This week, we’re celebrating the opening of a new East Nashville restaurant we’ve been waiting on a while, and looking toward a future filled with electric bikes, skydiving, comic books and more.
On to the latest East Nashville news:
Lyra Middle Eastern restaurant opens
A new life begins for the former Holland House space: Lyra — a new “modern Middle Eastern” concept from longtime Nashville chef Hrant Arakelian and fellow hospitality vet Elizabeth Endicott — welcomed its first diners on Thursday, during a soft-opening open-house party.
Staff said they plan to get a few more soft-open days in before full launch, but at the preview celebration, even if some of the furniture wasn’t in place yet, the food was already poised and ready. Arakelian and staff unveiled a tasting menu that included fresh hummus with fresh spring crudité and pita baked in their wood-fired oven, carrot kibbeh wraps with sweet dates, cauliflower lahmacun flatbread, eggplant skins full of bright baba ganoush and more.
The bar, as of Thursday, was working with a beer-only menu, but the team's beer cocktails — a "Keyser Gose" with hibiscus and grenadine, and a "Wit-ie Joker" with grapefruit and mint shrub — offered a little insight into the complexity and punch of the Lyra bar program (which should be firing fully next week).
It’s been a long process, getting to this just-about-open point — word about Lyra first started flying around late last year. Inside 935 W. Eastland Ave., the fruits of their months of labor are apparent: The lamplight, NOLA-inspired vibes of Holland House have been stripped and replaced with a much more open, airy decor, with emerald and moss-green tones, gold-finished patterns and sleek gray concrete and polished terrazzo. Holland House's massive central bar is gone, opening up for straight-shot view to the kitchen.
The new home is actually a return for Arakelian, who was leading the Holland House kitchen a few years prior to its closure, and whose resume also boasts stints at celeb chef Jonathan Waxman’s Adele’s and at the recently shuttered East Nashville spot Rumours East.
Holland House moved out of the West Eastland space last summer, after a roughly seven-year run that saw that corner of 37207 blossom into a dining hotspot.
Lyra’s initial hours: Monday through Saturday, 4 to 6 p.m. for happy hour, 5 to 10 for dinner. For more on Lyra, visit lyranashville.com; to keep up with the full-opening announcement, follow Lyra on Instagram.
Pedego Electric Bikes coming to East Nashville
If you found yourself falling in love with those electric Bird scooters, a more long-term option you might be interested in: A Pedego Electric Bikes shop is in the works in East Nashville, set for 416 Woodland St., in the new(ish) Eastside Heights development.
Like those much-loved/much-maligned scooters, Pedego’s products are two-wheeled with a mechanical push — they look like normal bicycles, with options that range from cruisers to commuters to fat-tired trail bikes, but a geared, lithium battery-powered motor offers boosts of power and speed, going up to 20 MPH (regulations cap it there) and cruising as far as 60 miles, depending on factors like terrain and pedal power.
Brand new, most Pedego bikes cost a few grand (the basic City Commuter runs $2,995 to $3,295), though the company also offers “certified pre-loved” bikes starting at $1,499.
When the East Side shop opens, we can expect to see a selection of new bikes, along with helmets and accessories. A little down the line, as the shop’s bike rental program gets going, we can expect to see pre-loved options coming online too. (For those rentals, riders pick up/drop off Pedegos there at the shop, with rates that run between $14 and $20 an hour, $50 and $125 a day, depending on the bike.)
This new East Nashville location comes from experienced Pedego hands: Kemberly and Bob Harris, who helm the existing Pedego location in downtown Franklin.
The Harrises are a classic “also a client” case — they became acquainted with Pedego bikes while on vacation, after renting one and falling in love.
“We came back home and asked ourselves, ‘What could we do with these bikes here?’” Kemberly Harris says. “And the rest is history.”
The Franklin Pedego shop opened about six months later. Kemberly says Nashville has been on the agenda for a long while, but that finding the right spot proved a challenge.
“We would occasionally find something we thought would be a good fit, but for one reason or another, there would always be something that wouldn’t work out,” she says. “So, here we are … looking forward to sharing all the fun of Pedego electric bikes with Nashvillians that we and others have had elsewhere.”
Harris sees the bikes as solid commuter options for East Nashvillians, and another piece of East Nashville fun for visitors too — they plan to offer guided Pedego tours once the doors open, focused on fitting topics: music, and food.
Harris expects the East Nashville location to open sometime in mid- to late summer. Meantime, take a look around the Pedego Franklin shop’s website to learn more.
Marigold Holistic launches in Inglewood
A new local business that East Nashvillians interested in natural healing and health might wanna take note of: Marigold Holistic, an “herbal education and consultation service … that focuses on holistic applications to encourage whole body wellness.”
Led by Middle Tennessee native Meagan Claire Hall, Marigold offers classes, workshops, consultations and more, focusing on “herbal medicine, natural health, holistic healing, and getting to the root issue of what someone is experiencing/struggling with,” Hall says.
The new company comes after years of Southern Folk Medicine and Western Herbal Traditions training for Hall, including classes from renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, courses with natural health school Bastyr University in Seattle and a three-year herbal practitioner program with well-known Alabama herbalist Phyllis D. Light. All told, Hall put in five years of focused study, encompassing everything from plant identification and plant medicine-making to learning how our bodies' systems work and how herbs can work with them.
Hall came by the interest in herbalism, fittingly enough, pretty naturally.
