A former fellowship hall prepares to host gatherings of people once again, as chef John Stephenson’s new American neighborhood restaurant Hathorne finalizes details to open in Sylvan Park this December. Located adjacent to the former West Nashville United Methodist Church (now event space Clementine) at 4708 Charlotte Avenue, the new neighborhood restaurant and bar from the Nashville restaurant-industry veteran chef is a long time coming. Named after Stephenson’s grandmother, Hathorne’s logo shows a hawthorn tree, which became the symbol of the restaurant for its allure in Irish mythology; it’s thought to bring good luck to the owner and prosperity to the land where it stands.
Stephenson began cooking in Nashville in 1991 at Nashville Italian mainstay, Amerigo.After working at Corner Market for year, he moved on to be executive chef at Fido for 12 years, when Stephenson grew the popular coffee shop into a full restaurant. Most recently, he was called to consult on the menu at (now-closed) The Family Wash before leaving to concentrate on his first restaurant, Hathorne, nearly two years ago.
Joining Stephenson at Hathorne are executive chef Joey Molteni (Deacon’s New South, Dino’s, Little Octopus), sous chef Trevor Miller (Otaku Ramen, Little Octopus), and GM Bob Harmon (51 North Taproom). Currently, menu details are vague, described as ‘new American,’ highlighting ingredients and recipes inspired by his Southern surroundings and influenced by the ethnic threads woven into American culture. Hathorne will offer “small and large shareable plates featuring familiar ingredients and cooking methods presented in special and unexpected ways,” according to a press release. Hathorne will serve dinner Monday through Saturday plus brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Hathorne’s beverage program was developed by local cocktail consulting company, Pour Taste.
The team promises a comfortable space in Hathorne, plus ample seating and easy access to reservations for large groups. Original elements of the historic fellowship hall have been incorporated into the space — for instance, the dining room and bar are separated by a partition made from the original prayer rail, and pews have been repurposed as seating. The original beams in the drop ceiling inspired the color palette; the gold and blue hues complement the natural light that streams through the many windows. The full-service patio is an extension of the restaurant, open during fair season weather.
Once open, Hathorne’s hours will be Monday – Wednesday, 4 – 10 p.m., Thursday/Friday, 4 – 11:30 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m., and Sunday, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.