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Fresh to Order Heads to Elliston, Tenn.

Fresh to Order Heads to Elliston, Tenn.



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Atlanta-based fast food chain will open in Elliston in the fall

Atlanta based fast food establishment Fresh to Order will open in Elliston, Tenn. this fall, Nashville Scene is reporting.

The chain provides healthier fast food options, with menu items like the Market Salad, which includes baby greens, mandarin oranges, walnuts, almonds, and raisins, as well as paninis and an entire gluten free menu.

The restaurant, with the tagline is “fine. food. fast.” seeks to offer “flame-grilled, cooked-to-order, fine dining quality food in an inviting, warm, and energetic atmosphere at a $10 price range, all in a 10-minute wait time,” a recent press-release stated.

Fresh to Order is slated to open in the Elliston 23 building at 2312 Elliston Place, and it is unknown whether the location will be able to serve beer and wine like their Atlanta counterparts.

The building is part of an upscale retail development, and is one of five locations that owner Pierre Panos plans to open in Nashville.


Category: Nashville TN

The polar bear statues first came to stand at 1408 Edgehill Ave. around 1930, just outside of the Mattei Plaster Relief Ornamental Company, which made an array of figurines.

According to The City Paper, the intent for the bears was to advertise Polar Bear Frozen Custard shops.

Later, Rev. Zema Hill bought the bears and placed them in front of his home and his funeral home.

Because there were several bears, their history and movements become a bit of a puzzle, perhaps best documented by local historian and blogger Debie Cox.

But the two prominent Edgehill bears were eventually purchased by the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency, which erected them at the plaza where they remain today.

‘No Artistic License Needed’

Last year, the bears also become a logo for Edgehill, appearing on eight signs that mark the boundaries of the neighborhood — a move that local leaders said was increasingly necessary.

“With all of the development … we felt like there was a lot of encroachment,” said Rachel Tapper Zijlstra, president of the Edgehill Village Neighborhood Association. “We were starting to see things like ‘Gulch South’ and ‘12South’ when people would describe our neighborhood.

“Edgehill has been a neighborhood since before the Civil War.”

Several Edgehill nonprofits banded together to create the signs, and Zijlstra said some haggling with a development company led to a donation to pay for them.

And she said a survey made it obvious that a polar bear should be on the sign — and not stylized in any way.


Cafe Roze

Cafe Roze is a New York-style, all day café tucked away in East Nashville. The incredible “day” menu is served from 8:00am to 4:00pm daily. The menu features everything from toasts and breakfast bowls to salads and sandwiches. Don’t forget about the “day” drinks, including our favorite, the pimm’s cup.

  • Neighborhood : East Nashville
  • Brunch Days & Times: Daily: 8:00am – 4:00pm
  • What to Order: Roze Bowl

Specialty Foods

Euclid’s Finest is the specialty and gourmet food division of Euclid Fish Company. Under the Euclid's Finest label, it is our goal to deliver an innovative selection of epicurean products and ingredients to culinary professionals and their patrons. We believe that the process begins by sourcing the most unique and hard to find products by developing partnerships with vendors and importers from around the world. Euclid's Finest products complement what we have always believed in and continue to fall under our promise to provide you with the very best allowing you to create and innovate with the finest ingredients available. Products under our Euclid's Finest line include artisanal cheeses and accompaniments, charcuterie meats, grains and roasted vegetables, pastry ingredients, imported oil and vinegar, as well as a variety in seasonal specialties.


12. Sonic Drive-In Fish Sandwich

This limited time offering seems to only be available during Lent, and we think that's probably for the best. The fish itself shares a familiar square, minced "whatever white fish is selling at low prices this season" vibe with many other fast food restaurants, though it is crispier than most. Proving that "crispier" doesn't always equal "better," however, the breading forms almost a kind of protective shell around the fish inside, and tends to break off in large, mouth-destroying shards.

The fish inside has an unappealing, mashed texture, and manages to be surprisingly oily and greasy, without a ton of fish flavor. An avalanche of limp, watery lettuce and a squeeze of generic tartar sauce aren't doing anything to further move the needle on this sandwich, putting it firmly in our "do not recommend" category.

