East Side Buzz: Little Octopus returns, My Veggie Chef leaves, Zen Den arrives and more

A welcome return, a bummer end, and a little bit of zen: Here’s the latest round of East Nashville news.


Little Octopus is back in East Nashville 

Like many East Nashvillians who enjoy freshness- and lightness-focused food, we were bummed when Little Octopus vacated the POP Nashville space in East Nashville in late 2016, for its current home in the Gulch.
With POP’s recent reopening, though (including to-go menu offerings from LO’s sister restaurant Otaku Ramen), we had hope of a wee cephalopod’s return. And, rejoice, those hopes were warranted: We can once again grab Little Octopus dishes here on the East Side.
The POP team just added a new “LO To-go” menu, for pickup and delivery at/from their 604 Gallatin Ave. location.
On that menu: a raw veg salad with smoked tofu; a chili shrimp bowl with kale and brown rice; Peruvian ceviche that leans on white fish; a spicy tuna poke bowl; and other light, fresh, Little Octopus-special fare.
Like their Otaku menu items, dishes can be ordered through the Pop To-Go website for pickup, or, for delivery, through Postmates.
Current hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Sunday noon to 10 p.m. Keep up with the latest on the POP Nashville Facebook page.

My Veggie Chef ends its run

Good food arrives, good food leaves: After nearly seven years of providing vegans and vegetarians in Nashville with easy-to-prepare meal kits suited to their diet, local company My Veggie Chef has wrapped up its run as of this week, having accepted a final round of orders on Monday.
“This decision has been carefully and prayerfully considered and I do not take it lightly,” My Veggie Chef owner/East Nashvillian Kristie Holdren said in an announcement. “I have enjoyed being at the helm of this business, but it is time for a new chapter in my life. I am looking forward to the next adventure!”
That next adventure: “Following our hearts to Asheville, N.C.,” Holdren said, social-side.
Holdren and My Veggie Chef’s arrival on the Nashville food scene predated the meal-kit boom (big-gun Blue Apron launched in 2012, same year fellow national biz Plated was founded; organics-minded org Sun Basket hit in 2014). Holdren also brought plant-focused meals to many an East Nashvillian when our neighborhood’s offerings in that sphere were a bit more limited.
Our team’s Veggie Chef fandom traces back at least five of those seven years — we chronicled a week of preparing and eating MVC meal kits back in 2013.
If you’d like to send a bon voyage, My Veggie Chef is on Facebook at facebook.com/myveggiechef.

Zen Den joins the Station

We’re a little late on this one: New East Nashville yoga studio Zen Den recently opened in The Station, the restored fire station at 1220 Gallatin Ave. that's also home to interior design company Karen Goodlow Designs and others.
The Zen Den approach: “This is a space for Yoga, Meditation, Creative Arts, Wellness, Community & Personal Development. We offer a sanctuary for you to unfold into your own unique expression & provide options for connection & expansion.”
Specifically, they offer yoga classes and private sessions, plus monthly meditation memberships that include access to quiet time in their cushion-filled space.
So far, the Den schedule’s included a mix of yoga offerings, from beginners-focused classes to candlelight restorative yoga with essential oils, and participation is available at both drop-in and package rates.
To learn more, visit zendennashville.com, or drop by the Zen Den Facebook page.

East Nashville music roundup

Wife-and-husband team Kim and Scott Collins, a.k.a. the Smoking Flowers, have a new album called Let's Die Together out June 22, and they’ll celebrate its release here in the neighborhood on Saturday, June 23, with a show at the 5 Spot.
The LP was two years in the making, and includes the single “Young & Brave,” up for listens/views above.
On the bill for the release show: Mark Fredson, Stephie James and some surprise guests. Show starts at 9 p.m.
We also wrote about East Nashvillian folk artist Erin Rae last fall, in our annual music issue, and were looking forward to her new album, Putting on Airs.
That album’s finally, newly out, and Rae’s celebrating with a two-night record-release stand at the Basement, June 29 and 30. Tickets are $10 to either, and she’s late on Friday (10 p.m.), early on Saturday (7 p.m.)
Also readying for a June 30 record-release show: Fellow East Nashvillian Jerry Castle, who’s celebrating his brand new Brand New Hello at the 5 Spot, with an early (6 p.m.) show.
Album track “Lil Bit” just got a “10 Best Country and Americana Songs of the Week” nod from Rolling Stone. Give that one a listen/watch below.


East Side Smiles’ third annual free dental day is coming up next Friday, June 29, and they’ll once again be offering free cleanings, exams, fillings, and extractions. The team plans to get started at 7 a.m. and work until 3 p.m. Says ESS' Dr. Tom Hadley: “It’s best to arrive early and bring all relevant medical histories including a list of medications. We average seeing about 70 patients and we usually stop taking new people around 1:30 p.m.” Adults only, 7 N. 10th St. (Anyone interested in volunteering should email Stacia at snhadley@yahoo.com.)
— East Nashville board-game cafe Game Point (in Bongo East) is stepping up the gaming of late, with more than 400 games in house, and lots of events on the calendar, including Wednesday Chess nights for all skill levels, a Dominion tournament and lots more.
— On Thursday, June 28, Her Bookshop hosts Happy Hour with Maggie Pate (of Nåde Studio), who’ll be sharing her new book The Natural Colors Cookbook, an introduction to creating natural dyes at home. There’ll be wine, chatting and an easy way to buy the book and have it signed. Starts at 6 p.m.
— Big, fire-roasted congrats to GReKo Greek Street Food on their first birthday. They’ll host a one-year block party on June 23 to mark the occasion, with drink specials, free bites, door prizes and more. 
— Big, sweaty hugs to East Nasty Running Club, which celebrated a full 10 years of fleet-footed fun this week. Their method of celebration: Doing “The Nasty,” their signature run, encompassing “six miles of the worst best hills in East Nashville.” Congrats (and respect), y’all. 
That’s all for this week. Have East Nashville news tips to share? Please email Nicole.

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