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Some of Nashville’s Dining Experts Reveal Headline Predictions for 2020

Big name chef projects, closures, and the crowding out of local independent restaurateurs

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Hattie B’s hot chicken and the nashville skyline Delia Jo Ramsey / Eater Nashville

Rounding out this Year in Eater, a few local food writers share what they think is to come in 2020 for the Nashville dining scene.

Chime in with your own predictions.

What are your headline predictions for 2020?

Ashley Brantley, food/travel writer for Eater Nashville, Nashville Scene, Frommer’s, and others:

In good news, I predict more natural and non-alcoholic wines at restaurants and more all-day eateries. In less good news, I predict burger joints and steakhouses keep cropping up, $16 cocktails remain the norm, and people continue to use far too many “&s” and fake words in restaurant names. (I’m looking at you Mane & Rye Dinerant.)

For chefs, I predict more women to the front of the line. We had a good year with Jessica Benefield co-opening Green Pheasant and Mailea Weger opening lou alongside pastry chef Sasha Piligian. I look forward to more of that in 2020, especially with Cafe Roze’s Julia Jaksic finally giving West-Meaders a place to enjoy inventive food near home at Roze Pony.

For the men, I predict: 1) Trevor Moran’s Locust dumpling bar kills it and forces me to start going to 12South again; 2) Tom Bayless open a brick-and-mortar restaurant (if only because I slowly, publicly browbeat him into doing so); and 3) Sean Brock’s complex begins to revolutionize wellness for the hospitality community. (And his new restaurant, Audrey, doesn’t suck either.)

Chris Chamberlain, food writer at Nashville Scene, Sounds Like Nashville, and other publications:

Some of these new restaurants that are big enough to see from space will be forced to resort to iPad ordering systems due to their inability to hire, train and retain enough staff to actually visit all those tables more than once an hour.

Nancy Vienneau, restaurant critic, The Tennessean; food journalist, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine:

More than a prediction--a lament. The business of restaurants now requires so much capital that it will become increasingly rarer that someone will independently open her/his own place. The small, independently owned, chef-driven restaurant is vanishing.

Kristin Luna, freelance travel/food writer and founder of travel blog Camels & Chocolate:

Nashville continues its quest to become the next Dallas, with less personality and more out-of-town restaurateurs swarming like buzzards than ever.