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A Nashville Meat-and-Three Institution Is Closing After 30 Years

Dandgure’s Cafeteria will close at the end of June

A tray on a cafeteria-style grate has fried chicken, collard greens, barbecue chicken, and an iced tea.
Dandgure’s Cafeteria in the seventh season of Parts Unknown

Dandgure’s, the longtime Pie Town meat-and-three that has grown to legendary status over the decades, will close permanently on June 30, the restaurant announced on Facebook earlier this month. Dandgure’s owner Dandgure “Dan” Robinson is retiring, happily, taking some of the sting out of the news.

The history of Dandgure’s is a rich one, beginning in 1991 when Robinson began serving meat-and-threes, a style of Southern meal that the late musician Jesse Boyce once told Anthony Bourdain is, “bone-deep local, even deeper than the dive bar culture,” to Nashville. Served cafeteria-style, Dandgure’s offers a choice of protein (fried chicken, smothered pork chops, meatloaf, or maybe a special of baked tilapia) along with three sides, like fried cabbage, mac and cheese, green beans, black-eyed peas, or skillet cornbread. Daily specials and lemonade clinched the restaurant as a top lunch destination.

Dandgure’s is located just outside of downtown in a once-industrial area not far from the Cumberland River, attracting day laborers, according to the Southern Foodways Alliance. It then drew office and medical workers from downtown, followed eventually by locals and visitors looking for iconic (and delicious) Nashville experiences. In 2016, Anthony Bourdain visited the meat-and-three, which opens just four hours a day, for the seventh season of Parts Unknown, in which Boyce also says that Dandgure’s is “a microcosm of what Nashville is really like.”

The building at 538 Lafayette Street is owned by a Nashville investment firm that bought it for $2 million in November 2018, according to the Nashville Business Journal. It will be selling the property, and is likely to see quite a hefty return given the skyrocketing real estate market for Pie Town, says the Journal. In June, an Illinois-based investment firm paid more than $11 million for just over an acre of land at 621 Middleton Street, two blocks away from Dandgure’s.

Through the end of June, Dandgure’s will be open Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Dandgure's Classic Southern Co

538 Lafayette Street, , TN 37203 (615) 256-8501 Visit Website

Dandgure's Classic Southern Cooking

538 Lafayette Street, , TN 37203 (615) 256-8501 Visit Website