Ups and downs this week, plus good new local stuff to listen to.
On to the latest East Nashville news:
Urban Cowboy chief overhauling Dickerson motel
The revitalization of Dickerson Pike soldiers forward: First reported by Nashville Business Journal, the old Key Motel at 1414 Dickerson is on its way to being reborn, via a group of investors that includes Lyon Porter, the brains behind the Urban Cowboy B&B and Urban Cowboy Public House here in the neighborhood.
Porter tells us that he and his partners (a team that also includes Elliott Kyle and Talbott Ottinger) are hoping to fill a growing Nashville need with the project, offering stylish East Nashville lodging with rates in the $100 to $150 range, with single and double-bed options.
The building currently has 26 rooms, and when it reopens (they’re shooting for summer), Porter says it should still be around that number, depending on design decisions about expanding the lobby and the like. One certain thing: The motel’s once crystal-blue pool is coming “back to life.”
Overall, Porter and Co. are approaching the overhaul with deference to the building’s mid-’50s beginnings — it won’t be a teardown, but a restoration.
“We’re not changing it,” Porter says, “we’re just breathing some life back into a property that’s not seen any TLC in a while.”
In its heyday, the Key was a beacon of of-the-moment midcentury style (see the above postcard). Porter says its renewal will take cues from midcentury design, but rooms will also be “thematic and cinematic,” stocked with “a lot of whimsy.”
“My goal is to make it the most approachably affordable, highly designed hotel in the city,” he says.
The inspiration for the new project grew out of Porter’s bustling, eight-room East Nashville B&B, which opened in 2016 with eight extensively renovated, highly stylized suites for rent, starting at $295 a night. (Its sister business, the cocktails and dining-minded Public House, opened later that year; Porter’s first Urban Cowboy opened in Brooklyn in 2014.)
“People constantly reach out (about the B&B) — they want the experience, and don’t necessarily have the means to pay for it,” Porter says. “And if they do, we don’t necessarily have the rooms (available).”
This reimagined hotel gives Porter & Co. a place to send those weary travelers, with more space and lower rates.
“You’re gonna be able to rent a $150 room that can sleep four,” he says. “… And I’m excited to offer a higher level of service and higher level of design than a lot of people that are charging a lot more.”
Porter offered a “no comment” on whether they’d keep the Key Motel name, but was clear on keeping his growing relationship with the East Side going.
“I really believe in East Nashville in general, from a long-term standpoint,” he says.
Learn more about Lyon Porter’s East Nashville businesses: more about the Urban Cowboy B&B here; more about the Urban Cowboy Public House here.
East Nashville Mister Hats shop closing
After about two years on the East Side, Mister Hats — the Nashville outpost of a Memphis-bred brand, slinging all manner of hats and caps — will be closing its doors.
The last hat-shopping day at 921 Gallatin Avenue is February 24, shop folks tell us. Meantime, as of Thursday, Feb. 1, an announcement notes that Mister Hats Nashville is hosting a liquidation sale, and offering all kinds of headwear for big discounts.
What they’ve traditionally carried: “We have your classic fedora as well as pork pies, homburgs, bowlers and safaris. We also have a very large selection of caps; ivy caps, 8/4 caps and even a few baseball style caps.”
Getting ready to open a shop in Nashville? They’ll have fixtures and equipment up for grabs too.
Check Mister Hats Nashville on Facebook for updates on their final days.
Family Wash ‘closed temporarily’
If you swung by The Family Wash/Garage Coffee over the past few days, you’ll have walked into a “closed” sign — late last week, the restaurant/venue’s doors shut abruptly and unexpectedly.
What we know: According to owner/operator Mitchell Fox, it’s a temporary closure while some upgrades are being done, and plans are to reopen within a month. Fox declined to share more details about the changes in the works.
The Wash’s social spaces promise updates on reopening, so if you’re eagerly awaiting, follow along.
That Family Wash/Garage Coffee location, at 626A Main Street, has been open since fall of 2015. Prior, the business operated out of a converted laundromat on Greenwood Avenue (now Vinyl Tap), originally opening in 2002.
New Joe Pisapia record coming
While we’re on music, check out the new video for “Little Devil” from busy East Nashville singer/songwriter Derek Hoke. Song’s off his Bring the Flood album.
— The first quarterly HENMA meeting/mixer and East Nashvillians of the Year Awards Ceremony is set for Tuesday, Feb. 13, 6 to 8 p.m., at Eastside Heights. If you’re a member, come celebrate. If you’re an East Nashville business owner and you’re not a member, it’s a fine opportunity to meet folks and see if you wanna become one. Related: Read here about the reigning East Nashvillians of the Year.
— The good folk who wrangle our favorite annual fest, the Tomato Art Fest, have a new name, and we're into it. Hi, Good Neighbor Festivals. Thanks for masterfully facilitating years of Nashville festivaling.
— Speaking of the Tomato Art Fest, if you’d like to be a vendor at this year’s 15th festival, they’re still accepting applications.
— Fun stuff at Lucaya Clothing Co. on Friday to help celebrate their second birthday: From 5 to 7 p.m., Kristin Anderson from Fawkes Salon in the Shoppes on Fatherland is doing a complimentary "Braids and Waves" bar. Drinks and specials too. 713 Porter Road.
— Also celebrating a millstone: Goodbuy Girls, going eight years strong. On Sunday, Feb. 11 from noon to 5, they’re hosting a pop-up shop with Dottie’s Delights. (If you’re looking for Valentine’s lingerie, might should go on your calendar.)
— Need to get someone you love (or yourself) something nice for Valentine’s Day? There’s an East Nashville Valentine’s Shop Crawl set for Saturday, Feb. 10 from noon to 4. Participating: Lucaya Clothing Co., Pony Show, Dirty Livin', Amelia Styles (at Porter East); Local Honey, Kitty, Vinnie Louise (in the Barista Parlor building), Trunk, Pom Pom, Whiskey Water and Steluta (Shoppes on Fatherland). Specials, drinks, giveaways and local women-owned businesses with awesome stuff.
— You’ve heard of goat yoga. One better: Goat “Cheese” Yoga: East Nashville cheese shop Follow Me Cheese is hosting a gentle yoga class followed by goat cheese tasting on Saturday morning.
— Long-range planning, but the 4th Annual East Nashville Crawfish Bash is set for May at East Park.
— CrossFit East Nashville’s grand opening celebration is Saturday at their place (400 Davidson Street, Ste. 410), kicking off at 10 a.m.
That’s all for this week. Have news tips to share? Please email Nicole.