In some much-needed good news for Nashville, Charleston-favorite Xiao Bao Biscuit is headed for Nashville (East Nashville, specifically). Set for 830 Meridian Street, just across from Roxy Theater and just a stone’s throw away from East Nashville favorites Folk, Redheaded Stranger, and Sean Brock’s upcoming restaurant Audrey, Xiao Bao hopes to open later this year or early 2022.
The name is shortened to Xiao Bao with the expansion (as they did for a new Charlotte, NC location in food hall Optimist Hall), but Nashville diners can expect the same menu of rotating specials and crowd favorites like okonomiyaki crowned with pork candy, pad kra pow, and mapo tofu.
Owner Josh Walker also says to look for fun new additions from XBB chef de cuisine chef Vann Thomas, who will move to Nashville after opening the new Xiao Bao in Charlotte. Thomas been with the team for many years and has a resume that includes Momofuku Noodle Bar and Del Posto in New York, as well as working alongside chef Stephanie Izard at her restaurants Duck Duck Goat & Cabra in Chicago. Walker says with the pandemic downtime, he and Thomas have had lots of time to play with R&D, adding more focus on southeast Asian and Singaporean dishes including hand-pulled noodles and more.
Owned by husband-and-wife duo Duolan Li and Josh Walker alongside Joey Ryan , XBB first opened in a former gas station in Charleston back in 2012. Inspired by travels through Asia with his wife Walker-Li, Walker, Xiao’s Bao Biscuit’s chef, put together a menu of comfort food dishes from China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Chef Thomas will join as partner in the new Nashville location. They also own Tu in Charleston.
Walker says the Nashville location of Xiao Bao is larger than the Charleston one — clocking in at around 2,200-square-feet — with a much larger lot primed for outdoor dining and plenty of parking (an added bonus in that part of town). Walker hopes they’ll work in a functional space to host private events as well.
“We wanted to go to a bigger city, but some place that we felt a vibe with. Nashville was the best natural fit for our next move — something about the time and the place just felt right.” said Walker.
Look for Xiao Bao’s debut Nashville in late 2021/early 2022.
XBB Charleston [All coverage]