East Nashville Rebounds From Tough Times
The year 1998 was a significant one for East Nashville, an area that comprises several small neighborhoods directly across the Cumberland River from the Tennessee capital’s downtown. The locale, which had already fallen on tough times, got even shoddier when a tornado ripped through the community, wreaking havoc on its infrastructure. Yet, in hindsight, the disaster also brought opportunity. After an influx of insurance money, creative types began flocking to the area thanks to cheap rents; young entrepreneurs followed, slowly transforming it into a hub for Nashville’s culturally savvy.
Although East Nashville was also hit hard by the 2010 flood that inundated the city (though not as badly as downtown), its rebound has continued. Perhaps thanks to all these misfortunes, it has also developed a strong sense of solidarity. “I’ve lived all over the country,” said Roderick Bailey, the owner and chef of the Silly Goose restaurant, “and I’ve never experienced a community that’s more supportive of its neighborhood and businesses.”
407 Gallatin Avenue
This bar, which opened in December 2010, is already a favorite among East Nashville’s scenester set. Mixologists dole out shots and cocktails melded with house-made sodas and fresh juices, like the William Burroughs (a cola-infused vodka shot, $5), and the excellent Yardbird (bourbon, orange, lime, nutmeg and a whole egg, $9). Click here to read a No. 308 review from Sutton Lipman of The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty.
The Green Wagon
1100 Forrest Avenue
In a renovated Craftsman-style home, this general store sells only all-natural items, with an emphasis on locally produced goods, like Peace of Love soap ($4.50). At the “refilling station” customers can replenish empty bottles with cosmetic and cleaning products.
The Wild Cow
1896 Eastland Avenue
This popular vegetarian restaurant, which opened in late 2009, proves that Nashville cuisine is more than just barbecue. Ask the friendly servers for the sweet potato and black bean tacos ($8.50), which pairs nicely with a bottle of Yazoo Sue ($4.50), a locally brewed beer.
The 5 Spot
1006 Forrest Avenue
Rolling Stone recently named Nashville’s music scene the best in the country, and this live music venue is one reason. Local acts are the focus (with genres like indie rock and Americana favored over country pop), along with dive-bar drink prices and inexpensive cover charges.
Source: The New York Times. Written by Eric Been.