Slow down, East Nashville. Gettin’ real hard to keep up. This week, tacos, burritos, donuts, coffee, a place for musicians to congregate and work and lots, lots more.
Related, for all you new/longstanding East Side business owners: We're working on our biggest issue of the year right now — the annual Tomato Art Fest issue, with a 20 percent larger distribution — and there’s still time to get an ad in its pages. Reach out to Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to take part.
Aaaand, take a spin through this week’s crop of East Nashville news:
Tacos Aurora coming to Hunters Station
It’ll be a while before we get in there, but another name to look forward to when the Hunters Station project on Main Street around N. 10th St. finally opens: Tacos Aurora, a popular Nashville food truck, is launching its first brick and mortar in that planned East Nashville food hall.
The Aurora folks specialize in California-style tacos and related street food, and their mobile restaurant has been wandering Middle Tennessee since 2014, starting in Clarksville, then focusing on Nashville over the past few years.
Once the immobile restaurant opens (likely this fall), you’ll see a lot of the same fast-casual dishes: tacos with fresh corn tortillas and a mix of meat options, like carne asada, carnitas and lengua (beef tongue), plus roasted elote (Mexican street corn), guacamole and more. The small space in the truck has made proper vegan taco options a challenge, but once the East Nashville space opens, Tacos Aurora will be offering vegan menu items too.
One Tacos Aurora offering that’s been tough to find in East Nashville: Fast-casual burritos, including Mission and classic California-style ones, are in the mix too.
The concept comes from someone who knows the cuisine: Owner and native Californian Arthur Orr grew up in the food business, getting acquainted with kitchen work from the age of 9 in family restaurants — his parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents all ran or run restaurants in and near Sacramento.
He sees Tacos Aurora as something of an extension of the family business, and saw East Nashville as the perfect home for it.
“I just feel like there’s a lot of our culture there,” Orr says, “a lot of west coast transplants, and just a cultured area.”
Tacos Aurora and other Hunters Station restaurants will be set up with separate kitchens, and shared seating, both inside and in a shared courtyard.
“You can just walk in, sit anywhere, and grab whatever you want,” Orr says of the Station. “… It’s gonna be really cool when it’s all done.”
Lots of other restaurant concepts have been tipped as Hunters Station participants — The Tennessean reported last year that possible tenants include Hugh-Baby's BBQ & Burger Shop, Biscuit Love, The Grilled Cheeserie and 55 South.
While we wait for the Hunters space to open, the Tacos Aurora truck can be found around town, and regularly at Ascend Amphitheater events. Keep up with the Tacos aurora Instagram for the latest schedule updates, and check out more at the Tacos Aurora website.
Collaborative music space H.O.M.E. opens in East Nashville
Most coworking environments are designed for laptop tappers, but professional (or striving) musicians now have a space suited for their unique needs: H.O.M.E., or Helping Our Music Evolve, launched a non-profit “music incubator and coworking community” in East Nashville, with space, tools and perks created with artists, songwriters, producers and engineers in mind.
The H.O.M.E. HQ, located inside Center 615 at 615 Main St., includes rooms set up for writing, rehearsing, recording and events (there’s an acoustically treated control room, iso booth, drum tracking space and more), along with a production facility suited for live streaming, meeting rooms and more, inside a 4,000-square-foot “musical playground.”
Along with the space, members can take advantage of educational/networking-angled programming, from workshops to mentoring sessions.
“I have been working on this concept since January ’16, and envisioning exactly what the space would look like and how it would function,” H.O.M.E. founder and musician Logan Crowell said in a release. “But I honestly could not have imagined such a perfect location for the very first H.O.M.E. for music creators.”
H.O.M.E. membership options range from $5 to $100 monthly, with various perks and levels of access to the space and community events. (Good to know: Lower-price-range members still get to take advantage of rehearsal and recording spaces, just at a higher hourly rate than “Community” or “Pro” members.)
If you’re intrigued, you can learn more at the H.O.M.E. website, and schedule a tour to check out the space.
