Fall, cloaked with football madness and pumpkin-spice-crowded menus, is right around the corner. And with that comes yet another busy season for Nashville restaurant and bar openings. Several of the city’s anticipated openings (including Sean Brock’s East Nashville Appalachian project) have been pushed back to 2020, but the city still has nearly a dozen solid openings to look forward to this year. Of course, deadlines always shift, but this is what to expect in the next few months.
These are listed in order of their anticipated opening date.
Location: 1304 McGavock Pike
Key Players: Mailea Weger
Projected Opening: Very, very soon in September
The cozy Inglewood house most recently occupied by Fort Louise returns to life so soon as a new all-day cafe, brunch locale, and natural wine bar. Owned by chef Mailea Weger, the 1930s craftsman home in East Nashville’s hip Riverside Village sees a fresh white coat of paint and interior refresh plus an exciting menu for Nashville, one that includes Tuesday through Sunday brunch. After spending time at New Orleans’ Herbsaint, Weger opened LA’s cult-favorite restaurant Gjusta as Sous Chef and was later promoted to its sister restaurant, Gjelina. Most recently, she led the kitchen at Echo in Paris, France, a Parisian-Californian café and deli that garnered much critical acclaim. Weger’s menu in her new Nashville project is a nod to healthy-ish West Coast cuisine — emphasizing seasonality and sustainability through vegetable-forward dishes and a focused selection of proteins, alongside a low-ABV cocktail menu and an all-natural wine program to complement each dish.
Location: 1520 Demonbreun Street
Key Players: Nina Singto
Projected Opening: September
Nina Singto’s revival of her former 12th Avenue essential Thai restaurant has seen some construction delays, but expect to pop into the new Demonbreun digs very soon for steamed dumplings, Malaysian-style noodles, and papaya salad very soon. She’ll also throw in some new dishes drawing inspiration from Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam The focal point of the Thai restaurant’s new 3,500-square-foot space is a six-foot tall golden Buddha, shipped straight to Music City from Thailand.
Location: 5304 Charlotte Avenue
Key Players: Chef John Currence
Projected Opening: Fall 2019
Earlier this summer, big deal Oxford-based chef John Currence announced that he was bringing his morning-heavy restaurant Big Bad Breakfast to Nashville soon. The new West Nashville restaurant (in the old EiO and the Hive space) will offer traditional American breakfast fare with a “cheffy” spin.
Location: 1628 21st Avenue South
Key Players: Adam LaRoche, Jason Aldean, and Luke Bryan
Projected Opening: October
Colorado-based ranch-to-restaurant E3 Chophouse opens its Hillsboro Village sometime this October. Under construction at the corner of Wedgewood and 21st Avenues — the tri-level restaurant spans 13,000-square-feet, and upon completion will feature space for dinner, private events, plus a rooftop bar. E3 will serve all-natural, no added hormone beef directly from E3 certified ranches. E3 steaks are the highlight of the menu — steaks come from cattle raised on the family ranch and other E3 certified ranches.
Fat Kat Slim’s
Location: 730 8th Avenue South
Key Players:Paul Cercone, Christopher Weber, Manny Hatz, Larry Carlile, Bonnie Valentine
Projected Opening: October
1950s style diner Fat Kat Slim’s comes from the owners of Earnest Bar & Hideaway. Sliding into the former Pour House space at Division and 8th, the two-story restaurant and bar’s first floor will be sock hop-inspired, featuring a stocked jukebox. Upstairs will be an event space and private “hospitality industry-only” bar. Nostalgia will be a focus, and so will diners’ interaction with staff in character. Fat Kat Slim’s will serve a nostalgic comfort food menu (think meatloaf, patty melts, and cobbler) from chef Larry Carlile, also of Earnest Bar & Hideaway.
Location: 2305 12th Avenue South
Key Players: Strategic Hospitality, Trevor Moran
Projected Opening: end of 2019
The powers that be at Strategic Hospitality remain sort of hush-hush about the highly anticipated Japanese-style shaved ice (kakigōri) and dumpling shop from former Catbird Seat chef Trevor Moran. But rumor has it the casual restaurant in the former Art & Soul building in 12 South will open late this year. Trevor’s new spot will have about 40 seats, and while full details are sparse — diners can look forward to something unique for Nashville with the offering of kakigōri and dumplings alone. In the meantime, follow along with Trevor’s Instagram for some sneak peeks into the unnamed shaved ice and dumplings restaurant, plus news of future pop-ups.