The Food Biz: Husk on the Hill

Decorated chef Sean Brock brings respected restaurant to former Andrew Chadwick's Rutledge Hill space

It’s hard to top the news that rocked the Nashville restaurant world a week ago: Much-lauded chef Sean Brock is bringing his acclaimed restaurant Husk to Nashville. Brock (pictured) ran the kitchen at Capitol Grille before heading to Charleston, S.C., where his work at McCrady’s earned him a James Beard award. He launched Husk in 2010 to a sensational reaction.

Husk’s sister in Nashville is going into the historic house on Rutledge Hill overlooking downtown that used to house Andrew Chadwick’s. Brock expects to spend a lot of time here, but will reside in Charleston. Check out my interview with Brock in the current issue of the Nashville Scene.

Husk is expected to open in early spring. In the meantime, there’s always something going on in the food biz in Nashville. Here are some nuggets:

• Soulshine Pizza Factory, a small pizza chain out of Mississippi, is poised to open its first Tennessee location in a couple weeks in a spot on Division Street in Midtown.

It will be the fourth location for Soulshine; two are in the Jackson, Miss., area and one is in Oxford, Miss. The company was founded by Chris Sartin, and local restaurateur Dave Wachtel III is also involved in the venture.

The new place is going in the former Hollywood Disco space at Division and 19th, not far from Chuy’s. The menu, which can be seen on soulshinepizza.com, includes a wide selection of pizzas, calzones, salads and some more unusual items like cream of crawfish soup, which Soulshine says is addictive.

Soulshine Pizza Factory (the name is an homage to an Allman Brothers song) is expected to open at 1907 Division St. around Nov. 1.

• Also on track for an early November opening is Sushi Train, filling the space on White Bridge where Chef Yang’s Chinese buffet used to reside.

Chef Alan Yang is also the owner of Sushi Train. He closed the buffet five months ago to completely renovate the space and reopen it with a new focus on sushi and other Japanese favorites like tempura, along with hibachi and Chinese entrees.

The buffet is gone, replaced by a more unique food delivery system: the titular sushi train. It’s actually a conveyor belt that circulates sushi and other delicacies on little plates for diners to spot, grab and make their own.

The new place will serve beer and wine, as well. Sushi Train aims to open Nov. 1 at 94 White Bridge Road.

• Jackalope Brewing Co. has earned a loyal following since Bailey Spaulding and Robyn Virball opened the microbrewery on Eighth Avenue in May 2011. Now Jackalope’s giving another beverage a place of pride in their taproom.

Virball announced last week on the Jackalope blog that ZolliKoffee, owned by Zollie Wilson, will start brewing up joe in the back portion of the taproom. It will be open early so people can pick up their morning coffee on their way downtown to work.

The taproom’s beer hours are expected to expand as well, but Virball said that won’t be decided until after ZolliKoffee launches in December.

Jackalope is at 701 Eighth Ave. S.

• Some sad news for wine lovers last week: Vinea Wine & Spirits, the 6-year-old shop in the 12South neighborhood, shut its doors for good.

Vinea’s owner, Brett Corrieri (who is also the executive chef at Mafiaoza’s next door), said keeping the store open didn’t make business sense, especially given the escalating rents in 12South.

“We’re no longer profitable,” Corrieri said. “The neighborhood’s been really supportive, but the footprint’s just too big. The sales couldn’t support the rent.”

Vinea was actually subletting the space from Mafiaoza’s. Corrieri said the owners of that venture probably won’t decide until the beginning of next year what to do with the space.

(Corrieri didn’t mention this, but one obvious possibility is for Mafiaoza’s to use the space to book private events, which would bring in income without incurring the costs associated with a shop, such as paying employees and keeping a full inventory.)