East Park Donuts & Coffee readies for July opening
We’d heard some snippets as far back as February about East Park Donuts & Coffee, the new tenant at the former Bagel Face space, 700 Main St. At long last we finally have some details — and fans of Berry Hill’s beloved Sam & Zoe’s have much to be excited about.
The new spot — which will indeed serve donuts and coffee — is the latest project from Sam & Zoe’s owners Carma and Ken Woodard, native Nashvillians and longtime lovers of the East Side.
“Carma grew up visiting her grandmother on Fatherland Street every day during the summers, way back before it became what it is today,” East Park media and marketing coordinator Kaleb Jones tells us. “There is a sense of home and family in East Nashville for her that has been beckoning for some time. She and Ken worked incredibly hard to get to a position where they could make this dream a reality.”
That dream, more specifically: “a born-and-bred local family expanding and sharing their passion with the city that they’ve loved for generations.”
Like Sam & Zoe’s, East Park is meant to be “casual, beautiful but approachable,” Jones says, with a menu that’ll include specialty coffee and espresso drinks, along with brioche, old fashioned, gluten-free and vegan donuts with a “rotating cast of specialty flavors,” plus English muffin breakfast sandwiches.
The once stark former Bagel Face space is in the middle of a total overhaul, with a new custom bakery kitchen and espresso bar, new custom counters and carefully picked decor, including a 20-foot church pew brought in from England that traces back to 1865.
If the build-out continues to roll along as planned, the team expects to open East Park Donuts & Coffee’s doors by mid-July. Follow along with the progress on East Park Donuts and Coffee’s Instagram feed (from which the above photo is culled).
Blooma Nashville and Well Body Pilates combine forces
Fun news for new/expectant moms in East Nashville: Blooma Nashville — a popular prenatal/postnatal yoga and barre studio that launched in West Nashville in 2014 — is teaming up with East Nashville’s Well Body Pilates on a Blooma Nashville East location.
Well Body, which opened at 1000 Fatherland St, Ste. 202 in the spring of 2016, recently added a second location at 4304 Charlotte Ave., right near Blooma’s 4107 Charlotte home. The two businesses’ owners became friends, and when Well Body got the opportunity to expand into the adjacent East Nashville space, the stage was set for a partnership.
“We’ve been thinking about a second location — well our mommas have been thinking about a second location — pretty much since the day we opened on Charlotte Avenue,” Blooma Nashville director Jennifer Derryberry Mann said in a video announcement. “…Which felt a little bit like whenever you ask a mom who just had a baby when she’s having her next baby: just a little bit overwhelming. But the intention has been there, so when the invitation came along … we were so excited and the only answer was ‘Yes.’”
East Side Blooma fans can expect to see prenatal classes, prenatal yoga and momma/baby yoga, along with kids yoga classes, and both businesses are planning to share special offers and discounts for crossover customers. In case you need a little help getting some no-kids fitness time: Like Blooma’s original location, Blooma East will be offering child care for parents here in East Nashville too.
“We’re really excited to join our communities together,” Well Body owner Elizabeth Wilkinson said in the announcement.
The “guess date” for the new Blooma East opening is “June,” and the new partners plan to host a party this summer to celebrate the opening and collaboration.
Anaconda Vintage opening in Inglewood
More vintage wares to wear and share in East Nashville: The new Anaconda Vintage — the work of “a local community of curators” — is celebrating its grand opening on Saturday, June 30, at 1062 East Trinity Ln. (behind the in-the-works new East Nashville Grimey’s location).
In the shop: a mix of clothes, accessories and home goods wrangled by a bunch of Nashville’s most stylish residents, including musicians Tristen, Emma Swift and Cortney Tidwell.
At the party: free beer and Chicago-style hot dogs, big savings on stuff in the shop (20 percent off the entire store), and a whole slew of local DJs, including folk from Quichenight and Thelma & the Sleaze.
Get to know Anaconda Vintage better at anacondavintage.com, and mark down your party plans on the Anaconda Vintage grand opening party Facebook event page.
New local music from ‘Idol’ alum Paul McDonald
Alabama-bred singer/songwriter Paul McDonald is back in East Nashville after a long Los Angeles sojourn, and the return brings new music: Modern Hearts, his debut solo album, hit stores on the first of June.
