This go-'round, fun news about growing neighborhood venues and restaurants, new and established hubs of physical activity and a whole lotta wine, plus more.
Here’s the latest rundown of East Nashville news:
The Kitchen is growing, moving
Earlier this year, East Nashville book store Atomic Nashville welcomed an acoustic listening room into its kitchen space, fittingly called The Kitchen, booked and led by Grammy-winning songwriter/jack-of-many-trades Scot Sax.
So many local music lovers liked the idea, Sax says they straight “ran out of room” at Atomic, so The Kitchen’s on the move: Come June 9, it’ll be relocating to 943 Woodland St., and sharing a space with vintage clothing shop Relik.
The new home offers a little more breathing room, and, Sax hopes, a little extra comfort.
“We were having people climb over each other at the Atomic Nashville location,” he says, “because it was literally a kitchen. And that made it awesome intimacy-wise, but summer is a-coming and intimacy equals, ‘Man, it's hot in here.’ So the new location is bigger but not too much. Just enough to feel good, ya know?”
The concept will be the same: nothing plugged in, be it amps, speakers of microphones, the setup aimed at being “easy to dig on for the audiences and easy to make happen for the performers.”
The embrace of the concept is a cool bit of affirmation for Sax, who traces the Kitchen back to a parenting conundrum.
“My wife, Suzie Brown, and I have a 2- and 4-year-old, Josie and Chloe. We felt bad that the girls never got to see any of the artists play around here because all the shows are between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.,” Sax says. “And we were frustrated too because we are absolutely wiped by 10 anyway. So when the opportunity arose to have a listening room I instantly thought: ‘Wait, this is how we can raise our girls on world-class live music that’s not too loud or too late.
“The other reason was all the clubs around here are fairly edgy and dark, which is cool but where are the Joni Mitchell places? Where are the Carole King places? Where are the places that people are totally listening, other than The Bluebird?
“I grew up outside of Philadelphia. All the older folks when I was growing up talked about The Main Point. They'd be like, ‘Oh yeah, we saw Sprinsteen play there for 12 people,’ ‘We saw Bonnie Raitt when she first came out,’ and so on. That's what I want for this. You can say, ‘We saw Molly Martin at The Kitchen in 2018.’”
Roots/rock & roll singer-songwriter Martin’s among the scheduled performers at the new Kitchen (she’s set for August 18), as are a slew of other talented locals, including Korby Lenker (June 30), Amelia White (August 4) and Sax’s wife Suzie Brown (August 11). The full summer Kitchen schedule is posted here.
Keep up with the latest at The Kitchen’s Facebook page.
GrowHouse Method blends fitness with flora
East Nashville has a lot of fitness options to offer, but none quite like the brand-new GrowHouse Method, which opened its doors at 1105 Woodland St. on Monday.
Inside the studio, you’ll find strength-training equipment (from free weights to resistance machines), and personal trainers focused on one-on-one sessions and small group classes. You’ll also find yourself surrounded with a near nursery’s worth of potted greenery, brought in both to create a life- and wellness-inspired setting for workouts, and to help folks outfit their own spaces with leafy houseplants — all plants in the space are for sale.
Add in an art gallery component, populated by the work of local artists, and you have a gym setting that definitely stands apart, both here in East Nashville and well beyond.
The concept makes total sense, in the context of co-owners Molly Caroline and Shaun Guttridge’s professional and personal trajectories.
“I was in floral design first,” says Caroline, who has a degree in horticulture. “I actually injured myself at work and one of the reasons was from being weak. So I started lifting. My body changed immediately and I became addicted to weight training. I left my wedding florist position and shortly after became a [National Academy of Sports Medicine]-certified personal trainer. Now the interests have come together full circle and it’s wonderful.”
Guttridge built a foundation on the fitness side, competing in Mixed Martial Arts and Jiu-Jitsu and working as a personal trainer for more than a decade. But training on the boardwalk in Venice Beach, California, among artists, musicians and herbalists, got his mind working on how creativity and fitness feed into all-around wellness. Meeting Caroline in Nashville pushed the idea further.
