The downtown space that once housed legendary saxophonist Boots Randolph's supper club is getting new life, as Sea Salt, a French-influenced restaurant and bar, is opening to the public on Monday, April 24.
Located at 209 3rd Avenue North, the new project from Chicago transplants Keith Zust (co-owner/operator) and Mike Haggerty (co-owner/executive chef) represents the first of a number of new restaurants to hit this particular stretch of 3rd Avenue this year.
The space itself is unique for downtown Nashville, offering two stories of seating with the second level wrapped around and open to the main dining room. Zust tells Eater that he and Haggerty put in quite a bit of sweat equity into the space, having done much of the woodwork and flooring themselves. The main bar features a wall of Himalayan sea salt blocks (see below), with the same accenting the main dining room. Various items from Zust’s wife’s family farm are also used throughout the space.
The lunch and dinner menus (see in full below) are broken down between starters, soups and salads, sandwiches, entrees and desserts. And while there is a good bit of crossover between the two, lunch skews much heavier on the sandwiches, offering 13 different options including a variety of po’ boys, French dips, a croque madame and a black and bleu burger. Dinner appropriately focuses more on larger entrees, with dishes such as scallops and grits, grouper beurre blanc, crab-stuffed trout and a whiskey pork shank.
Overseeing the bar program at Sea Salt is Jeret Peña, a well known San Antonio-based barman whose work behind the stick at The Esquire Tavern helped earn it a spot as a James Beard Award semifinalist for Outstanding Bar Program in 2012. A full bar (see menu below) with a variety of local and regional brews by draft, bottle or can will be available, along with a concise wine list by glass and bottle. Cocktails include a mule featuring their house-made ginger beer, a Pimm’s cup, a classic vieux carre and a variety of other options.
Sea Salt will start with dinner service only next Monday, then launch lunch and happy hour beginning May 1. Once fully open, regular business hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday and 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday.