One more reminder for East Nashville business friends: There's still time to get an ad into our March/April issue. Reach Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elsewhere, fun and less-fun food news to share this week, plus lots more. The latest crop of East Nashville news:
Otaku Ramen POPs back up in East Nashville
Remember that time restaurant incubator-and-more POP shut its East Nashville doors? They didn’t say no backsies.
Now in the works at 604 Gallatin Avenue, #202 — the same spot that once housed not just pop-up spot POP, but fresh/clean restaurant Little Octopus and an early Otaku Ramen outpost — is set to reopen as POP To Go, offering multiple menus for pickup and delivery, starting with an East Side representation of the Otaku Ramen menu.
We’ve reached out for more about specific offerings and details, but meantime, the POP Nashville folks are hiring staff for the reanimated East Nashville location, and say they’re shooting for a fall opening on Gallatin.
Update: Well, surprise: POP To Go soft-opened over the weekend, and they're set hard-open on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Initial hours are Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays 5 to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 5 p.m. to midnight. A release noted that “extended hours and additional menus” would follow shortly.
POP closed in late 2016, after a celebrated run that helped launch both Otaku and Little Octopus to Nashville food-scene prominence. (Both Otaku and Little Octopus are now located in the Gulch.)
It first opened in that space in 2014, first with Otaku in the house four nights a week, and branching from there, with visiting chef series and more.
To keep up with the latest Pop To Go news, follow POP Nashville on Facebook.
Pied Piper Eatery to close
A reshare of news we had up earlier this week, in case you missed it: After nearly a decade in business on Riverside Drive, neighborhood diner Pied Piper Eatery will close its doors on Sunday, Feb. 18.
The Piper family shared the news via Facebook on Wednesday, encouraging longtime fans to “come visit your favorite server, order your favorite entree (or salad, or sandwich, or breakfast, etc) while they last, and take a selfie or two.”
The quirky and family-friendly restaurant opened in East Nashville back in 2008, led by owner Becky Piper, whose music-inspired vision made the Pied Piper Eatery a fun and Nashville-centric place to grab a burger, eggs and bacon or a slice of apple pie.
The Piper family forged forward with the Eatery after Becky Piper’s death in 2015, but, the announcement notes, they felt the time had come to change course and plot new paths.
“As her family, we have done our best to honor her vision for her creation, but it was her heart that beat for this diner, this work,” the announcement reads. “We've decided it's truly time to let her rest, and to honor her by following our own creative visions.”
The Piper family’s other stalwart East Nashville business, ice cream hangout Pied Piper Creamery, will continue serving sweet creativity over at 114 S. 11th Street.
East Nashville gets its own Restaurant Week
Nashville Originals’ Restaurant Week has become a beloved recurring gift for Nashville food fanatics. Extra good news for fanatics living on this side of the river: Starting this month, East Siders will get their very own weeklong culinary celebration, as the new East Nashville Restaurant Week (not affiliated with NO) launches with a strong crew of East Side eateries participating.
Like the city-wide restaurant week, this’ll be a celebration of independent restaurants and restaurateurs, with special menus and “pocket-friendly” prices for diners. It’ll run February 26 through March 4, 2018, with enough variety to keep East Siders fed and entertained the whole week through.
The eastward riff on Restaurant Week was cooked up by Fort Louise owner Jessica Bower, who hoped to “highlight the concentrated diversity of restaurant offerings on the East Side,” and “build camaraderie with other restaurants” here in the neighborhood.
“As Nashville grows, it seems that people are staying very neighborhood focused, so we wanted to develop ENRW to give our audiences a specific window of attention on our restaurants and neighboring restaurants,” Bower said in a release. “And we wanted to create a celebration for the area as well. Lots of people are building wonderful independent restaurants/small businesses and pouring their hearts into the area, let's honor that and create some more buzz.”
Participating East Nashville Restaurant Week restaurants:
Butcher & Bee: 902 Main St
Fort Louise: 1304 McGavock Pike
Treehouse: 1011 Clearview Ave
Two Ten Jack: 1900 Eastland Ave #105
Peninsula: 1035 W. Eastland Avenue
Café Roze: 1115 Porter Road
Margot Café: 1017 Woodland Street
TKO: 4204 Gallatin Pike
Urban Cowboy Public House: 1603 Woodland Street
Rudie’s Seafood & Sausage: 1402 McGavock Pike
For ENRW, Bower’s own place will have a $33 prix fixe menu that includes options like ricotta gnocchi, saffron-glazed trout and doughnut holes with Tahitian vanilla mascarpone. New Iberian Peninsula-inspired restaurant Peninsula is working up family-style menus for two or four ($65 and $130, respectively), which’ll let diners share braised rabbit, serrano ham, cream catalana ice cream with caviar and lots more.
All the other participating restaurants will have their own special twists to share for the week, too.
Bower says she chose February because it tends to bring a bit of a restaurant-biz slowdown, and she hoped it’d ramp up some late-winter-doldrums excitement, both in the restaurant community and with Nashville diners.
Ultimately, Bower hopes the event — which she intends as an annual thing — will “help us all elevate our offerings together, while shining a spotlight on all of the creative culinary energy being invested over here.”
For more on the first East Nashville Restaurant Week, visit eastnashvillerestaurantweek.com.
The latest on Cloud IX
We noted in our latest issue that the future was looking uncertain for Cloud IX, a hookah bar and lounge that popped up in 2016 at 3807 Gallatin Pike. In the wake of two shooting deaths on the premises in less than a year, news surfaced that eviction proceedings had also begun, the property’s owners citing more than $175,000 in unpaid rent.
According to an update from District 8 Metro Nashville councilmember Nancy VanReece, there’s now some certainty. She says the club owners lost a court case related to that unpaid rent claim, and that as a result, the space was to be vacated by Saturday, Feb. 17.
The business hasn’t offered any public updates about its future via social media (their Facebook page appeared to be down as this post went up) or on their website.
For more on the recent issues at Cloud IX, head here.
— Our heartiest congratulations to master chef and East Nashville OG Margot McCormack of Margot Café & Bar, who was just named a Best Chef Southeast semifinalist for the esteemed James Beard Awards. Much deserved honor that we hope will be followed by a win.
— Fifty restaurants, 1500 diners and a whole lotta spoons: It’s almost time for the 2018 Our Kids Soup Sunday, set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on February 25 at Nissan Stadium. Ticket holders will, as always, get to sample a whole slew of excellent soup, and proceeds will go to support Our Kids’ work to provide medical help and crisis counseling for kids and families struggling with abuse. Among the East Side participants: Lockeland Table, Margot Cafe and Eastland Cafe. Tickets are $25 for adults, $5 for children, available through ourkidscenter.com.
— Congrats on branching out even further, Five Daughters Bakery: Atlanta’s in the works.
— Pop singer-songwriter Daniella Mason just dropped a new video for “Nightshades,” from her eponymous EP.
— East Side bluegrass voice Rebecca Frazier just dropped a new video too, for “Darken Your Doorway,” filmed right here in the neighborhood.
— A fun casino night with Nashville Classical that’ll help young scholars with all the stuff they need to excel.
That’s all for this week. Have East Nashville news tips to share? Please email Nicole.