Sonic continues to sweat excellence in the field of fast food beverage technology, so we'll give them a pass. we're just not eating their fish sandwich. Though a POWERADE Mountain Berry Blast Slush would totally hit the spot right now.


Fresh To Order™ Introduces Line Of "Better For You Burgers"

ALPHARETTA, Ga. , July 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Recent Technomic research shows that almost half of today's consumers eat a burger at least once a week, and fast casual restaurants throughout the country are encouraging the trend. The "better-burger" has taken off throughout the restaurant industry as one of its fastest growing segments.

Fresh To Order (f2o), the leader in the 'fast fine' dining segment, was founded in Atlanta in 2006 with the idea that healthy, wholesome and creative meals don't always have to be accompanied by an expensive price tag and lengthy wait. This summer the franchise will expand its selection of fast, but fine food with the addition of a new line of "better for you burgers." Offerings will include a vegetarian black bean burger under 500 calories (made with black beans, rice, avocado, house pickled jalapenos, lettuce tomatoes and corn relish grilled on a wheat flatbread with horseradish honey mustard sauce), a ginger scallion studded tuna burger under 600 calories (served on a whole wheat flatbread with horseradish aioli, Asian slaw and baby field greens) and a bison burger under 600 calories (made with fresh ground bison and served with dried cherries, baby field greens, horseradish aioli and caramelized onions).

Fresh To Order, a pioneer in the "fast fine" dining segment, has already distanced itself from fast-casual eateries by providing a casual fine dining taste profile at a fast-casual price point with an elevated level of service. The average guest ticket order is $9 at lunch and $11 at dinner. Every protein is cooked "fresh to order" on a flame grill in the open-display kitchen as guests order, and dressings and soups are prepared from scratch twice daily in each restaurant. Five of Fresh To Order's locations are located in and around metropolitan Atlanta , with the sixth location in Chattanooga, Tenn. three additional Atlanta locations will open by the end of 2012. Two of the locations—Johns Creek and Sandy Springs in suburban Atlanta—are franchised. By 2015, Fresh To Order expects to have 50 locations nationwide, with another 50 locations in various stages of development.


Where Happiness Reigned: Exit/In’s 1970s Heyday

It’s a muggy night in the summer of 1975. A line of people swerves down a Nashville street leading to a black building with a marquee reading “Tonight: Comedy.” The audience files inside, taking their seats in a dimly lit room. Imagine the scene: a table of lawyers loosening ties, plunging into their beer mugs nearby are tables of bikers, college students, musicians, tradesmen, women’s liberation activists, health care workers. It’s a bipartisan spectrum of out-of-towners intermingling with locals.

Voices dwindle to whispers, then silence. The atmosphere thickens with cigarette smoke, body heat and that mysterious thrill of unpredictability. You’re here, watching, in the right place at the right time. This is the Elliston Place of an older Nashville — when entertainment took an unusual turn.

“Hi! Welcome to the Exit/In.” A red-faced man with a goofy tie and suit jacket pokes his head out from behind the curtain. “My name is Steve Martin, and I’ll be out here in a couple of minutes.”

Still a relative unknown on the national comedy circuit, the comedian has a grin that’s nevertheless well-known to Exit/In patrons. His past shows have become legendary — at one, he marched the entire audience up the street to order Krystal hamburgers.

From backstage, Martin runs around the building to the main entrance, then slips into the sound booth. Owsley Manier, one of the venue’s owners — a frequent instigator of foolishness himself — is running sound.

“Hey Owsley, this mic’s not on, right?” Martin’s voice booms through speakers into the listening room. “God, this crowd, what a bunch of assholes! Do you still have that number of that 13-year-old? God! He was great.” Laughter erupts from the audience.

“I know,” Steve jokes onstage later during that evening. “You people are sitting there saying, ‘Sure he’s pretty great. But can he make balloon animals?’ ”

Infused with fumbling magic tricks, banjo licks and poor attempts at crafting balloon animals, Martin’s simple and absurdist humor destroys the oversold crowd. Years later, the wild and crazy comedian would credit his shows during this era at this music venue as making him “really, really funny” — it was a breakthrough moment in his stand-up career.

