A unique restaurant project is coming to East Nashville's Inglewood neighborhood, as TKO, "a Southern-inspired Chinese restaurant," is currently under construction.
Located at 4204 Gallatin Pike in a newly built commercial development, The Tennessean reports that the husband and wife team behind the eatery is Ryan and Ann Bernhardt. Ryan was previously chef de cuisine at Margot Cafe, having left that post late last year to begin work on TKO. Ann is currently the general manager at Germantown's City House, and will continue in that role while also getting TKO up and running.
The idea for the restaurant started with Ryan creating menus for Chinese New Year dinners at Margot's Cafe. A preview menu is currently up on TKO's website, with dishes ranging from steamed buns to sweet and sour chicken livers and mushroom lo-mein, and prices from $4 for snacks to $19 for entrees. A drink menu is not currently available, but the site promises "whiskey, vodka, gin, rum and tequila drinks; a very small wine list; and low alcohol beers."
The Bernhardts' project will be breaking new ground in two important ways. First, it's opening on the northern end of Inglewood, just a few blocks south of Briley Parkway, testing an area that's never been known for chef-driven restaurant concepts. And second, The Tennessean details the fact that they plan on eliminating tipping, a trend that's been picking up speed in larger markets and gathering a lot of national attention within the past year. Those lost gratuities will now be built in to the base price of each guest's meal to provide living wages to their employees.
A September opening is the goal, and planned hours will be 6 to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.