East Nashville Tour: Old Meets New

Ed Nash contacted me about 6 months ago inviting to join him on a tour of East Nashville, focusing on the Inglewood/Riverside neighborhood. Full disclosure: I had no idea where that was, even after living in Nashville since 1986.

Given that I cancelled umpteen times with the typical excuses of too busy, too many deadlines, blah-blah-blah, it seemed I might not ever get the inside scoop on this neighborhood. But, eventually the stars aligned, and I found myself across the river in Ed’s studio.

Ed, as you may already know, is a fantastic artist, and as a tour guide, he’s top notch. He came over to the U.S. to sell books for Southwestern Company as a college student. If you know anyone who has ever sold books (i.e.my husband and brother-in-law), watch out! The experience often leaves them completely changed. Before selling books? Shrinking violets. After selling them? Dragon slayers.

Once inside his studio, I could see why he’s collected by a number of art devotees in Nashville – just one Ed Nash painting provides a meaningful focal point for any room. I made a decision then and there to acquire an Ed Nash painting myself.

Don’t get your hopes up on this painting because it has been sold. Nashville decorators have discovered Ed’s paintings, so if you want to buy one, do it now!

Ed’s studio is a tour in itself. His open houses are legendary in the ‘hood, as is his reputation as an art appraiser.

After a visit in his studio, we jumped into Ed’s car and headed out to discover the “other” East Nashville.

Much like the rhyme we all grew up with, “Make new friends, but keep the old,” the flavor of East Nashville is the same. With Ed, I met many craftsmen with trades you won’t find anywhere in this city. East Nashville is the breeding ground for entrepreneurs who want to take the risk to start their own business. Again, it boils down to this: the rents are lower across the river, the environment is welcoming (you see people gathering at a bakery or coffee shop, or walking to grab pizza), and the focus is on creating communities. Suffice it to say, East Nashville is a great place to hang out your shingle.

I’d like to introduce you to Bob Willis. He continues a trade that has been handed down to him from his father’s father. Bob re-silvers mirrors, a trade which is virtually non-existent in the U.S. He is holding a pair of headlights from a Model T Ford!

 

How can you resist a man who rolls (what I am assuming is) his own tobacco. I spied Lewis Lawnmowers from afar and had to check it out. In a world of “buy and throw it away,” you can get your lawn mower fixed for around $65 in about 3-4 days, give or take a few.

One of the reasons I asked how long it would take was because this sea of mowers was vast. Just so you know, these mowers are used for spare parts; they aren’t waiting for repair.

I found this sign on the side of a building as I strolled to see the lawnmower guy.

 

We whipped around the corner to meet Charles Southgate. You may never need a good welder, but lots of folks travel far to drop off their propellers or patio furniture in need of repair.

 

I am pretty good at “weasling” my way into places, but there was no way I was going into Charles’ welding studio. He said something about liability.

Mr. Cato, of Bailey & Cato, was a charming host. Seriously, as aficionados of the “meat n’ three,” Bailey and Cato get a high rank. Their ribs are legendary and the hot water corn bread incredible.

 

I couldn’t leave without snapping a pic of Mrs. Cato. She graciously treated Ed and me to a plate of greens, ribs, corn and more!

 

The Old Made Good gals are across the street from Bailey and Cato. They continue to perfect the art of “picking,” especially when it comes to interesting collections.

 

This mantel and everything on it just screams Old Made Good. Too bad the mirror was sold because it would have my name on it now.

 

Here’s Ed looking dapper as ever. If you hit OMG at closing time, they may offer you a cold brew from the Canada Dry machine.

 

This is a cameo shot for Olive & Sinclair since we did an entire post of them earlier this month.

 

Mitchell Deli is right around the corner from Olive & Sinclair and down the street from OMG and Bailey and Cato.

 

On the way out of town, we stopped by the Barista Parlor. It is completely hidden from the street, so head towards Porter Road Butcher (remember, it’s on Gallatin Road) and it’s next door. This coffee shop makes you feel like you’re in Copenhagen.

This gorgeous mural by Bryce McCloud dominated the room.

Don’t expect your typical coffee cup, and the coffee is fantastic.

With the temps well over 90 degrees, the day ended. If you don’t think there is some mojo going on across the river, then take the Ed Nash tour!

Sources: 

Ed Nash, artist www.ednashart.com

Bob Willis, Madison Glass Co. www.madisonglasscompany.com

Lewis Lawnmowers 1040 West Kirkland Avenue (615) 226-3091

Charles Southgate, Inglewood Motors 3216 Gallatin Pike (615) 226-7022

Ashley and Kate, Old Made Good www.oldmadegood.com

Bailey & Cato Family Restaurant www.baileyandcatorestaurant.com

Mitchell Deli www.mitchelldeli.com

Olive and Sinclair www.oliveandsinclair.com

Barista Parlor www.facebook.com/BaristaParlor