Open since 1945, Rotier’s often offered context to those near and far about the ever-evolving city Nashville has become. The family-owned icon located at 2413 Elliston Place bid its final adieu last week after its building’s new owners said they would not renew the Rotier family’s lease. The 90-year-old building sold for $8.1M late last year; whereas, the new owners remain tight-lipped about redevelopment plans.
Pandemically speaking, though, progress is but a mere provocation for institutions like Rotier’s.
The family’s 72-year-old current matriarch, Margaret Ann Rotier Crouse, told The Tennessean that she’s heartbroken, “My mom and dad loved this restaurant. The world has changed a lot over the years. I thought with COVID it would just be closed for a little while, but...it is what it is.”
Garnering celebrity status over the years, Rotier’s experienced its decline pre-pandemic, limiting its hours to lunch-only over two years ago. So, when it shut down last March due to COVID-19 restrictions, the restaurant could no longer financially sustain itself. “With COVID, we just couldn’t make enough money,” Crouse told reporters.
Best known for their old-school cheeseburger served on French bread, legend has it that its seasoning came from the restaurant’s original griddle, needing nary a shake of salt and pepper. That classic cost a whopping 25 cents back in the day.
As the tastes of this fair city deepen, the questions remain, “How will its history repeat? Or, will it?”