“My parents had always been sorta hippies for Tennessee,” she says. “We grew a garden, canned food, my dad — hailing from true Appalachia — would always talk about folk remedies they used to do, like healing a cut with the soot from an oil lamp or a wadded up spiderweb, drinking castor oil, chewing on pine sap for backaches, or taking sips of turpentine to keep healthy. It seemed funny and quaint and weird as a kid as we were taking antibiotics and going to the ‘real’ doctor.
“As I grew older and had various health and anxiety issues that it didn't seem like prescriptions could help with, I started researching … about an herb called eyebright that would stop eye itching. My allergies were terrible here in Tennessee. I wondered where I could get this magical eye-itch herb…”
A 2005 move to the Pacific Northwest brought Hall face-to-face with the “magical” herb for the first time, along with herb-store pros who had more suggestions for allergy relief.
“I had never been so allergy-free in my life,” Hall says. “I’m a skeptic at heart, and love a good scientific study, but what I encountered there and still do, is that plant medicine, when you get the right one for you, is extremely effective.”
Hall is quick to point out that “people shouldn’t forgo medical attention or therapy just to take herbs,” but she’s seen herbal remedies have a positive effect on insomnia, menstrual pain, colds and flu, cuts and scrapes and managing anxiety and stress.
For Marigold consultations, over about two hours, she digs into a “super deep chat” about issues and options.
“People have said it's the first time they feel like they've been really been heard,” Hall says. “And that is definitely part of the healing process, regardless of the issue they've come in for. Many times people come in for a physical issue but we end up really delving into the emotional aspect and how that's affecting them. It's all intertwined.”
Beyond direction, Marigold Holistic does also offer some herbal products, including flower essences and hydrosols (water-based distilled herbs), some of which will be on hand when Hall heads to Nashville makers market Porter Flea this month (June 29 to 30 at the Nashville Fairgrounds). Beyond, the Marigold office is located in Inglewood’s Sparkworks Union, by appointment only.
Have questions or interest in getting to know Marigold’s brand of herbalism better? Visit marigoldholistic.com.
Skydiving on the East Bank?
Seems like a lot of Nashvillians love lauching golf balls into the air around the East Bank at TopGolf — what about putting yourself up there?
Could be an option soon enough, says the Nashville Business Journal, reporting on Austin-based indoor skydiving company iFLY eyeing a location near Topgolf Nashville’s Cowan Street spot (which opened last fall).
The skydiving providers have locations spread throughout the country, from Florida to California and lots of states in between, along with several international spots.
In those spaces, the company gives attendees the chance to experience “the simulation of true freefall conditions in a vertical wind tunnel” that stretches as high as 43 feet, hosting birthday parties, STEM field trips, Flight School coaching for kids and lots more.
So long as you’re over the age of 3 and under 300 pounds (and not pregnant, and not dealing with recent back/neck/heart/shoulder problems), you’re likely good to go, with flight packages starting at around $80 (one person, two flights).
Intrigued? Could be happening on our side of the river as soon as next year, the Business Journal says. Read more at bizjournals.com, and learn more about iFLY at iflyworld.com.
Wakeup Comics gets in the Groove
A new addition to the Groove at 1103 Calvin Ave. in East Nashville: Wakeup Comics, stocking alternative, small-press and indie comics inside the shop.
Those folks just got going under a week ago, and on their shelves, you’ll see stuff from boutique comics studios like Sweden's Peow, along with books from indie artists including Tom Van Deusen, Tyler Landry, Eva Müller and lots of others.
Groove hours are Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday noon to 6. To keep up with the latest comics additions, follow Wakeup Comics on Instagram.
— East Nashville Family Medicine is hosting a free B-12 clinic at the office on June 22, 8 a.m. to noon. Need a boost? Swing by 801 Woodland St., in Eastside Station.
— The gas station property at the corner of Riverside and Porter has gone up for sale, via Nashville Post.
— Project 615’s annual 615 Day event is set for Friday, June 15, in Richland Park, 3 to 9 p.m., with music, food trucks, vendors and more. Admission is free, proceeds benefit Musicians on Call.
— Nissan Taste of Music City food festival goes down Saturday downtown, and some East Side food names will be on site, including GReKo Greek Street Food, Nashville Urban Winery and others.
— Turnip Green Creative Reuse is hosting a series of “Dirt on Composting” workshops, all free of charge thanks to Metro Nashville Public Works. You’ll learn how to reduce food waste through composting during the one-hour sessions, and folks who attend this Saturday, June 16’s 3 p.m. workshop will leave with a free backyard composter. More at the “Dirt on Composting” Facebook event page.
— “Shopping for Dad at Fatherland Merchants” in East Nashville with NewsChannel 5’s Talk of the Town.
— Also from NewsChannel 5: “Nashville's Game Point Cafe Encouraging Face-To-Face Play.” (Here’s what we wrote about Game Point opening last year.)
— On Tuesday, a slew of staffers from The Wild Cow are performing at the Cobra here in the neighborhood, in an effort to raise funds for local dog rescue East C.A.N. If you like music/comedy/dogs/neighbors, swing by around 8 p.m.
— CASA Nashville is offering lunch for young neighbors this summer: Kids and teens eat free 1 to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the East Nashville public library branch.
— Via Yahoo, Oprah and other self-made billionaires who went to public school: "It was upon arriving at her third high school, East Nashville High School, that Winfrey most excelled as a teen." Here's to our current East Side scholars, going on to greatness.
That’s it for this week. Have East Nashville news tips to share? Please email Nicole.