The Food Biz: Rumour has it ...

Popular wine bar now open in the Gulch's Icon

The popular restaurant and wine bar Rumours has reopened in a new spot in the Gulch less than a mile from its original 12South location.

Rumours (which has separate ownership from Rumours East in East Nashville) left its home of seven years in 2012 to clear the way for the up- coming 12 South Flats development. Rumours reopened Wednesday in a sleek space at the base of the Icon condominium tower at Division and 12th Avenue.

The culinary team, led by Rumours veteran Jo Ellen Brown, has a menu that retains many dishes familiar to fans of the original Rumours, with small plates, sharable items like a daily cheese plate, salads and few entrees like scallops over mushroom risotto.

There are two new developments on the beverage side: Rumours now has a full bar with cocktails and high- gravity beer. (Jenn McCarthy, who manages the restaurant and co-owns it with founder Christy Shuff, said they hope to get their license for regular beer in the next couple weeks.)
Now in addition to 5-ounce glasses, Rumours has added an 8-ounce version of all the wine selections for a couple extra dollars. (The exception is the sparkling wines served in a flute.) Glasses of wine start at $6.

The interior, which was transformed from a blank space with a gravel floor to a chic nightspot, has cozy aubergine walls, reclaimed wood tables and vintage items like crystal chandeliers and glass doorknobs. Murals by artist Julia Martin, salvaged from the old space, have been reinstalled.

There are two dining rooms; one can be used for special events. There’s also a patio that will be kitted out with tables by the time warm weather returns.

Rumours 12th and Division is located at Icon at 1104 Division. The phone number is 432-2740.

• The owners of Village Pub are planning to open an intriguing new place called The Hop Stop, which will offer food, beer and growler refills to go.
Jesse Hamilton, who owns the Village Pub and The Hop Stop with his wife Tracy and kitchen manager Jim Latham, said the new place will have 36 American craft beers on tap. It will have a relaxed pub atmosphere, including darts.

There aren’t many details yet on the menu, but Hamilton said it will differ from what they serve at Village Pub. The Hop Stop, to be located at 2909B Gallatin Pike in the former Red Dog Scooters building, is gearing up to open in late spring.

• Now that Soulshine Pizza has a couple months of operation under its belt, co-owner Dave Wachtel III is opening a second business in an adjacent space.

It’s called The Slider House (1907 Division) and will serve the mini burgers known as sliders as well as variants like chicken sliders and hot dog sliders (made with 3-inch mini-franks).

Wachtel described the vibe as “modern-day juke joint.” It will be relatively small (no more than 100 seats) and the cooking will go on behind the bar. Sides will include house-made potato chips. The Slider House, which will eventually have a patio out front, is expected to open sometime in March.
Meanwhile, sister restaurant Soulshine has a grand opening party planned for noon to midnight March 9, with a crawfish boil and live music all day.

It’s a benefit for Radio Free Nashville.

• A prominent Nashville chef has died; Toby Willis, co-chef at M Restaurant, succumbed suddenly of what is believed to have been a massive stroke.
Willis, whose 20-year career included stints at the Nashville City Club and Macke’s, also authored a blog, Elevated Southern, which was well-read by chefs, restaurant fans and many other people who enjoyed his entertaining observations about kitchen life and his keen interest in the nexus of Southern folkways and fine cuisine.