Martin’s name, along with the names of dozens of other celebrated performers, now hangs above the bar at the Exit/In. They’re not just the names of comedians, but also of folk singers, blues purists, country songwriters, punk bands, jazz virtuosos and countless others who have etched their signatures into the American consciousness over the past 50 years.

Exit/In holds a rightful place in Nashville’s cultural mythology. But well before its reputation was established, the listening room was just a scrappy entrepreneurial idea tossed between two friends who saw opportunity in the lifting of a citywide liquor law.

It was 1970. Twenty-four-year-old Brugh Reynolds met his high school friend Owsley Manier at the long-gone local watering hole Bishop’s American Pub. Fresh off a “lamentable” stint in the Army, Manier itched to work in the music scene. Since high school, he’d been playing guitar and booking gigs for a psychedelic outfit known as The Lemonade Charades. As a cadet at Fort Benning in Georgia, Manier spent weekends plundering Atlanta’s underground, his favorite haunt an unusual establishment — half coffeehouse, half rock club — called the Bottom of the Barrel. This club featured a bar and separate listening room, where the crowd remained silent during and between performances. It was novel and crowded, but the atmosphere carried a sacred kind of quality, like a church where patrons kept silent for the music. Nashville needed something like it, Manier reasoned. Together he and Reynolds could build it.

Back then, Nashville was worlds away from the culturally vibrant, social-media- and tourist-friendly destination it is now. In terms of music, the city was a rough-hewn gem whose self-contained country music industry proved somewhat opaque and difficult to enter to outsiders. That didn’t mean musical things weren’t happening. By recording his album Blonde on Blonde here in 1966, Bob Dylan provided a catalyst for a budding music community outside of traditional country. If Dylan thought this rinky-dink Southern town had something special, then perhaps hillbilly music deserved a second look. Johnny Cash further bridged the cultural gap between country music’s old guard and talented newcomers by filming The Johnny Cash Show (1969-1971) at the Ryman Auditorium — then still the home of the iconic Grand Ole Opry radio program. Dylan and Cash, as the two most notable examples, spotlighted Nashville as a place where incredible musicians seemed to congregate.

But as far as Manier and Reynolds were concerned, local nightlife still hadn’t caught up. When people went out, they hit up restaurants or the movies intimate live music wasn’t much of a thing. This had a lot to do with a particular law: It was illegal to sell liquor by the drink inside Davidson County until 1967. Before then, drinkers could bring their bottles and pay to have their booze served back to them in one of the schmaltzy private clubs in Printers Alley. This was novelty, mostly done by conventioneers and not yet kitschy or ironic enough to be considered cool or cost-effective for locals. The Ryman held shows and the Opry, but the Mother Church had fallen into disrepair, matching its largely decrepit downtown neighborhood surroundings. Honky-tonking was possible, but usually opened conversation to a string of knifing jokes — popping down Lower Broad wasn’t the breezy, tourist-friendly activity it would become decades later.

That night in 1970 at Bishop’s American Pub, Reynolds and Manier discussed how Nashville had few if any venues for small local and touring acts. As their reasoning went, if Nashville was indeed “the Athens of the South,” surely it had space for a live music listening room. The night ended with a handshake deal on a new venture, one that would shift the city’s culture far more than they could have guessed.

That summer, the guys cashed out their life insurance policies and leased a former film distribution company on Elliston Place. (They would later lease the dilapidated pinball factory next door as well.) Not long after, during a tiring day building a plywood stage, a name for the venue came to Manier — one that would play off of the fact that the building’s back door and loading dock would be used as its main entrance: Exit/In.

On another day of renovations when the guys were finishing the stage, a handlebar-mustached stranger clad in tennis whites wandered in from the streets and asked for an audition. He was a college campus coffeehouse performer who played folky kind of stuff, Reynolds recalls. The stranger played a few songs on the half-built stage and was hired on the spot to open a show Exit/In’s first week. Many performances on that stage later, this stranger would sell out the Murphy Center, Tennessee’s largest venue at the time. The stranger was Jimmy Buffett.

“Our place is centered around the artists, and we do ask people to keep their talking down so that the performers can come across to everyone.”

