The Food Biz: Perking up Woodbine

Coffeehouse plans to be a neighborhood hub on Nolensville Road

Nolensville Road in the Woodbine neighborhood is something of a culinary hot spot thanks to the abundance and variety of ethnic restaurants and markets in the area. Now a couple of entrepreneurs are working to give the neighborhood a new amenity: a cozy coffeehouse and place to hang out.

“We’ve done our research,” said Eddie Christy, a music industry veteran and former marketer. “We know there’s a demand and desire for this in the community.”

Christy’s partner in the venture, Todd Rossbach, already owns a business not far away, the popular (and self-proclaimed “international famous”) dive bar and burger joint Twin Kegs on Thompson Lane.
Woodbine Coffee Co. is taking over a 1930 retail building at 2519 Nolensville Pike. Christy is doing the renovating, removing the interior plaster by hand to expose brick walls and create a “clean, open and comfortable environment.”

He said the coffeehouse will be “a straightforward place to meet, with free wireless and comfy chairs.”

“I go to every coffeehouse in town,” Christy said. “We’re not trying to compete with those guys. We want to have good quality, consistent product, but we’re not spending $40,000 on an espresso machine,” he added, laughing. “It’s just a good environment for people to spend time in.”

Coffee beans will come from several vendors, but the main provider will be Humphreys Street Coffee, a nonprofit roaster that mentors and employs teens in South Nashville. “It’s really rigorous training,” Christy said. “We’re really proud to partner with them.”

The food menu will initially include only pastries, but the cafe will add sandwiches eventually. The 1,700-square-foot coffeehouse will also include a “tiny stage where we can do songwriter nights,” Christy said.

Woodbine Coffee Co. aims to open in early March. Watch its page on Facebook for updates.

Over in another neighborhood, the McFerrin Park area of East Nashville, a new Southern restaurant has opened its doors. The Meridian Street Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and early dinner, depending on the day.

In the morning, the cafe offers steak and eggs and other traditional breakfast fare. At lunch there’s a meat-and-three hot bar plus other entrees cooked to order, such as chicken wings and burgers.

The Meridian Street Cafe is at 815 Meridian St. (at the corner of Arrington). The phone number is 262-8986. Hours are 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

Meanwhile, over on East Nashville’s main drag, Gallatin Road, a new music venue and restaurant is in the works at 2412 Gallatin, across the street from the Nashville Auto Diesel College.

Ryan Bruce and Ben Jones are the team behind the venture, which will be called The Humdrum. Bruce is a music booker around town, and Jones is a drummer and one of the founders of the Pizza Buds food truck.

We hear the two have been looking for a while for a spot to open their own business.

Bruce said via email that the project is in the early development stages, and the team is “ironing out the details of what is to come,” including a target date for opening. But The Humdrum has a Facebook page, with 73 “before” photos, revealing every part of the interior right down to the bathrooms. That seems like a promise of many more details to come.

Finally, you may recall the intriguing retail development in the old Fluffo mattress site on Woodland Street in East Nashville, where two local breweries, Fat Bottom and Broadcast, are preparing to open.

The folks behind the Fluffo project have been incredibly coy about details, but developer Dan Heller told one of my Nashville Scene colleagues that he’s working on signing a restaurant tenant to fill the space between the breweries. I’ll share more info as soon as I get it.