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Urban Cowboy Public House Officially Opens Its Doors Today in East Nashville

Veterans of Rolf and Daughters, The Catbird Seat, Bastion and more fill out a stacked opening team

The bar at Urban Cowboy Public House
Urban Cowboy Public House/Dave Krugman

A unique new project is preparing for its official debut in East Nashville, as Urban Cowboy Public House, a restaurant and bar located behind the Urban Cowboy bed and breakfast near Five Points, will open its doors this afternoon.

Co-owner Lyon Porter, who also owns the B&B’s sister property in Brooklyn with his girlfriend and business partner Jersey Banks, teamed up with local partners Jacki Spillane, Dean Holcombe, Andy Baldwin and Kylie Davis on the project. Porter tells Eater that they will kick things off at 4 p.m., and with the opening food and beverage team they have in place, expectations will certainly be high.

Running the beverage program is veteran barman Brice Hoffman, who most will recognize from his time spent as the beverage director at Germantown hot spot Rolf and Daughters. Matt Izaguirre, who most recently was behind the stick at cocktail den No. 308, has been hired on as head bartender. Porter says that the cocktails won’t have any one particular lean, but will simply focus on quality, offering a range of prices and options, from plays on classics to unique creations.

Manning the kitchen, a combination of a 25-foot long stationary food truck and a custom wood-fired cooking station (which is currently getting some finishing touches over the weekend), are Tom Bayless, who helped open Nashville tasting menu destination The Catbird Seat in 2011, and was most recently part of the opening team at Josh Habiger’s Wedgewood-Houston spot Bastion; Colby Landis, another veteran of The Catbird Seat, as well as a former sous chef at Rolf and Daughters; and Matthew Mosshart, who most recently was overseeing the kitchen at The Turnip Truck in The Gulch.

Porter says that the menu, which he describes as “Francis Mallmann-inspired wood-fired cooking with a focus on fresh, healthy and organic seasonal fare,” will change as often as weekly or even daily, depending on the available product and the whims of the chef trio, who Porter states have “full creative freedom” and are working as a unit rather than in a typical kitchen hierarchy. Plates will range from smaller bites to more composed dishes.

The space itself consists of a roughly 2,000-square-foot indoor bar with double garage doors that open up to a large patio with a 16-foot tall double-sided outdoor fireplace as a focal point.

In describing what Urban Cowboy Public House is meant to be, Porter is clear in his vision:

“It’s meant to be a neighborhood spot, with no pretension. We’re very serious about what we do but don’t take ourselves too seriously. We want people to come, have a great time and be surprised by how good it is. And we’re very serious about the hospitality aspect. The last thing I want is for someone to walk in here and not experience a warm smile and exceptional service. And we’re all on the same page with that. We want it to be about friends, food, drinks and fun.”

Hours will be 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. on the weekends, and 4 to 11 p.m. on weeknights.