If you can’t place why McDonald’s name/face are familiar: He got a major national boost of attention in 2011, when he became a Top 10 competitor on American Idol’s 10th season. Since, he’s maintained a busy recording and touring schedule, both solo and as part of a duo with now ex-wife Nikki Reed. Fans of TV show Parenthood might’ve caught him there, too — he played a musician in a 2012 episode, quite convincingly.
McDonald’s new soul-tinged rock/pop set, pulled together with a slew of local talents, includes the track “Wildcard,” which you can sample above. (Looks like a Gallatin Road car wash in there, no?)
As he’s touring in support of the new album, McDonald has a couple of hometown shows coming up: a solo stop at the Bluebird Cafe on August 29, and an earlier one at Musician’s Corner on June 22 with the Sweetheart Deal, his duo with girlfriend Emily Kinney (a singer/actress Walking Dead fans will recognize as Beth Greene).
For more, and/or to order Modern Hearts, swing by Paul McDonald’s official website.
— Enthusiastic congrats to Margot Cafe & Bar, celebrating 17 years in East Nashville this week. East Nashville wouldn’t be what it is today without Margot McCormack (and a crew of other early East Side entrepreneurs). Here’s to Margot and crew.
— The Poverty and the Arts folks are hosting a grand opening at their new East Nashville studio and gallery at 1207 Dickerson Pike, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 9. There’ll be food, drinks, a silent auction, and original artwork for sale. Here’s what we wrote about Poverty and the Arts and their new East Nashville space in April.
— “Notably, the 37206 ZIP code, part of the city's trendy East Nashville area, lost 5.3 percent of its population over the 2015-2016 time period.”
— An East Nashville scholar is among the 31 Middle Tennessee students awarded Leaders and Achievers Scholarships through Comcast NBCUniversal. Big round of applause for Gabriel Hutchinson at East Nashville Magnet High School and the other honorees, students who are “catalysts for positive change in their communities, who are involved in their schools, and who serve as models for their fellow students.”
— This was the first week of Barista Parlor’s 2018 Yoga + Coffee season. East Nashville’s is on Wednesdays, with Hot Yoga of East Nashville: Yoga class starting at 7 a.m., coffee after, $10 all in, June to October.
— Lyra (new Middle Eastern restaurant in the former Holland House space) is aiming to open next week.
— It’s quite a challenge: Take down as many as 15 Bloody Marys over 2 1/2 hours. Up for it? Grab tix to the Tomato Art Fest Bloody Mary Garden Party.
— One for the ’80s kids: Noble’s Kitchen & Beer Hall is hosting an ’80s Prom Night Party on Saturday, July 21, and there’ll be a king and queen crowned, prom photos, prizes, drink specials and a bunch more. Sounds totally bitchin’.
— Not quite a month left until the Thirth of July. It’s one of the best East Nashville parties of the year, with music, food trucks, beer and more, and early bird tickets are on sale now.
— A piece on Nashville’s tech scene in Inc. magazine: “The creative class clusters in East Nashville, where WeWork and Launch Pad recently planted stakes. The Idea Hatchery incubates niche retailers…” (The accompanying illustration also includes a lil bottle from East Sider Bruce Boeko’s Nashville Craft distillery.)
— Millennials-focused website Elite Daily shares some much-deserved Pride Month love for our own Lipstick Lounge.
— Another hang for the crawfish aficionados: Little Harpeth is hosting a BREWFISH Music Festival with onetime East Nashvillian cover stars the Dead Deads and others, plus lots of crawfish and beer. Tickets are $50 and include four beers, two pounds of bugs and sides, with funds going toward Trey Palmedo’s State House campaign.
— NYLON magazine says East Nashville’s “Erin Rae Is Part Of A New Wave Of Feminist Country Musicians.” (We wrote about her too. Read The East Nashvillian's feature on Erin Rae.)
— Check out a clip of HGTV’s new Music City Fix, in which stars Kortney and Dave Wilson get ready to overhaul an East Nashville home. Series debuts on June 8, at 10 p.m. Central.
That’s all for this week. Have East Nashville news tips to share? Please email Nicole.