Weird week in Nashville when all anyone can talk about is soccer. But the Major League Soccer-coming-to-Nashville news is big and cool, and since the proposed stadium is over by the fairgrounds, for once, feetballs shouldn’t mean extra traffic for us. Goal.
Pictured above: Exclusive T-shirt commemorating our soccer success, from our neighbors at Project 615.
Elsewhere this week, we’ve got food news, music news and lots more. On to the latest East Side Buzz:
Lyra taking Holland House’s space
Exciting East Nashville restaurant-news scoop from the Nashville Business Journal this week: The former Holland House Bar & Refuge space is set to get new life from a familiar face.
Chef Hrant Arakelian — who once led the kitchen at Holland House, and did stints with Adele’s and many other eateries — is planning to launch a new Middle Eastern restaurant called Lyra at 935 West Eastland Avenue.
The new restaurant, due to open in late spring, is a family project, with Arakelian’s wife Elizabeth Endicott sharing the driver’s seat and leading Lyra’s bar program.
There’s little in the way of early details up at Lyra’s official website (aside of some pretty compelling food photos), but it’s fair to expect a “Modern Middle Eastern Cuisine” concept helmed by Arakelian to be excellent, and authentic — the chef comes from a Lebanese family, and he came of age traveling around and sampling flavors across the Middle East.
Arakelian’s former employer and longtime tenant of that West Eastland space, Holland House, closed unexpectedly this summer, after seven years in East Nashville.
Read more about Lyra at the Nashville Business Journal website. For more on Hrant Arakelian, read the interview we did during his Holland House tenure.
East Nashville holiday plans for the plans-less
No East Nashville neighbor needs to feel lonely or hungry on Christmas Day: The Tower Market and Deli family is hosting complimentary dinner at their place (1305 Gallatin Avenue), where you can eat, drink and be merry, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
If you haven’t been to Tower before: Styled after a New York deli, they offer a slew of made-to-order sandwiches and lots of hot prepared foods and baked goods, and have a large market stocked with local/regional products, from coffee and dried pasta to fresh produce.
Learn more/check out the menu at towerdelimarket.com, and if you were planning on doing TV dinners on Christmas Day, feel encouraged to reroute. The Tower folks’ food is great; company’s even better.
Tangentially related: The holiday season also brings two of East Nashville Beer Works’ best now-annual celebrations, pre- and post-Christmas.
On Saturday, Dec. 23, the East Side craft brewery hosts their second annual "Festivus for the Rest of Us" Christmas Party, 2 to 7 p.m., with all the trimmings — Festivus pole, Feats of Strength, and in the airing-of-grievances category, new Festivus Milk Stout, "The Grievance,” brewed with chocolate from neighbors Olive & Sinclair.
Post-Christmas, you can plan to get your New Year’s Eve partying done mercifully early, with the return of ENBW’s NOON Year's Eve Celebration, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with happy hour specials, music and a countdown (to 12 noon, naturally). Kid-friendly, too.
We’ll likely share some other East Nashville New Year’s celebration options on social media, but this might be the only one made for those of us who crash by 9:30.
Fannie Battle remodel revealed
We mentioned recently that East Nashville’s Fannie Battle Day Home for Children was about to get a big facelift, as a generous gift from Nashville design firm Advent.
That project — part of Advent’s new SEE615 community service initiative — just wrapped, and this week, the Fannie Battle and Advent folks hosted a reveal, unveiling completely overhauled common areas, including the front lobby and organization area for delivered donations.
Sadly, we don’t have any before pictures on hand to give you the full HGTV experience, but the “after” shots above/below offer a nice look at all the hard, well-done work.
The renewed space brings fresh, stylish surroundings to the long-running local organization, which has been aiding Nashville families in need for more than 125 years. Learn more about Fannie Battle at fanniebattle.org.
Red Beet Records chief brings Paris to East Nashville
Fans of East Nashville indie label Red Beet Records are surely already on this one, but in case you’re new to the Red Beet family: A few weeks ago, label founder Eric Brace dropped his latest album, and it’s a surprising addition to the folk/Americana singer-songwriter’s discography.
Cartes Postales, out now, is a full collection of French songs, pulled together as a tribute to Brace’s late, Parisian-born father Paul. On the set, Brace and his collaborators (Rory Hoffman, Mark Fain and Lynn Williams) interpret tunes first recorded by the likes Django Reinhardt and Lucienne Boyer, and do a spot-on job of evoking evening strolls along the Seine.
Above, there’s a video capture of album track “Venez Donc Chez Moi,” performed at the record release party here in town. Sample snippets of Cartes Postales on iTunes, and grab your copy of the album through Brace’s label at redbeetrecords.com.
It’s already Tomato Art Fest time?
Well, no. But when all you East Nashville makers/artists/artisans/entrepreneurs recover from the holiday crush, worth knowing: Vendor applications for the 2018 Tomato Art Fest are now open.
The 15th annual festival — always the biggest party in East Nashville — is set for August 10 and 11, and if you’d like to sell your wares at the event, you can fill out the application on the Tomato Art Fest site.
Side note: It’s just one of many Nashville events/fests opening up vendor applications already — Tomato Art Fest wranglers Good Neighbor Festivals are accepting vendors for EdgeHill Rocks in April, Nashville Pride in June and others, too. No rest for the talented.
— We're in Vogue. Again! Lots of East Nashille love in Vogue magazine's rundown of the best places to buy a home, including Barista Parlor and newcomer Cafe Roze.
— He made sure to emphasize his last name: Check out singer-songwriter Anderson East in Billboard, posing in East Nashville at Dino’s.
— Speaking of Dino’s: Bon Appétit scribe/well-known food expert Andrew Knowlton outlined “The 3 Best Burgers of 2017,” and East Nashville’s own beloved dive makes one of the three.
— Speaking of Nashville Running Company, here’s an early nod for the resolution-makers: NRC’s Couch-to-5k Training is coming back for 2018. It’s a free eight-week program, designed to prep anyone to run a 5K, and it kicks off January 6.
— One of East Nashville’s sweetest holiday traditions, Art & Invention's annual Christmas Eve Pajama Party and Sale, is almost here. Roll out of bed in your footed pajamas, head toward the gallery (1106 Woodland Street) and grab last minute gifts (with discounts), 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
— Things are moving along at the former Fat Bottom Brewing Co. space; permits just came through for owners March Egerton and Dan Heller to get to work adding two floors of office space to the structure.
— Things are moving along at the in-the-works Nashville Urban Winery, too. Last update we got from those folks: a January 18 open date.
— “Nashville Cigar Culture Getting Younger, More Diverse,” featuring East Nashville’s own Smokers Abbey.
— Bizarrely, there are Settlers of Catan National Championships. Naturally, East Nashville board-game cafe Game Point will be hosting a qualifier.
That’s it for this week. Have any East Nashville news tips to share? Please email Nicole.