The Food Biz: F2O in E23

Atlanta-based Fresh to Open targets Elliston Place building

The Atlanta-based chain Fresh to Order, which also goes by the nickname F2O, is coming to Nashville. The concept is the latest venture from Pierre Panos, best- known as the founder of Stoney River Legendary Steaks (he sold that chain to O’Charley’s in 2000).

Fresh to Order has eight locations in the Atlanta area, and there’s also one in Chattanooga. A year ago Panos announced his intention to open at least five locations in Nashville; the first one is going into the new Elliston 23 upscale apartment and retail development at Elliston Place and 23rd Avenue North.

A recent company press release de- scribed Fresh to Order as an “innovative dining concept” that “combines the quality of food found in fine-dining restaurants with the operating platform and price point of the fast-casual segment,” resulting in a new segment called “fast fine.” Of course, “fine dining” is a subjective term, but the menu — in particular the entrees (called “long plates”) — includes some pretty luxe-sounding items, like Bourbon Filet Steak with Balsamic Cabernet Reduction, Garlic Jack Grit Cake and Baby Greens. The menu also features salads and panini.

There’s no information yet on what liquor licenses the Elliston location will secure, but other Fresh to Order outlets serve beer and wine.

Fresh to Order is expected to open in the ground floor at Elliston 23 (2312 Elliston Place) this fall. A representative of Southern Land Co., Elliston 23’s developer, said another lease is expected soon for a full-service restaurant on the other end of the building.

• Abby White’s story in this week's City Paper about paddleboard yoga at Rock Harbor Marine mentions the new restaurant at the marina, Blue Moon Waterfront Grille. The previous restaurant there got washed away in the Great Flood of 2010; this new incarnation is now in full swing after opening this spring.

Blue Moon’s investors include Tom Loventhal of Noshville and, as my Scene colleague Chris Chamberlain reports, restaurateur Glen Smith, who long ago was a manager at Rainbow Key. The famous coconut shrimp from that erstwhile Caribbean joint is on Blue Moon’s menu.

Blue Moon Waterfront Grille is at 525 Basswood Ave., 356-6666. Current hours: 3-10:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 3 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sunday. (It sounds like a happening place for Sunday brunch.)

• Pollo Tropical, the Miami-based chain that specializes in Caribbean-inspired fast-casual fare with an emphasis on flame-grilled chicken, is close to opening its Cool Springs location. The target date for opening the restaurant, which takes over the former A&W and KFC site at 2017 Mallory Lane, is July 10. Pollo Tropical opened its first Tennessee location in Smyrna in February. If all goes well, maybe they’ll eventually bring their mojo pork and guava barbecue riblets to Nashville proper.

• Finally, don’t forget that July 4 is a day not only of fervent patriotism, but also sizzling hot chicken.

The annual Music City Hot Chicken Festival will bring the heat on Thursday, July 4, at East Park, 700 Woodland St. in East Nashville. For the second year, the festivities begin with the Hot Chicken Festival Fire Truck Parade, stepping off at 11 a.m. at Eighth and Woodland streets, heading west and ending at East Park Community Center.

Festival purveyors providing free samples of Nashville’s famous spicy poultry specialty include Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish, 400 Degrees, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, Slap Yo’ Mama Hot Chicken and Pepperfire.

Six teams will also compete in the annual amateur hot chicken cooking contest. Festival proceeds go toward Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms. For more information, visit hotchickenfestival.com.