In the last few years, Nashville has become a magnet for outposts of wildly successful restaurants in other major U.S. cities — Carne Mare and the Dutch from NYC and the Dallas-based Velvet Taco are all recent examples. Now the Music City can add New York’s famed Pastis, a longtime hotspot known for Parisian fare and celebrity sightings, to that list. A Nashville location of the restaurant is expected to open a few blocks south of downtown in 2023.
A press release announcing plans for Pastis touts a dystopian-sounding “multiphase neighborhood restoration and development project” in Nashville’s Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood, specifically referencing the newly-opened Soho House Nashville in the May Hosiery Mills building. Restaurateurs Keith McNally and Stephen Starr have partnered with Nashville-based developer Adventurous Journeys for Pastis, which will also be a part of the renovated May Hosiery building on Houston Street. (The building was once a sock mill, apparently the oldest in the South.) Like the forthcoming Miami location of Pastis, expected to open sometime this year, the restaurant will be decked out with “signature Pastis décor,” which means gold lighting, leather banquettes, subway tile, Parisian bistro chairs, and, in Nashville, “factory-style windows overlooking the neighborhood.”
McNally, who’s also behind Balthazar and Minetta Tavern, opened Pastis in 1999 in NYC’s Meatpacking District. It quickly became known for its A-list guest list and French bistro classics like steak tartare, escargot, and lobster frites. After 15 years, Pastis closed when its building sold, and McNally, who suffered a stroke two years later in 2016, took a three-year hiatus from the restaurant industry. In 2019, McNally partnered with new operator Starr to reopen Pastis in a location not far from the original, where it continues to cater to the in-crowd (and is now a top brunch spot).
The Nashville Pastis is projected to open in 2023; Miami’s location, announced last year and set to debut in 2022, has not yet opened.