After over four years of anticipation, Atlanta-based chef Ford Fry’s Nashville iteration of seafood-focused restaurant the Optimist finally opens on Monday, June 22. The restaurant is located at the Hammer Mill development in Germantown, at 1400 Adams Street.
Designed by New York City-based design house Reunion Goods & Services, the Nashville outpost’s design will serve as an extension of its Atlanta predecessor while still maintaining its own identity. 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 endless concrete countertops.
The natural space holds an array of luxe, roomy banquettes, industrial slag glass and steel studded walls, rich blue plaster accents, flowing curtains and eye-catching indoor and outdoor soapstone and plaster-clad fireplaces. A backbar stairwell ascends to an intimate oyster bar clad with a custom mural and vintage furnishings.
A focal point outside, an expansive patio bar affectionally known as “Jacqueline” will transport guests beachside and offer an air of fun, excitement and action with bright accents, lawn games, shaved ice cocktails and an unforgettable frozen hurricane plus a selection of beverage manager and Nashville native Tracy Ardoin-Jenkins’ variety of the tried and true.
Executive chef Ryder Zetts leads the kitchen in Nashville, serving a seafood heavy menu of everything from lobster rolls with Duke’s mayo to snapper en papillote and whole roasted flounder. See some of the menu offerings below.
The Optimist will conduct strict daily cleanings, and employees will receive daily pre-work health screenings and temperature checks. All restaurant workers are required to wear face coverings and disposable gloves at all times. The Optimist plans to strictly adhere to the Restaurant Association COVID-19 Guidelines, including disposable menus, limited party sizes, rolled silverware and no presetting of tables. Socially distant floor markings will be provided in waiting areas, and at least 6 feet of separation between all seated parties.
The Optimist will open for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m.