It certainly appears that St. Louis, Missouri chef and restaurateur Gerard Craft has eyes for expansion to Nashville, as multiple trusted sources tell Eater that Craft has plans to bring a concept here.
Craft, who this year became St. Louis' first chef to win a James Beard Award, taking home the prize for 'Best Chef: Midwest,' owns and operates a number of restaurants under the Niche Food Group flag, including the a la carte and tasting menu spot Niche, casual pasta and pizza shop Pastaria and soon-to-open fast-casual concept Porano Pasta & Gelato.
The prolific chef has made several trips to Nashville this year, hitting popular dining spots such as Pinewood Social, Husk, City House and Rolf and Daughters, to name a few. But the most telling clue is a photo taken on a visit back in March, which shows Suzie Craft, Gerard's wife and marketing director for Niche Food Group, walking a construction site and wearing a hardhat that says 'OneC1TY,' a new development currently under construction in Midtown.
Craft's publicist tells Eater that "there is not a lease in hand [and that] Nashville is one of a few cities on Chef Craft's radar, but there is nothing that is definite to come to fruition at this time."
So nothing is locked in, but it certainly looks promising. Have any additional intel? Be sure to send it on to the tipline. And do check back for more updates.