Had a little vacation last week, so we’re catching up this week — and there’s been a lot to catch up on. We won’t get to it all, but we’ll get to some good East Nashville news, including some new names slinging delicious sweet stuff on the East Side.
Also on the food front: We’re hard at work on our November/December issue, which’ll be our first food and drink issue. Interested in getting an ad in its pages? Drop Lisa a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On to the latest:
Brightside Bakeshop opening in East Nashville
Later this month, the Shops at Porter East becomes a little brighter (and more buttery): Brightside Bakeshop, led by baker Andrea Borchers (above) and her husband Brad, is taking over 713 Porter Rd., and the couple hopes to get the doors open by Oct. 20.
Brightside’s stock-in-trade: brioche-based pastries of the savory and sweet variety (pictured up top), including cinnamon rolls and croissants in a wide variety of flavors.
Borchers’ creations have been hitting plates in Nashville for about two years now, at pop-ups and in various markets and cafes, from the Richland Park Farmers Market on the west side to the newer Retrograde Coffee here in East Nashville. But this will be the first brick-and-mortar Brightside — a goal that the baker says she couldn’t have realized without taking those slow and steady early strides.
“Starting small has allowed us to get to know our customer — many by name — and create connections in the community, which is sometimes difficult to do at a larger scale,” she says. “We have learned what our customers like and when and where our product sells best. It has also allowed us to learn from small mistakes that would be huge mistakes further down the road.”
The new bakeshop is on the small side, so it’ll be retail only (with production remaining at Sylvan Park culinary incubator Citizen Kitchens), with a large pastry counter housing their tried/true selection of signature and seasonal artisan pastries (which take a full three days to prepare), along with indoor and outdoor seating.
“It is entirely designed by us, so we’re pouring a lot of love into it,” Borchers says of the new place.
That she and her husband managed to find the right spot in East Nashville, specifically, was an added bonus.
“We were really drawn to the small local business boom in East Nashville and love the community aspect,” Borchers says. “We’re friends with many of the small business owners in the Shops at Porter East, so when the opportunity arose it was too good to pass up. There’s something motivating and inspiring about surrounding yourself with other small businesses you believe in and support.”
While they prep for the opening, get to know Brightside Bakeshop better at brightsidebakeshop.com, or on Instagram at @brightsidebakeshop. If you can’t wait for late October, online orders are available through the Brightside website, and a list of Nashville spots that currently carry Brightside pastries is up there, too.
The Cake Project coming to Fatherland
If you’re a cheesecake devotee, this might be the best East Nashville news you hear all fall: The Cake Project, longtime Nashvillian JP Smith’s cheesecake-focused bakery, is working on opening up an East Nashville location later this month, at 1006 Fatherland St., Suite 207, in the Shoppes on Fatherland.
Smith initially launched his brand in Lenox Village back in 2010, but back then, the trained visual artist — whose work has ranged from church murals to tattoos — took a different approach.
“If you've ever watched the Cake Boss or Ace of Cakes television shows, then you have an idea of the kind work I do, or did,” Smith says.
That high-end, highly stylized approach to cake-making caught his attention at a local bakery in his former home in Michigan — picking up a birthday cake for a friend, he got mesmerized by intricate fondant designs displayed around the shop, on cakes that looked like anything from woven baskets to waterfalls.
“The art of it all is what drew me in,” he says. “So with absolutely no baking or decorating experience, I asked for a job. I’m pretty sure I sold the bakery owners on my artistic abilities, but they gave me a job, taught me everything I know about baking cakes, pies, muffins, and cheesecake. The cake decorating just sort of came naturally.”
Evolving from those intricate cakes to the current cheesecake focus came naturally, too.
“The problem for me was that I wasn’t selling $600 or $800 cakes every day,” Smith says. “My family had always told me that I made a really good cheesecake for the holidays, so in an effort to keep the lights on I started making and selling cheesecake as an everyday item. I started with just a few regular cheesecake flavors like strawberry and chocolate marble, and thought it’d be cool to offer more of a variety. Before you know it I had 10 to 15 different flavors and my customers loved it. … It didn’t take long to realize that I needed to change the entire focus of my business.”
Smith now bakes almost 40 different cheesecake flavors at The Cake Project, from fruit-forward basics to banana pudding and maple bacon, in sizes ranging from individual-serving cakes in jars to six, eight and 10-inch cheesecakes. (Another customer favorite he recommends, in particular: his cheesecake-stuffed strawberries.)
Bringing all that stuff here to East Nashville, Smith says, has been a longtime goal that he’s excited to finally be realizing.
“I actually considered East Nashville before Lenox Village,” he says. “I almost rented the space next to The Pied Piper Creamery. I still kick myself for not taking advantage of that opportunity.”
Keep up with grand-opening news (and see where you can snag some cheesecake around town prior to the shop opening) on The Cake Project’s Facebook page.
JEFF the Brotherhood celebrates new season
Nashville’s JEFF the Brotherhood is a long way from being a “new” band — in September, they released Magick Songs, their whopping 13th full-length. But the fall of 2018 does show the brother-bred outfit totally renewed, having added new members (Raconteurs/Dead Weather bassist Jack Lawrence and guitarist Kunal Prakash) and a slew of new inspiration, from ’80s and ’90s Japanese experimental music to Indonesian Gamelan forms.
“The music that we had been making up to this point had just kind of fizzled out,” founding member Jake Orrall said in a release. “It got stale for us. We felt like we’d hit a dead end and we were really excited to try some new things. We built this record from scratch with all of us in a room together which was a really different approach than anything we’d done before.”
They’ll be celebrating the new LP with a release show here in the neighborhood on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at the Basement East, and following that up by joining Jason Isbell at the Ryman later this month.
Give a listen to some Magick Songs above, and check out more via their label, Dine Alone Records.
Crema coming East
Fun tidbit for East Nashville coffee lovers, in case you missed it while we were off beaching: The Nashville Business Journal’s Eleanor Kennedy reported that Crema, a much-loved downtown coffee spot, will be relocating its roasting and fulfillment operations to our side of the river.
The new spot: 226 Duke St., off Trinity Lane, a small shop that Kennedy says they plan to make takeaway-only.
Pop To-Go ready to roll again
After a short, improvement-related break, ramen-slinging East Nashville takeout spot Pop To-Go is reopening Friday, Oct. 5, at 604 Gallatin Ave.
We’re told the restaurant, led by owner and chef Sarah Gavigan, is back to their previous ramen-specific focus, and has a “badass” new team in place and creative plans at the ready.
“We are ready for ramen weather,” Gavigan says. “Look for limited-edition bowls and collaborations out of the window this winter.”
Hours will be 5-10 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday. Head to pop-to-go.com for more info, or to place your ramen order for pickup or delivery.
Music City Hemp Store moving
The bad news: East Nashville’s early entry into the fully CBD-focused shop scene, Music City Hemp Store, is leaving the neighborhood this month, and planning to open a new location at 708 N. 4th Ave. near the Capitol around Oct. 15.
The worse news: Owner Dave Duncan announced on Thursday that the East Nashville shop was robbed Wednesday night, and that, with his entire inventory gone, Music City Hemp Store will be closed until further notice.
Duncan opened MCHS at 307 N 16th St. in April, stocking an array of cannabidiol products, including oils, creams and edibles. Since his shop’s arrival, CBD American Shaman has opened its doors at 925 Gallatin Ave., Suite 103, and another new CBD-focused store, LabCanna, is due to open at 1006 Gallatin Ave. imminently.
The move from East Nashville wasn’t competition-related, though. Duncan said his shop’s relocation was promoted by the sale (and planned teardown) of the 16th Street building. He planned to stay open on the East Side until the move, but the robbery’s left him sidelined.
If you know or hear anything about his lifted inventory, or you’d just like to share some encouragement, reach Duncan and Music City Hemp Store on Facebook (where he’ll likely update news on the new location’s opening).
Lucaya Clothing Co. relocates
Another East Nashville business on the move: Lucaya Clothing Co. announced (over our little break) that they’d be picking up and heading to a new location.
Lucky for local ladies who love the shop’s boho/beachy sensibilities, it was a quick shuffle, just two doors down to 723 Porter Rd. And they’re already open in the new location, with lots more space for lots more dresses, shirts, accessories and more. (The new face in their old location, coincidentally: Brightside Bakeshop.)
They’re open now from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11-5 Saturday and Sunday. Check out what they’re stocking and/or shop online at shoplucaya.com.
Cassette Store Day celebrates indie music in East Nashville
This Saturday, Oct. 6, indie label Banana Tapes is wrangling Cassette Store Day, a free music fest with stages at Grimey’s, The Groove and Fond Object, who’ll be hosting live performances from early afternoon well into the evening hours.
The intent behind the fest: “celebrating the roots of independent music, showcasing everything from hip-hop and pop to metal and punk.”
Among the day’s performers: neon black, Tom Violence, BRNDA and a host of others, who’ll pop up on somewhat staggered stages. Grimey’s is set to host performances from noon to 5 p.m., The Groove picking up from 3 to 8, and Fond Object in Riverside Village rolling from 5 to 10.
The fest’s name nods to the promoters — Banana Tapes specializes in “the art of handmade compact cassettes,” with intricate packaging design and a return to the charm of fixing your audio accompaniment with a No. 2 pencil.
For more, and/or to plan your Cassette Store Day attack, head to bananatapes.com.
— Happy second birthday to East Nashville specs shop/optometrist’s office Look East.
— East Nashville’s Wild Cow “is the first Eat REAL Certified establishment in the state to earn Silver status for nutrition and sustainability.”
— This Saturday, Oct. 6, is the season finale of the Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Party in the Cornelia Fort Airpark. The Tillers and Cicada Rhythm will be performing, and you’re welcome to come pick too. Doors at 6 p.m., music starting at 7.
— Also on Saturday, Smith & Lentz Brewing has the folks from Greko doing some live-fire grilling (food is free with beer purchases), and the Preds game on the big screen.
— On Sunday, Oct. 7, M Hair Studio will host a “POP of Pink Party” fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness month, noon to 3 p.m., with raffles, snacks, pink champagne and pink hair extensions for folks who’d like to show follicular support. All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.
— East Nashville Brew Works is hosting a free “Burn & Brew” pop-up workout with the folks from the in-the-works Orangetheory Fitness East Nashville, 10-11 a.m. on Oct. 14.
— Turnip Green Creative Reuse, the recycling/art-focused East Nashville org we profiled in our July/August issue, is hosting some free Day of the Dead art and info workshops at their place this month.
— The Tennessean: “Margo Price, Aaron Lee Tasjan rally to save East Nashville record shop from redevelopment.”
— Speaking of our recent cover star Margo Price, she’s playing Bridgestone Arena in November, with label head Jack White, which shouldn’t be too shabby.
— Speaking of Fond Object, fall into… expanding your record collection. For the rest of the month, Fond Object is offering 20 percent off everything. (Including gift cards.)
That’s it for this week. Have any East Nashville news tips to share? Please email Nicole.