The Food Biz: Littleneck clams off Lower Broad

Pub5 brings craft beer and poutine to SoBro

The owners of the popular 12South Taproom have opened a new establishment just off Lower Broadway. Called Pub5, it aims to combine culinary sophistication and a casual pub vibe, staking out a historic storefront on Fifth Avenue South, directly across from Bridgestone Arena.

The team consists of entrepreneurs Will Shuff, Alex Torres and Jamy Borda, and the executive chef is Chris Futrell, most recently of Silo.

Pub5 opened a week ago and is rolling out the food and drinks menu in stages, starting with small plates and sandwiches, with entrees debuting this weekend.

Also this weekend, they’ll be adding cocktails to the beverage list of craft beer and wines.

The menu is intriguing. Pub5 is one of the few places I know of in town that serves the folksy Canadian specialty known as poutine, which unites cheese curds and french fries, topped with brown gravy. The hearty smoked clam chowder stars littleneck clams, Benton’s bacon and leeks, with a dollop of caviar.

The Pub5 Burger uses local grass-fed beef from Gourmet Pasture, and the toppings change daily. The menu itself will change based on seasonal ingredients.

The cozy interior reveals the building’s historic bones (part of the structure dates to the early 1800s), with exposed brickwork. In addition to the ground floor pub, there is private dining space on the second floor and a rooftop bar for warmer days.

Pub5 is at 104 Fifth Ave. S. The phone number is 780-4005. It serves lunch and dinner daily.

• A new craft brewery is coming to the industrial district on Sidco Drive, as my Nashville Post colleague William Williams reports.

It’s called The Black Abbey Brewing Company, and Carl Meier is the man behind it. He promises Belgian-style ales that are “creative, accessible and unique.”

The Black Abbey Brewing site recounts how the brewery is partially inspired by the story of Martin Luther, who not only kicked off the Protestant Reformation, but savored beer crafted at home by his ex-nun wife, Katharina.

The brewery will also have a taproom, promoting conversation and community over a good pint, Meier said. The Black Abbey Brewing Company expects to open at 2952 Sidco Drive this fall.

• Nashville chefs got some big honors this week. On Monday, chef-owner Tandy Wilson of City House was named a finalist in the James Beard Awards category Best Chef in the Southeast. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in New York in May. (A twist to the story: Wilson’s wife Stephanie Melidis, also of City House, is expecting their first child around the same day as the awards gala.)

In the national category of Outstanding Chef, Charleston, S.C., chef Sean Brock advanced to the finals. Brock’s practically a Nashvillian, since he’s opening an outpost of his restaurant Husk here later this spring.

More good news came Tuesday, when chef-owner Roderick Bailey of The Silly Goose was named the winner of the Southeast region title in The People’s Best New Chef competition, run by Food & Wine magazine. He beat out 10 other high-powered Southeastern chefs.

Congratulations to the chefs for their well-deserved honors.

• The annual Cherry Blossom Festival downtown has a sizable food truck component this year, making the free family-friendly street festival even more appealing.

The festival, which celebrates Japanese culture and runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, is centered on the Public Square, but this year, Third Avenue will be closed to traffic, creating a food truck court with seating in the festival’s Sakura Cafe. There will be 15 or so food vendors, including a new addition, Otaku South. Check out the menus on the Taste of Japan page on the website nashvillecherryblossomfestival.org.