Edley's Bar-B-Que owner Will Newman and fellow 12Souther Will Smallman recently opened the doors to The Filling Station, a carry-out shop for craft beer lovers. The new venture is taking up the space formerly held by Halcyon Bicycle and appears to have found very fertile ground with its more than 20 on-tap options of local and regional brews.
They ordered over 300 full-size growlers in preparation for their Saturday opening, but had already run out by Sunday. Fear not, thirsty friends, more are on the way and they have plenty of the small sizes left. In fact, Newman promised, "We'll fill up a milk jug if you bring one in."
The Nashville Downtown Partnership hopes to receive within the next few weeks an assessment of SoBro’s long-term retail prospects.
The partnership has placed on retainer Downtown Works Inc., a Seattle-based retail consulting firm. DW officials Midge McCauley and Kelly Kost spent Monday and Tuesday in Nashville, with the focus on SoBro retail.
Crissy Cassetty, NDP retail recruiter, said the DW duo met with various downtown developers and property owners. She said SoBro’s retail future will be “an equal focus” on food/beverage retail and on soft-goods retail (clothing, home accessories, gifts, etc.).
As to SoBro’s long-term retail prospects, Cassetty said Downtown Works visited Nashville, in part, to provide an update for the partnership’s 2008 Downtown Nashville Retail Strategy and Merchandising Mix Plan.
McCauley, DW founder and principal, said a challenge will be the fact that the SoBro lacks closely sited buildings with contiguous retail space. Indeed, the district’s new buildings (and those expected to be built in the future) are almost exclusively free-standing structures with uniform retail space, if they offer any space at all. This could render any future retail to operate in pockets of sorts, according to McCauley.
“Nashville is now getting the critical mass of buildings in SoBro but most [of those buildings] are not designed for retail,” she said.
Still, McCauley is bullish on SoBro.
“We were very pleased when we saw the Omni and how the retail spaces will have entrances on Fifth Avenue,” she said. “We think that is very important.”