A post to J & J’s Market & Cafe’s Facebook page in the wee hours announced the impending end-of-December closure of the longtime Midtown coffee shop and market. You may not have been before or realized what lies inside, but you’ve no doubt seen the sign at 1912 Broadway — a Midtown beacon allowing a tiny glimpse to what the neighborhood was before shiny ‘new Nashville’ took hold.
Is it a sterile, Instagrammable space where baristas decorate lattes with your cat’s face? No — but Nashville has plenty of those now.
Open since the early 1970s but run by its current owners, Sam and Soyoun Huh for the last 16 years, the long-running yet still refreshingly under-the-radar oasis and market (with a stellar dark chocolate collection and other snacks) saw thousands of loyal regulars, many of them students from neighboring Vanderbilt. In the Facebook post from JJ’s ownership: “Old tarnished tables and chairs cherish your stories. Your laughter, your talk, your passion, and your effort are still alive here. Smelling your breath, we now say that it is more than enough. We are so grateful for your love. We can’t find any other words but ‘thank-you.’”
It’s former neighbor Noshville was demolished earlier this year, after Vanderbilt bought the sites of both it and J&J’s Market (referred to locally as simply JJ’s) in 2016 from a land developer who planned a not-surprising mixed-use development for the spot. The new agreement allowed JJ’s to continue to operate while Vanderbilt finalized plans — and the cafe appeared to have a lease through 2022, according to court filings.
Attempts to contact JJ’s for more details have thus far gone unanswered. See the attached post below for the full statement posted to Facebook.