“I found myself living in an enchanted, plant-filled apartment that she had created,” he says. “Learning of her background and lifelong experiences with plants and trees was inspiring, and taking care of the plants and feeding off their positive energy quickly became a part of my healthy lifestyle as well.”
The two partners concocted the idea for GrowHouse Method during a cross-country trip, which included a mix of national park visits and a stop at the hyper-creative, expression-focused Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert. The concept they came up with, says Guttridge, is a “fully immersed positive ecosystem filled with plants, art and fitness.”
To Caroline, there’s a logical give-and-take relationship inherent here that makes for a perfect fit.
“Plants feel so good to be around, but it does go a little deeper,” she says. “This is a symbiotic relationship we are playing with. Plants give off oxygen, we need oxygen; humans give off carbon dioxide, plants need carbon dioxide. It’s an experiment we are excited to see play out. I feel that it will be just as beneficial for the plants as it will be for all of us working out in the space. It’s peaceful and intriguing. It appeals to the senses when you are in a heightened state ... gotta be good for you.”
To make the mix work, GrowHouse plant shop hours and studio training hours are a little different: The studio runs 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays; retail hours shave away some of what tends to be peak workout hours, so you can shop 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, 9 to 2 Saturdays.
After they get settled into the new space, Caroline and Guttridge hope to expand and add a lounge/events component too, eventually opening their downstairs space and upstairs loft nights and weekends “for open aerial fitness exploration, hosting community workshops and gatherings, and also having live music and art performances,” Guttridge says. “The general idea is to have it organically manifest and grow as we respond to the community’s wants and needs.”
If you’d like to explore the space, shop and/or book a session/join a class, swing by growhousemethod.com for more, and keep up with the latest happenings at the GrowHouse Method Facebook page.
More tactile way to get to know the GrowHouse: They’re hosting an open house and meet and greet this Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with free group classes, plants for sale and (maybe) some live painting. (Keep an eye out on Facebook for new party details.)
Far East Nashville expanding
The scoop on what’s taking over the former Bakery by frothy monkey space on Fatherland has arrived: It’s about to be absorbed into East Nashville Vietnamese restaurant Far East, expanding their dining room square footage and allowing for the addition of a full bar and new late-night hours.
The expansion at 1008 Fatherland will bring a little bit of downtime: An announcement from the restaurant notes that they’ll be working on the upgrades from mid-June through the end of that month, so the dining room will be shutting down. But meantime, East Nashvillians won’t have a Vietnamese fare shortage: They plan to have the Bánh Mì & Roll Factory food truck parking out front.
Keep up with the latest at on the Far East Nashville Instagram feed.
Nashville Aikikai celebrates 30 years of training Nashville
Aikido dojo Nashville Aikikai has a major milestone to celebrate this month: On Friday, May 18, they’ll kick off a celebration of 30 years as a school of Aikido here in Music City, nearly eight of those right here in East Nashville, at 1701B Fatherland St.
The weekend celebration is stocked with learning: Owners and chief instructors Tom and Mary McIntire are welcoming their Sempai/mentor Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan from Boulder, Colorado, to lead a weekend-long seminar (with classes at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, with admission running $130 for all, or $40 per class). Beyond, there’ll be a visit from the Tennessee Japanese Consulate on Saturday after the morning class, before a party and talent show at 7 that night.
It’ll be a big weekend for the Aikikai team and students, and a well-deserved round of applause for the McIntires’ decades of dedication, rooted in their training back in the ’80s with Mitsugi Saotome Shihan, a student of the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba.
“They brought the art to Nashville 30 years ago in hopes of spreading the many benefits to human beings of all races, ages and sizes,” Nashville Aikikai instructor Mark Miller tells us of his cohorts. “…Too often martial arts seem mysterious and off limits to people that are not extremely flexible, violent, big or strong. [Morihei Ueshiba] created his way of training in the Art of Peace for the benefit of all human beings, and Mary and Tom McIntire follow on this path for the betterment of all humans and the community that we live in.”
A basic encapsulation of the nuts and bolts of Aikido, for the unfamiliar: It’s “a form of Samurai battlefield fighting which by definition means we anticipate multiple attackers,” says Miller.
