It looks as though Bongo Java founder Bob Bernstein is preparing to add a hotel venture to his now lengthy resume of projects.
A tipster sent Eater Nashville a screenshot of a recent Instagram story from R. Eric Thornton, a principal in McEwen Thornton LLC, which partnered with Bongo Java parent company Bongo Productions LLC to purchase a vacant building located at 2005 Belmont Blvd. back in the fall of 2016. That photo (pictured below) shows partial plans for a project called ‘Bongo Hotel.’ The plans also show that prominent local architect Manuel Zeitlin is involved, which was also noted previously in regards to the Belmont property. No other details are immediately clear.
Bernstein opened his first Bongo Java cafe, Nashville’s longest operating coffeehouse, in 1993 at 2007 Belmont Blvd., right next door to the aforementioned property. Since then, he has expanded his portfolio to ten other food and beverage outlets, including Fido, Fenwick’s 300, and Bongo Bakery.
Eater Nashville reached out to Bernstein for comment, but had not heard back at the time of publishing. So be sure to check back for updates, and if you have any intel, do send it along to the tipline.