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Nashville Wine Pro Plans First Wine Bar and Restaurant

Alex Burch is striking out on his own for Bad Idea, opening in East Nashville

The bar at Bastion, Alex Burch’s former restaurant.
Sam Angel/East Nashville

A former sommelier for acclaimed Nashville restaurants like Bastion and Henrietta Red is striking out on his own for a new wine bar and restaurant, as first reported by the Nashville Scene. Alex Burch is bringing wine flights, tasting dinners, and wine classes to Five Points in East Nashville, and is seeking community investors along the way.

On his crowdsourcing page, Burch says Bad Idea is a “neighborhood restaurant, center for wine education, and lively gathering place” at 1021 Russell Street, in a recently converted church that was “nearly destroyed” in the March 2020 tornado. Burch outlines three main offerings at Bad Idea: wine flights that aim to introduce customers to “hidden gem” wines; a short list of wines by the glass and bottle ranging in variety and price; and the long list, an “exclusive” bottle list that provides tasting notes and explanations of regions, producers, and winemaking methods.

Burch also includes sample dinner, late night, and dessert menus on the fundraising page, which has so far raised $255,600 of its $500,000 goal (but doesn’t list any chef information). The dinner menu lists dishes like a seaweed tomato sandwich, rotating agnolotti, and mille feuille of mussels; for late night, there’s a pig tail corn dog and bologna musubi sandwich; and sample desserts include a fried potato ice cream sundae, funnel cake, and cream puffs. It sounds like the dinner menu is small plates, as Burch says it’s designed for groups to share a “large variety” of plates or for individual guests to try two or three.

Burch, who achieved advanced sommelier status in 2019, most recently managed the wine program at Strategic Hospitality’s Bastion for five years, before shifting to online wine education when Nashville restaurants shut down in March 2020. He’s been working on the saucily-named Bad Idea since then, he says (he registered the name in May 2021), and is aiming for a Spring 2023 opening. The minimum investment in Bad Idea is $100, and investment terms are listed on the Wefunder page.


434 Houston St, Nashville, TN 37203 (615) 490-8434