“Because we train in a safe, non-competitive way, most everyone can enjoy learning powerful self-defense moves. … The motion of the techniques are drawn from nature and helps students become more focused and centered.”
That “most everyone,” this weekend and beyond, can include total newbies.
“Many people come to Aikido with no prior experience in the Martial Arts,” Miller says. “Our [regular] Monday and Wednesday night beginners courses take people step by step through Aikido techniques and those components that are necessary for safe, long-term training. All ages can participate and nobody is expected to train beyond their physical limitations.”
Folks interested in Nashville Aikikai’s classes and methods can head to nashvilleaikikai.org for info and class schedules. More about the weekend celebration and seminar here.
Saturday brings inaugural Nashville Rose Festival
A festival focused on a beverage we enjoy, raising funds for a cause that’s close to our hearts: On May 19, East Park hosts the first Nashville Rosé Festival, offering the opportunity for attendees to pretty thoroughly explore the world of pink wine, with more than 70 varieties on hand (including some limited/special-edition wines).
To pair with the wine, Creation Gardens will be on site cooking over an open fire, with local/celeb chefs preparing dishes and handing out samples. Since we’re in Nashville, obviously: Lots of live music, too.
The fun/flavors come together for a good cause: The event’s meant to raise funds to benefit the Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition.
Tickets are $60 ($100 VIP), on sale now through nashvillerosefestival.com. (As of this posting, they weren't sold out.)
— Rumors have been swirling about Rumours East restaurant shutting down, but longtime Rumors East-er Tammera McClendon tells us that isn’t the case. The restaurant’s passing to new owners, and had a couple of down days for a “reboot,” she says. “The previous owner and myself have been blessed to be a part of East Nashville for four years, but it’s time to let someone else take it to another place. Good news is I hear they will be open six days a week.” We’ll have more on this soon.
— East Nashville’s most East Nashvillest block party, the annual Thirth of July, will be here again (naturally) on July 3, and early bird tickets are on sale now, for $20. (Tickets after June 15 go up to $30.) It’s one of the funnest hangs of the year; here’s something we wrote about The Thirth a few years ago, if you’re unfamiliar.
— For 2018, the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival is adding a Nashville-centric hub called “The Ville,” and some of East Nashville’s own are taking part, including the Hip Zipper and Project 615.
— Yum!East tickets are on sale now; the East Nashville food fest is set for May 31 at Pavilion East.
— Todd Snider and Elizabeth Cook are doubling up for an August 4 performance at Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville. Tickets go on Sale Friday, May 18.
— One for the unrepentant book nerds: Her Bookshop and The Porch have teamed up with East Nashville Beer Works, who’ll host a Literary Trivia night at their place (320 E Trinity Ln.) on Tuesday, May 22, kicking off at 6:30 p.m. Expect “wide-ranging questions about the most iconic books and writers,” and bookish prizes for the nerdiest among you. More at the Literary Trivia Facebook event page.
— East Nashville cheese den Follow Me Cheese is hosting a “Cheese + Cheers” hangout on Sunday, May 20. Make (and eat) cheese plates and sip some wine (BYO).
— USA Today offers some help on finding “the ultimate al fresco barbecue” destinations, and Edley’s makes the cut.
— “Music City’s still got soul,” says the U.K.’s The Guardian, checking in with East Nashville’s own Walk Eat Nashville chief Karen-Lee Ryan, and encouraging folk to check out Margot and Edley’s and the “gritty-but-smart feel” of Five Points.
— We’re bummed to see local comedy show Broads & Brews go. Let’s raise a glass to a year and a half of funny on Thursday, May 24 at the 5 Spot, for The Last Broads & Brews.
— Love this interview with our friend and columnist Tommy Womack, from WMOT. Take a listen if you enjoy Tommy's music, his writing, and/or his all-around badassness. (Read Tommy’s latest East of Normal column here.)
— The Wags & Whiskers folks are still celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their East Nashville store with $10 dog washes.
That’s all for this week. Have East Nashville news tips to share? Please email Nicole.