—From one of Exit/In’s first advertisements in The Tennessean

Within its first year, Exit/In quickly stood out for what it was not. It was no concert hall in size or character. It wasn’t a sports bar or old-fashioned nightclub. Modeled after Atlanta’s Bottom of the Barrel, it was a listening room where patrons behaved much like they would at the movie theater. It had a coffeehouse feel but sold liquor by the drink. Perhaps the civility of its patrons could be chalked up in part to the bar’s serving only top-shelf liquor. “Cheaper stuff brought bad vibes,” says Manier. There were also the house rules: no fighting, and no talking during performances. True to the owners’ plans, Exit/In would provide patrons with equal parts musical entertainment and education.

Exit/In in the mid-1970s Photo: Jackson DeParis Inside, tapestries hung from wood-paneled walls and the ceiling. There was food service with a vegetarian option during lunch. Above the stage was an outstretched mural of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man spread-eagled inside a neon-yellow electric guitar. On the best of nights, the space was a hot, cramped, oversized Tennessee living room of the free-spirit variety. Listening rooms were popping up across the country, but Nashville had never done entertainment quite this way.

Since the city was, and still is, the capital of country music, the early days at Exit/In seemed to breed a cultural crosscurrent. What came to be known as outlaw country wasn’t widely tolerated yet, but as music journalist and publicist Dan Beck points out, country music was beginning to react to its own “rhinestone self-consciousness.” Exit/In’s unique approach came as a welcome renewal for a small group of misfits who wanted variety, and their business needed it financially. Exit/In was limited by its capacity (roughly 120 people) and Nashville’s size at the time, and its business model hinged on selling out tickets nightly, then racking up meal bills and bar tabs during shows.

“The restaurant business is one of the highest-risk businesses out there, next to show business,” says Reynolds, who doubled as Exit/In’s accountant. Like so many small-size venues later to come, his and Manier’s business model straddled both sectors.

To prevent audience burnout, the owners booked a range of artists to attract a wide range of showgoers from all walks of life. Having played music and booked gigs since high school, Manier took the lead. A warlock of eclecticism, Manier had a talent for conjuring outlandish experiences by curating a lineup of performers who bucked against convention as often as they mixed, blended and borrowed from different musical genres.

Exit/In’s approach brought a sea change to Nashville’s entertainment sector. Within its first two years, the listening room showcased traditional folk, Memphis blues, Kentucky bluegrass, bebop jazz, gospel, Southern rock, outlaw country and comedy to an ever-changing audience. As a result, the club garnered a distinct reputation for being remarkably different from what people expected. Stories spread of unusual and spontaneous occurrences rumored to happen there nightly.

“The music scene has changed a lot since those days,” performer Marshall Chapman would go on to write in her 2003 book Goodbye, Little Rock and Roller. “Now it’s all business. Nobody hangs out anymore. … [Back then] everything was bigger-than-life. The Exit/In, in particular, contributed to the magic.”

There were countless onstage cameos — the kind of unadvertised and often impromptu appearances that were much less typical at the time, but are now often obligatory at Nashville performances. In her book, Chapman recalls just “one of those nights” in 1974, when patrons bought tickets for a John Prine show and wound up seeing performances by Kris Kristofferson, Shel Silverstein, Linda Hargrove, Waylon Jennings and David Allan Coe, among others. At one Allman Brothers performance, the band played so late that the owners ended up locking a willfully consenting band and audience inside the venue to hang out until dawn. When the sun rose, the musicians got back onstage and continued to jam through the morning.

Exit/In’s typical two-shows-per-night lineup gave local bands and budding local songwriters like Chapman a place of their own. A decade before The Bluebird Cafe opened, Exit/In’s writers’ nights were essential for unrecorded honky-tonk poets hustling to be heard and jonesing to perform in front of and alongside musical greats. As a consequence, music-industry gatekeepers couldn’t afford to miss out. That atmosphere opened the stage to a wellspring of lyricism, energy and originality. It also provided an outlet for those looking to push back against the more confining aspects of the “Nashville Sound.”

On the right night, Buffett, John Hiatt, Mickey Newbury, Charlie Daniels, Waylon Jennings, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle and John Prine all shared the stage or sat in the audience. Patrons caught performances from the likes of Marine drill instructor and Arthur Murray dance instructor “Cowboy” Jack Clement, who might dive into the Hamlet soliloquy before busting out a crazed instrumental with his eight-piece band, then belting out a gutbucket country ballad.

