Every year there’s a flurry of restaurants and bars opening in the fall, as businesses hasten to open in time for holiday partying. This year, we’re seeing an especially rich autumn for new restaurants. I count at least nine food biz openings coming up in the next few weeks. A couple on the list are updates on places I’ve reported before, but many are fresh news.
Just a day away from opening is the new Midtown location of popular Austin, Texas-based chain Chuy’s. Pleased by its success in Cool Springs, Chuy’s has staked out a high-profile spot at Broadway and 19th Avenue South. The opening comes with a few nostalgia pangs — the site formerly housed Cantrell’s, Nashville’s seminal punk rock club in the ’80s, though the building lay empty for years before Chuy’s began reshaping it into one of its colorfully kitschy palaces of Tex-Mex fare. (Every location includes a shrine-like room dedicated to Elvis.) Chuy’s is set to open this Tuesday, Oct. 11.
Also in Midtown, but occupying a complete different niche in the restaurant strata, is The Catbird Seat, an ambitious venture from Ben and Max Goldberg of Strategic Hospitality. The unique restaurant is a little perch above the Goldbergs’ neo-speakeasy Patterson House at 1711 Division St. Just 30 seats are arranged at a U-shaped bar. In the center is a compact kitchen where two nationally known chefs, Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson, will cook and serve their creations directly to the patrons.
The menu is the chefs’ selection of seven courses for $100, exclusive of tax and tip. For another $30, diners can get adult beverages paired with the courses. The Catbird Seat is set to open this Wednesday, Oct. 12. Dinner is by reservation only, available at thecatbirdseatrestaurant.com.
Over in the Sylvan Park neighborhood, a new barbecue joint, Stone House Q, is expected to open in about 10 days. The team behind it is an interesting union of a veteran chain restaurateur, Buck Hussung, and Scott Moskovitz, who operated one of Nashville’s fondly remembered businesses from the heyday of Elliston Place as the Rock Block. Moskovitz owned the fun and funky newsstand Mosko’s on Elliston Place and the Muncheonette cafe within the shop. It opened in 1977 and lasted 23 years.
Moskovitz and his wife Cindy own the vintage stone cottage at 333 54th Ave. N. where the restaurant will operate, and he’s helping create the concept.
His friend Hussung is a former CEO of Winner's Corp. Hussung’s wife Raleigh is longtime caterer who will contribute recipes to the menu, and his son John, a veteran of the Moe’s chain, is the pit master and will run the front of the house. The barbecue is described as Alabama-style smoked pork butts, crisp on the outside and moist and tender inside. Stone House will also smoke ribs, chicken, sausage links and sell whole chickens cooked on a French rotisserie. Everything on the menu will be made from scratch, we are told.
Swinging back downtown, two new restaurant-bar concepts are opening soon. One is the National Underground, a venture from pop-rocker Gavin DeGraw and his brother Joey. An extension of their original National Underground in Manhattan, the Lower Broadway joint has already been having previews and plans a grand opening this Saturday, Oct. 15. It’s at 105 Broadway between the former Acme Farm Supply store and Big River Grille.
Over in historic Printers Alley, Glenn Henderson is working to open a British-style pub called Fleet Street. He’s overhauling the former Parco Cafe spot into a clean, cozy pub where he’ll serve lunch to downtown workers by day and drinks and dinner to downtown neighbors and visitors at night. After a few construction delays, he hopes to open Fleet Street at 207 Printers Alley as early as next week.
Other restaurants expected to open in the next few weeks:
• Sloco, chef Jeremy Barlow of Tayst’s gourmet sandwich shop in the 12th and Paris development in the 12South neighborhood.
• Edley’s Bar-B-Que, also in 12South at 2706 12th Ave. S., boasting a mission to “unite the Nashville tradition of meat-and-three restaurants with the best barbecue this side of the Mississippi.”
• The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden, a new venture at 731 McFerrin in East Nashville, from the folks behind nearby Holland House restaurant.
• GoGo Sushi, “a new way to prepare sushi rolls using fresh ingredients you choose,” opening at 2057 Scarritt Place just off 21st Avenue South across from Vanderbilt campus.