A quick note for longtime blog friends: This’ll be the last week you’ll hear from me, specifically, for a while, as the small new East Nashvillian I’ve been cooking for the better part of a year should be making her arrival any day now.
Starting next week, The East Nashvillian blogging, newsletters, social media and the like will be in the hands of highly talented regular EN contributor Ellen Mallernee Barnes. Thanks for being fun and kind to me all this time, and for reading.
On to East Nashville news of broader interest:
Family Wash moving out of current location
Most of our Facebook followers will already be hip to this, but for the rest of you:
It’s hard to imagine driving up Porter and not seeing the blue building at Greenwood adorned with the Family Wash sign, but after late February, that’ll be the case.
Wash owner James Rubin (pictured up top at the Wash) announced late Wednesday that the bar, restaurant and venue would be moving out of its current location and into a larger location on Main Street come late Spring. The last Wash day at 2038 Greenwood is set for February 21.
“Longtime fans will be happy to know we’re staying on the East Side, and that many of our signatures will remain,” Rubin said in a release. “It’ll still be The Wash … just bigger, with more to offer. You’ll still be able to get a shepherd’s pie and a pint, but now you’ll have plenty of room to eat it and won’t have to crawl over people to get to the bar.”
For the new Wash, Rubin will be teaming with Garage Coffee’s Robert Camardo, executive chef John Stephenson and artist manager Mitchell Fox.
No confirmation yet on what’ll be taking over the current Wash spot, but we’ll share as soon as we have it.
Hound Dog Commons coming to Meridian Street
Lovers of local art and local food and local dogs will soon have a new place to hang in the neighborhood: Neighbor Brett Barr is hard at work restoring a 1940s garage at 1301 Meridian Street into a “community hub” called Hound Dog Commons.
What you can expect: “Outside, a dog park and dedicated areas for community gardens and food trucks. Indoors, a multi-purpose space where you can lounge with coffee and tea around a fireplace. Socialize or settle in to work on our high-speed internet. Take a break with a beer and peruse the goods and art in in our permanent craft and farmers market.”
Barr is already deep into the reno process, and has plans for a March 1 soft opening, full-swing operations by May.
“This building had been sitting empty for a while, so thus far I have been busy bringing it back to life,” he says. “I’ve been focusing on the main building and now have the interior painted, new glass in the original restored windows, wood stove installed, and the bathrooms should be complete in a week or so. After that, I'll get to focus on the creative aspects of building out the interior. I'm also looking forward to picking up a load of reclaimed fencing for the park next week.”
As the space nears completion, Barr will move on to recruiting artists, food trucks, and other vendors to join Hound Dog Commons’ ranks.
Far as the Hound Dog name and emphatic dog-friendliness, Barr was motivated by his “best friend for the last 13 years,” basset hound Charlie.
“I’ve had Charlie since he was six weeks old and he has been with me through thick and thin, all over the country,” he says. “I’ve always wanted to create a place where Charlie could be right in the midst of the action getting endless belly rubs. My girlfriend and I added another basset hound to the family one year ago named Henry. It has always been hard to leave the boys at home when we go out for dinner or coffee or beer. Nashville has great public dog parks, but we always wished there was more for their people to do while the dogs are playing. We hope Hound Dog Commons will be a favorite spot for both dogs and their people.”
Keep up with Hound Dog Commons’ progress on Facebook, and if you’d like to contribute to the space’s build-out and growth, there’s a crowdfunding effort running now too.
Art for Animals comes East this year
While we’re on the topic of loving animals: This year’s eighth annual Art for Animals event, helmed by Nashville Paw magazine, is not only set to go down in the neighborhood (at Riverwood Mansion), but 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit East Nashville’s Pet Community Center nonprofit spay and neuter clinic.
If you’re not familiar with the annual event, it’s a night of food, wine, celebration and a live auction of local art (lots of it with animal-appreciative subject matter).
The event’s set for Saturday, March 21 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Mansion (1833 Welcome Lane), and tickets are available online ($40 plus fees for a single, six for $200 plus fees).
East Side Storytellin’ at Riverwood Mansion
Neighborhood book store East Side Story’s been hosting their regular East Side Storytellin’ events for some time now, ESS head Chuck Beard leading a mix of local authors reading their work and local musicians sharing sounds. If you haven’t been to one in a while, though, it’s a good time to refresh — they’re in the middle of a limited run at Riverwood Mansion, as part of a teaming with arts crew Unbound Arts.
The general gist is similar, and aside of the luxe location, there’s another added bonus that’ll grab food fanatics’ attention: At these Storytellin’ events, running through March, Nashville chef Debbie Sutton of 8 Lavender Lane Catering will be serving a full meal inspired by the works being shared.
The next event is set for Tuesday, Feb. 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (and events will follow at the Mansion the first and third Tuesdays of the month through March). Tickets run $40 plus fees, and are available online. For more on this next Storytellin', visit its Facebook event page.
Two East Side businesses branching out
Following in Porter Road Butcher’s successful expansion footsteps, folks from two other East Side businesses are planting seeds over the river.
The relatively new Scout’s Barbershop, in the Fluffo building, will be joined by a sister shop in Sylvan Park, Nashville Business Journal reports.
And over in Edgehill Village, a new bar from Alexis and Britt Soler (two of the prominent faces behind East Nashville bar No. 308) is in the planning. This one won’t be a 308 sister, but its own thing, with more of an Americana aesthetic, Britt told the Business Journal.
Grab your V-Day Choc-a-lot
While a heart-shaped box from Walgreens isn’t impressing anyone, you might get some points for this Valentine’s Day chocolate: East Side chocolatier Chocolate F/X and others have teamed up with local subscription service Batch for a gift box stocked with local treats, dubbed Choc-a-lot.
Boxes, filled with five items from Nashville purveyors, are on sale through February 9, and run $55, via Batch.
Affordable East Side condo project breaking ground soon
More East Side news worth peeping from Nashville Business Journal: Developer Bruce McNeilage is working on a 130-unit condo project called Solo East that should break ground at Litton near Gallatin in the next few months, and his focus is on folks who tend to get forgotten in East Nashville’s booming growth spurt.
"My goal is to have Solo East occupied 100 percent by the workforce – single mothers, nurses, cops, firefighters and musicians," he told NBJ. "I don't have to tear anything down, we're not displacing anybody. I think the minute I do it, others will copy it."
For more on the project, visit bizjournals.com.
That’s all for this week. Look for news from Ellen next week!