Still awaiting the release of his epochal Old No.1, Guy Clark started as the opener for his friend and mentor Mickey Newbury. Like many performers, he and his wife Susanna were like family to the owners. Their private lives — full of sleepless nights at the Clarks’ house, the outlaw custom of swapping songs, drinking and raising hell in living rooms — bled through to Exit/In’s stage.

Out-of-towners like Gregg Allman, J.J. Cale, Silverstein and mercurial outlaw Townes Van Zandt would drop in to play between studio sessions. Rough-hewn and fresh from a stint at a Ohio penitentiary, David Allan Coe bred a cult-like following by using Exit/In like a theater and music as a prop. Coe later compared the Nashville listening room to New York City’s Gaslight and Los Angeles’ Bitter End, telling the Nashville Banner, “The Exit/In is the only place where the people sit and listen.”

As the venue’s reputation grew, so did its surrounding neighborhood. The Jan. 14, 1972, issue of The Tennessean speaks volumes on nightlife at the time: “Perhaps the most revolutionary of fun spots in Nashville are TGI Friday’s and the Exit/In, both located on Elliston Place.” Along with Friday’s and various music clubs going in and out of business, there was The Soda Shop, Hurry Back Market, Cat’s Records, Elder’s Bookstore and beloved bar and restaurant The Gold Rush, which until it closed just last year was famously known for offering nachos, beer and a place to chain-smoke cigarettes late into the night. Elliston Place’s business ecosystem and the neighborhood’s bohemian culture were a departure from greater Nashville, and the neighborhood would later become known as the Rock Block. Writing for Billboard Magazine in 1976, Don Cusic would later compare ’70s Elliston Place to 1920s Paris — “Something out of an Ernest Hemingway novel,” he wrote.

While Exit/In served as the Rock Block’s crucible at the time, it also influenced a much wider community of radio listeners. Once a week, the venue broadcast live performances via FM stations WKDA or WPLN — the latter now Nashville’s public radio outlet. As a stalwart Exit/In patron and later owner, Elizabeth Thiels remembers how she first discovered the listening room through these broadcasts. These shows also exposed radio listeners to less popularly consumed genres like jazz, and according to Thiels, they made a significant contribution to the growing interest in black music from Nashville’s predominately white culture. Says Thiels, “There was no other white-owned integrated club in Nashville at the time.”

Exit/In radio broadcasts were famous for their candidness, as displayed in the repeat performances by the blind African American jazz multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Delivering satirical monologues on black history and the civil rights movement between songs, Kirk could dazzle audiences visually by walking blind through the crowd and simultaneously playing three saxophones.

Generally, the controversy and unconventionality of jazz proved a legitimate commercial success. During sound-check the day before an Exit/In performance, legendary jazz drummer Buddy Rich inspired headlines, street protests and bomb threats when he told a Nashville Banner reporter, “Country music appeals to intellectuals with the minds of 4-year-olds.” Onstage the night of his first performance, Rich addressed the backlash: “I meant every word of it!” He sold out both nights.

Director Robert Altman filmed Keith Carradine’s performance of the Oscar-winning song “I’m Easy” on the Exit/In stage for the critically acclaimed 1975 ensemble comedy Nashville. But aside from that brief flirtation with Hollywood, the Exit/In’s first five years were mostly marked by less glamorous events. Economic factors included the Vietnam War and an ensuing stock market crash, the quadrupling of oil prices and rising unemployment. Essentially, it was a very uncertain time to start a business in America.

Nonetheless, inside the Exit/In someone graffitied a Traffic lyric on the wall: “I climbed on the back of a giant albatross and flew through a crack in the clouds to a place where happiness reigns all year round and music plays ever so loudly.” There’s no better quote to sum up what Exit/In meant to Nashville during those days. The ’60s were over, but people still sought a sense of community and reprieve from an often unforgiving world. Exit/In’s owners were successful in making such a place in Nashville, but in their effort, they also went financially bankrupt.

