It's been a busy year so far for restaurant openings, and things don't appear to be letting up, with a number of notable projects slated to throw open their doors in the coming months. From a pair of out-of-state expansions, to a major opening from Strategic Hospitality and the return of a longtime local favorite, here's where you'll be eating this fall.
Location: East Nashville; 900 Main Street; website.
Key Players: Michael Shemtov
Projected Opening: November
It's been close to a year since this outpost of the Charleston, SC favorite was first announced, but progress on the 3,600 square foot restaurant in the Fluffo Mattress property is now in full swing. They did hit a snag with the very recent departure of executive chef Eyhab "Happy" Hatab, but owner Michael Shemtov tells Eater that a replacement should be named soon. When it opens, expect a much expanded version of the original, with a larger menu and longer hours.
Image: Eater Nashville
Location: Germantown; 1120 4th Avenue North; website.
Key Players: Donald Link, Levon Wallace, Fresh Hospitality
Projected Opening: Week of August 31
Restaurateur and chef Donald Link is finally getting ready to open the doors to this New Orleans transplant, the anchor tenant of Fresh Hospitality's Germantown Market project. Levon Wallace, formerly the executive chef at Proof on Main in Louisville, Ky., is at the helm, kicking out the classics the original has become known for, like the Cochon muffaletta or 'Le Pig Mac' burger, along with assorted house-made meats and sausages.
Location: Green Hills; 2002 Richard Jones Rd., A104; website.
Key Players: Steven Smithing, Christopher Smithing
Projected Opening: Mid-September
While it's not the splashiest opening of the year, it is a homecoming of sorts for a longtime local favorite. Having closed in 2008, Steven Smithing, an 11-year veteran of the original and current owner of Mere Bulles in Brentwood, is bringing it back to life for all those that once again want to get their fill of the restaurant's simple, classic dishes such as tortilla soup, grilled salmon salad and Santa Fe chicken. Even some employees of the original will be making a return as well.
Image: Max Goldberg/Instagram
Location: Midtown; 1922 Adelicia Street; website.
Key Players: Ben and Max Goldberg, Rene De Leon, Enoch Simpson, Alexander Reed, Matt Tocco
Projected Opening: Fall
Strategic Hospitality, the group behind The Catbird Seat, Patterson House, Pinewood Social and others, is back at it, working to open a 'New French' restaurant and bar in the ground floor of the Adelicia condo complex that has proven to be a challenging location for restaurant concepts over the years. But they have assembled an impressive team, led by executive chef Rene De Leon (Next, Alinea in Chicago). Details are still tight, but expect lunch, dinner and weekend brunch service, with a raw bar and a separate menu for the downstairs bar. If it all comes together, this could be the biggest opening of the year.
Image: Eater Nashville
Location: The Gulch; 1104 Division Street; website.
Key Players: Sarah Gavigan, Brad Gavigan
Projected Opening: Fall
Nashville got its first taste of ramen from Otaku South, Sarah and Brad Gavigan's occasional pop-up that eventually landed semi-permanently at their East Nashville POP restaurant and event space. Now they are going brick and mortar in the ground floor of the Icon in The Gulch, bringing ramen varieties like spicy paitan, assari shoyu and "Tennessee tonkotsu" from across the river to Nashville proper.
Location: Belmont; 2011 Belmont Blvd; website.
Key Players: Carmine and Marcella Speranza, Heather Speranza, Alex Espana
Projected Opening: Early October
This could potentially be the bagel news that Nashville has been waiting for. The Speranza family has been in the bagel shop business for decades, having opened up their first bagel store on Long Island in 1977. Situated behind Belmont University and described as a "New York-style bagel eatery and marketplace," expect made from scratch bagels and bialys, smoked salmon flown in from Brooklyn, Barista Parlor's roasted coffee and full boozy brunch.
Looking into 2016: Bartaco (12 South), Clyde's on Church (Midtown), Dale Levitski's new 8th Avenue project, Farm Burger (Sylvan Heights), Headquarters Beercade (SoBro), Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse (Downtown), Mangia, Maple and Eggs (East Nashville), Martin's Bar-B-Que's Rutledge location, Milk & Honey (The Gulch), Miranda Pontes new Germantown project, Steadfast Coffee's new project (SoBro), Truss (Sylvan Park), Vui's Kitchen (Berry Hill)