We have a whole lot of stuff to cover on this fine overcast Monday. For starters, a few post-weekend notes:
Saturday brought the first installment of the new regular Second Saturdays at 5 Points confab, and some fresh faces showed off their wares.
Among the brews in those glasses: a ginger wheat ale (crisp, with a really subtle ginger flavor), a red ale (reminded us of Killian’s, but bolder), a coffee porter (pictured above — rich, with a seriously up-front coffee flavor that we loved) and a black IPA (really memorable mix of richness and hoppy bite).
Owner Ben Bredesen told us they’re aiming for a late May opening, assuming permit and other official biz goes as planned. Breath: bated.
Sweet Betweens owner Alexandra Payne tipped us to the fact that the goat cheese in those remarkable (have we mentioned they were good?) confections came from Franklin’s own Noble Springs Dairy, whose cheeses pop up in many a local spot, including East Nashville’s The Bloomy Rind. Fitting, then, that those whoopie pies are set to be stocked at the Rind soon, too. Save room for dessert, y’all.
Meantime, we highly encourage a visit to Sweet Betweens’ homebase in The Green Wagon (1100 Forrest Ave.) if you’re in possession of a sweet tooth.
And, on to the other Stuff We Heard:
Congratulations, Joy Williams: You’re having the best week ever.
The East Nashville-based half of beloved folk duo The Civil Wars announced Friday that she and husband Nate are expecting their first child in late June.
Then Sunday, of course, she and bandmate John Paul White performed on the Grammy Awards, and left that confab with two new pieces of mantel jewelry: Best Folk Album and Best Country Duo/Group Performance awards.
“This was a day I won’t ever forget,” Williams tweeted. “Grateful to the point of tears. Happily sleepless from the sweetness of it all.”
We can’t imagine a more profound burst of happy — aside of the one Mr. Bonny Bear, having been launched from non-existence into mass public consciousness, is currently enjoying.
Watch a terrible capture of the Wars’ impressive Grammy performance above.
Local food guru Dana Kopp Franklin offers some updates on Pomodoro East, the new Italian restaurant taking over the Porter East space formerly occupied by the now-shuttered Cooper’s on Porter.
Chefs Willy Thomas and Joe Shaw will head up the new eatery, whose menu will focus on two very nice words: fresh and local.
“Both Willy and I are farm-to-table kind of guys,” Eastsider Shaw told Franklin. “So the menu will have seasonal qualities. We’re emphasizing upscale and emphasizing casual.”
From a brand-new Eastside eatery to the rebirth of another: Local spot Steve’s Restaurant & Bar — an established fixture in the development down at Gallatin and West Eastland — is working with new management as of Monday, and the new team’s focus is on affordability.
Marketing director Mark Gunn tells us that the menu is being revamped, and while the overall food philosophy will be similar — American fare, including ribs, steaks and the like — price points will be lower. Days of a $9 Steve’s burger, Gunn says, are being put in the past.
“That’s not for East Nashville,” he says, adding that the new team is “really serious about being a part of the community.”
The new Steve’s team will host a soft opening on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. The restaurant is located at 604 Gallatin Ave., No. 217 (upstairs).
Some of us are focused on getting ready for Valentine’s Day this week; others have their priorities straight, and are busy readying for a much more profound cause for celebration: Dr. Dre’s birthday.
The rap icon turns 47 on Feb. 18, and Eastside record haven The Groove ain’t about to let that day go uncelebrated.
The Groove folks will host Dre Day 2012 on Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m., offering live instrumental versions of Dre classics from the G.E.D. Soul All-Stars (whose ranks include members of the Coolin’ System and DeRobert & The Half-Truths). You’ll hear snippets of The Chronic, Snoop’s Doggystyle, even some “random bits” of N.W.A.
Alongside the sounds, Dre Day brings giveaways, a “The Chronic” photobooth, and — for those of us who’ve survived at least 21 winters — “malt liquor flowin’ like waterfalls.” When you celebrate Dre, you celebrate yourself.
Hit The Groove at 1103 Calvin Avenue. More: Dre Day 2012 on Facebook.
And just a bit of East Nashville-related TV fun: Folks who caught Friday’s episode of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon eyed a face from home.
When prompted for an introduction by host Fallon, bearded, be-flanneled “Wheel of Carpet Samples” contestant Casey said he was from “East Nashville, Tennessee.” Good man.
Even with his ample face covering, we thought we recognized him as talented local musician Casey McBride (no really, a musician lives in East Nashville, we’re not even kidding). And lookee, seems we were right.
Watch McBride rep our fine neighborhood with aplomb in the video below.