By 1974 Exit/In’s popularity was undisputed. It was as close to the core of Nashville’s music scene as any place could be that wasn’t on Music Row. Wedged between its rising fame and a less-discussed stark financial reality, the listening room hedged a bet that booking larger acts, despite the club’s limited size, would return investment. The owners opened their doors to more touring greats: Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Joan Baez, J.J. Cale, Fats Domino, Barry Manilow, Charlie Byrd, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Al Kooper, Kansas, The Police and a beret-wearing Tom Waits, who chain-smoked Old Gold cigarettes until dawn.

But money issues loomed. Reynolds and Manier took on other business partners to stay afloat: Manier’s cousin Bill Manier, his wife Cat, and Harvey Magee, a friend working at what would become WKDF in 1976. In 1973, Thiels — a former PR professional — fell into an easy kinship amid the makeshift family of owners.

The expanded ownership soon doubled seating capacity, and the listening room grew its staff to 25 total employees. A shed out back doubled as business headquarters and a dressing room for performers. By most of the owners’ calculations, the waitstaff — mostly Vanderbilt students — made more money than anyone else, thanks to tips.

But having so many owners made finances difficult to track. Cash-register theft seemed typical. Friends got in free, as did musicians and music executives. Even as a Linda Ronstadt show in ’73 marked the first time the club had to turn away patrons, there were always “off nights,” as Thiels put it, when even a Guy Clark performance would draw fewer than 15 people. On the best nights, Exit/In proved to be a far more successful social experiment than it did a profitable enterprise.

1975 was Exit/In’s most bipolar year. The wild triumphs of sold-out shows, benefit concerts and accolades from music publications were ironically positioned alongside misleading headlines, money troubles and, ultimately, bankruptcy. On a chilly Tuesday night in January, donning a Native American war bonnet, Kinky Friedman lunged onto the stage clad in red-white-and-blue leather chaps, with a Star of David belt buckle. Backed by his band the Texas Jewboys, Friedman violently tuned a cherry-red guitar while juggling a brown-bagged bottle and a fat cigar between his mouth and his free hand. The audience was “bedecked with Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, Waylon Jennings, Billy Swan, Tompall Glaser, and the not-nearly-so great press and PR types,” wrote Eve Zibart in The Tennessean’s Sunday Showcase. “Ranging from raucous to quasi-religious,” Kinky’s material left the audience “no chance to catch its balance.”

When another headliner canceled that summer, Exit/In booked The New Riders of the Purple Sage 24 hours before show time. Unable to take a loss, the owners rented a sound truck and took to the streets. With big banners streaming, the truck rumbled across town with Manier’s voice booming through its PA so loudly that passersby cringed and plugged their ears: “One-night-only special performance! Tonight, The New Riders of the Purple Stage at the Exit/In!” The show sold out.

Two months later, the Nashville Banner warned, “Nashville’s music industry is in trouble.” It was one of the earliest printed reports of Exit/In’s financial troubles. “We lost money serving vegetarian lunches and on some big-name acts,” Manier told the Banner. There were plenty of suspects to potentially blame, but the clear problem was four years of accrued debt incurred through trial-and-error operations. “While we feel the club was very unique and did extremely well business-wise, it was all done by trial and error,” Manier admitted.

Reynolds also recalls the stark contrast of this cycle — the venue would host big blowout shows, then feverishly try to make payroll and pay off bills the next day. Booking larger acts drew larger crowds, but that only exacerbated the problem. One sellout success would change everyone’s expectations the owners had to hedge even more money to book bigger acts for next time. The cycle never allowed them to get ahead. “There’s a brutal disparity between the club’s philosophy and reality, between giant albatrosses and bill collectors,” wrote Eileen Putnam in Nashville! Magazine.

“Exit/In Beats Crisis — 4 Year Struggle Paying off Big & Unknown Acts.” That was the headline of an article in Billboard. Fundraising efforts took the form of a “recession special” — tickets to five shows for $11 — and benefit concerts were put on by loyal Exit/In performers. “The Exit/In is an important forum for ideas,” Silverstein preached at one benefit concert. The same night Billy Swan and the band Barefoot Jerry called for help from “every artist, publisher, producer, songwriter and musician” who could be reached in Music City. “Our position is vastly improved,” Manier insisted in the Billboard piece.

