At last, the wait is almost over — Atlanta-based chef-owner Ford Fry’s trio of Germantown dining, beverage, and live music destinations will open “sometime this spring”. Fry’s ambitious triple-take of seafood spot the Optimist, cocktail lounge Le Loup, and music venue Star Rover Sound span nearly 13,000-square-feet at 1400 Adams Street at Hammermill.
Keep reading for a full rundown of the three spots.
Fry introduced the Optimist and his whimsical take on a seaside fish camp experience to Atlanta in 2012, and its success led to its second outpost here in Nashville. Executive chef Ryder Zetts will helm the kitchen, serving wood-grilled seafood and southern-sourced ingredients like local country ham toast and chicken and dumplings.
Designed by New York City-based design house Reunion Goods & Services, the Optimist is a moody-yet-luxe take on a classic Gloucester fishing village, set in a reclaimed warehouse and anchored by an open kitchen with ample concrete countertops. The natural space delivers an array of roomy banquettes, industrial slag glass and steel studded walls, blue plaster accents, and flowing curtains. A backbar stairwell ascends to an intimate oyster bar, clad with custom mural and vintage furnishings.
A focal point outside, an expansive patio bar affectionally known as “Jacqueline” will offer lawn games, shaved ice cocktails, and frozen hurricanes plus other drinks from beverage manager and Nashville native Tracy Ardoin-Jenkins. The classically trained pastry chef turned bar expert, Ardoin-Jenkins worked closely with beverage director Eduardo Porto Carreiro to conceptualize cocktail, beer, and wine lists that complement the individual Optimist, Le Loup, and Star Rover experiences.
The Optimist will open for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m.
At the top of an unassuming staircase, Le Loup is the hidden gem of Fry’s Germantown trifecta. A custom underwater mural by Rebecca Green sets the tone for an intimate, lounge-y space with dimly lit bar, vintage stone mantel centerpiece, and comfortable fireside seating.
Le Loup will offer decadent snacks, like deep water oysters and variety of sea fare (like spot prawns & razor clams) followed by house favorites like the classic smoked fish dip with “club” crackers, raclette-laced house “tots,” scallop crudo, and foie gras and duck liver parfait.
Behind the cocktail menu is Nashville native Kenneth Vanhooser, making his way back down south after a decade in New York’s food and beverage scene. Combining Japanese-style cocktail and ice culture with Southern hospitality, Vanhooser has concocted an interesting beverage situation for his hometown. Vanhooser and Porto Carreiro introduce an elevated beverage program with a seasonal menu of more than 50 drinks. Guests can expect the menu to celebrate the classics with superlative ingredients, ranging from the famous 19th century predecessor of the martini, “the Martinez,” featuring gin, vermouth, maraschino, bitters, and lemon essence to a cheeky reimagination of the 20th century guilty pleasure, the lychee martini.
Le Loup will be open Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 6 p.m.
Star Rover Sound
Just off the Optimist’s main dining room is Star Rover Sound, a listening room and honky-tonk meets taqueria-inspired snack bar of sorts.
Star Rover will serve a selection of bar snacks – notably the butter burger – a fan favorite at Fry’s La Lucha in Houston, Texas, chili cheese fries a la Superica, Tijuana-style street tacos, and churro soft serve.
Emulating a live recording studio with quality sound, country and blues vibes, the venue features a full backline, Fender amps, and a house drum kit with nightly sound engineer. The mid-century-inspired space is a remixed interpretation of a honky-tonk, with colorful, laminate tables, and studio-inspired décor featuring wall paneling fashioned with acoustic speaker fabric, quilted vinyl booths, and a neon lit bar.
Visitors will experience different sounds of Nashville nightly with Wednesday’s blues, Americana tunes from Lauren Morrow Band on Thursday nights, rotating feature bands on Friday and Saturday, and jazz/bluegrass during Saturday/Sunday brunch.
Star Rover will be open Saturday & Sunday for brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for dinner Wednesday through Saturday beginning at 6 p.m.
Stay tuned for official opening dates.