked Statue Golden Ale is a solid standby, and a “Thiccc Strawberry Milkshake IPA” drops in August.
Our neighborhood spot is a bit cozier than the other TailGate taprooms, at 2,500 square feet, and owner Wesley Keegan told Alfs we can expect a slightly different vibe, too.
“It’s going to be a little slower, more artistic and more expensive for us,” he said. “…It is a little more of a boutique market, it’s a little more niche.”
Read more about the East Nashville TailGate taproom at Tennessean.com, and keep up with the latest at tailgatebeer.com.
Erin Rae to hit the road with Iron & Wine, Jenny Lewis
Fans of Erin Rae — a local we wrote about in our last music issue — get a good we-knew-her-when moment: The singer-songwriter just announced a run of dates alongside indie-rock stalwarts Iron & Wine and Jenny Lewis.
Rae also has a mix of her own dates in support of new album Putting On Airs, which came out in June via Single Lock Records. The early part of her upcoming run brings her home to Nashville, for an August 19 show at 3rd & Lindsley. From there, she’ll head to Europe, then flank the States again, from Texas with Lewis to Ohio with Iron & Wine and California with Michael Nau.
Stop by erinraemusic.com for the full mix of tour dates, and give a listen to Airs track "June Bug" above.
— Big congrats to Shugga Hi Bakery & Cafe on one year in business in East Nashville. They’ll be celebrating Saturday with a party at their place (1000 Dickerson Pike), 7 to 10 p.m., with a DJ, food and drink specials and more.
— Similarly, from Washington: “East Nashville, where every Seattle hipster will feel at home.”
— Need just a little more to roll your eyes about at brunch? CNN collected the “best places to visit in the United States,” and woo Nashville: “A stop in the city's east side, dubbed the Brooklyn of Nashville, for a bite or drink or a yoga class is a must.”
— “Exotic lounge” Pearl Diver is planning on opening its East Nashville doors to the public this weekend.
— Drew and Ellie Holcomb and The Neighbors bring us Christmas news in July: Their annual Christmas celebration is coming back to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, December 17. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 27. (Here’s a cover story we ran on Drew Holcomb, and here’s a little something we ran on Ellie Holcomb.)
— Regular party Schwing celebrates its sixth anniversary at 308 on Friday, July 27, with ’90s/early 2000s songs and movies, no cover.
That’s all for this week. Have East Nashville news tips to share? Please email Nicole.