An ad in Hank Magazine, Sept. 1975 But in late November 1975, Exit/In filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Under Chapter 11, the listening room could stay open as long it stayed profitable each night and debts were paid off in a controlled manner. Unfortunately, most patrons assumed Chapter 11 meant the business wasn’t open, and the crowds seemingly thinned. “If you would like to keep the Exit/In around, now is the time to help, or remember it as something really nice that we had in Nashville while it lasted,” wrote Dean Hitt in Hank magazine.

Still, the owners wouldn’t quit. “We’ll never close it,” read a Manier quote in Hitt’s piece. “We’ll either sell it or try to sell stock.” No matter how financially bleak their mornings seemed, each night produced musical revelry, or “awakening experiences,” as patrons later recounted. On Monday, Dec. 14, 1975, Don Cusic reported on a performance from a vast collective of songwriters: The Allman Brothers’ Dickie Betts, Jack Clement and a whole cadre of other known and unknown greats.

By mid-December, record labels banded together to organize a final benefit concert, where Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Vassar Clements, David Allan Coe and Shel Silverstein performed. The boost proved temporary. Billboard soon pointed to “difficulties caused by continued lack of capital, the effects of inflation, and inexperienced management.”

Four months later, even after reporting profits from returning acts like Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, Barefoot Jerry and Guy Clark, Exit/In still owed a massive debt of approximately $125,000 (adjusted for inflation, that’s more than half-a-million dollars today), and the owners declared full bankruptcy in July 1976. Local real estate pros Vianda Hill and Nick Spiva bought the business and sold it two years later. Manier and Thiels lingered on as managers without pay. But ultimately they moved on, each going on to build a significant career in the music industry.

/>A wall with band stickers and artist names backstage at Exit/In testifies to the venue’s illustrious history Photo: Eric England

But Exit/In did not go away.

After more renovations, the club reopened in 1980 with Chuck Berry duck-walking across the stage in front of a three-piece band. “The Exit/In has been important to the development of Nashville’s total music center,” said Music Row power player and BMI VP Frances Preston, speaking before Berry’s performance.

At a glance, new owners Joseph Sullivan and Wayne Oldham seemed better for business. Sullivan had managed Charlie Daniels, and Oldham had made a fortune bringing Wendy’s to Middle Tennessee. Even so, “fast-food and nightclub mentality are two different mentalities,” recalls music producer and historian John Lomax III, a die-hard patron of the club’s earliest days who was utterly disappointed with the Berry show.

“It was a complete disaster,” says Lomax. “They insisted on church-pew style seating. Nobody knew where to keep their drinks!” As he remembers it, Berry played and the crowd screamed until finally a couple seized by the spirit hopped onstage and started dancing. They were immediately kicked out.

Photo: Eric England During the ’80s, Exit/In’s bohemian vibe dissipated, and the venue became a “big box-style club, more like the grubby, punk-friendly dives,” as critic and former Nashville Scene staffer Noel Murray wrote nearly two decades ago. By Murray’s account, ’80s Exit/In had a worsening sewage problem that reaffirmed why it was the performances — not the space itself — that made the club special.

By current owner Chris Cobb’s calculations, there have been a total of 26 Exit/In owners throughout the years. “That averages out to something like a new owner every two years,” says Cobb, who also owns Marathon Music Works. Along with his former partner Josh Billue, Cobb bought Exit/In in 2012. They built an upstairs balcony, then took over the adjacent property, where they opened the bar and restaurant Hurry Back, paying homage to the original ’70s Elliston Place market. Cobb and his family now manage Hurry Back and Exit/In independently. Cobb is still deeply attached to the venue — but he admits that, even without the current COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing stay-at-home orders, Exit/In could by no means support his family as a primary source of income.

In March of this year, Cobb closed the office, and then the club itself. The club’s booking schedule has been cleared through June. Nevertheless, Exit/In management still shares music with its patrons via email newsletters and livestream performances. Cobb has downsized his working staff from approximately 50 employees to three. Though Exit/In has qualified for a PPP loan, Cobb says he hasn’t yet determined how to spend it.

