Mafiaoza's in 12 South is about to get a new neighbor, but probably not what you would think. Lars Kopperud, who owns and operates the popular pizzeria along with his business partner Michael Dolan, tells Eater that they will be opening up Embers Ski Lodge, a Pacific Northwest-inspired 'gastrobar,' in the space that previously housed Vinea Wine & Spirits. Kopperud, who has drawn inspiration for the project from his time spent growing up in Alaska, says he has been working on Embers for about a year and a half:
My professional background is as a sommelier and restaurateur, but I was born and raised in Alaska. I grew up skiing at the Alyeska Resort there, and I want to bring that lighter ski lodge atmosphere here. I think a lot of times people want to feel like they aren't in Nashville, and I believe I can give them that.
Aiming for an August opening, the space itself will echo a Pacific Northwest vibe and feature ample seating, along with a large indoor fireplace that up to eight guests can dine around. The biggest changes, however, appear to be occurring outside, as a two-story open air "patio chalet" with a fireplace running through the center will be built on the south corner of the property.
Wanting to pair drinks with food, not the other way around, Kopperud says he recruited a 'friend' from London (who he declined to name) to help shape the cocktail program, which will feature 10 unique creations each quarter, with an emphasis on bourbon, whiskey and rum. The wine selection will also rotate, this time on a monthly basis, with each round offering a rose, five whites and five reds by the glass. High gravity and craft beers will also be available, with at least a dozen on tap.
Kopperud was a little more tight-lipped about what to expect from the kitchen, but did say that they will have a 15-item menu, rotating out about two-thirds of the dishes each quarter, and will reflect the cuisine of Alaska, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, as well as those areas' Korean, Chinese and Russian influences.
· Mafiaoza's Pizzeria [Official Site]