What’s more, Exit/In is also one of several Elliston Place businesses concerned with ongoing development of the neighborhood, including JV Hospitality Group’s plans to replace a trio of brick apartment buildings on Elliston Place with a Holiday Inn Express. (After this story was published, the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals denied a variance sought for the hotel project.)

Cobb is likely the best person to ask why Exit/In, through all its dysfunction, has hung on for so long. His answer? “There’s always been somebody crazy enough who cares enough about live music in Nashville to run it.”

It’s a sentiment reminiscent of something a young Reynolds told The Tennessean shortly after opening Exit/In: “We still aren’t finished. I guess we will never be finished. That’s the thing I like about it. It keeps changing.”

Exit/In in the mid-1970s Photo: Jackson DeParis


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Federal’s Perfect Pattie Varieties

  • Beef Patties
  • Extra Lean Beef Patties
  • Chopped Sirloin
  • Meat Loaf Patties
  • Cheddar & Bacon
  • Italian Sausage (Mild, Hot, Pepper & Onions)
  • Chicken Italian Sausage
  • Turkey
  • Lamb
  • Veal
  • And many more…

Available in various sizes & thicknesses and come in any size package you desire.

With so many tasty choices – it is a perfect night to get grilling tonight!

Federal’s Making – Every Night a simple one…
Getting dinner on the table after a long day of work, running errands and trying to keep up with your family’s schedule and often can notoriously challenging. Fortunately, your local Federal Meats solves this dinnertime dilemma with their wide array of weeknight meal offerings. Made from the freshest ingredients using our own classic home-style recipes, Federal dinner entrées are wholesome and delicious. Available daily, this line of fresh & frozen entrées offer classic family favorites that satisfy even the hungriest of appetites.

Choose from tasty rotisserie roasted features such as boneless BBQ ribs, and classic pot roast, gourmet meatloaf, to freshly homemade lasagnas and wonderfully delicious casseroles.

May we recommend keeping a stash of our frozen meals ready – so you have plenty of mealtime solutions on those days that you’re too busy or too tired to cook. Just heat & serve, it’s that simple.

Federal Meats is cooking up wholesome family classics anyone would be proud to serve their family any night of the week.

Dear Valued Customers,

Our focus is and always remains the health and well-being of our customers, employees and community as a whole. We are taking all the steps necessary in-store to continue serving fresh, safe food. We are offering carry-out, heat & eat meal options as well as a good supply of your favorite fresh meats, poultry, seafood and deli.

As per the state-wide as well as the local mandates – as well as in the interest of being proactive and protective of everyone’s health, we continue to ask ALL customers follow the guidelines as set by the state and local agencies with regard to your health. Please, if you do not feel well – stay home. Find a family member, neighbor or alternative way to get your meat purchases to protect our employees and as well as other customer’s picking up their purchases. As a very important addition to this, we ask to please follow ALL local health notifications and practice extra precaution once again, not only for yourself and your family- but for the health and safety of our valued Federal employees and their family members as well.

In efforts keep our communities healthy and safe we have put some new practices in place:
As most are well aware – our team members are required to wear face coverings in the store. We are insisting that ALL guests do too. Please be sure before you enter our stores, to have a face covering. This protocol is in accordance with the CDC’s recommendations as well as the NYS Governor’s latest order placed as of Friday 4/17/2020. Face coverings can be of any variety as per the guidelines that has been outlined by national, state & local official offices. For the safety & wellness of all, we also ask that you please adhere to the instructions posted on the door at the store – for number of guests allowed in the store to shop at a time.

While in the store or having any interactions with our employees or fellow shoppers, we appreciate the recommended practice of Social Distancing. Remember, it continues to be all our job together – in keeping each other safe and in good health.

Please, Don’t bring extra people on your shopping trip whenever possible. To follow proper social-distancing practices, we do have a strict limit of how many guests we have in the store at one time. With this in mind, our staff will be happy to assist you with all of your purchases and assist in getting them to your car as needed.

Treat all Federal employees with kindness.
Our Federal Frontline ‘Heros’ have been working amazingly hard through these difficult & stressful months to provide everyone with safe access to the food and supplies you and your family need. Please be patient as they go about their work including all additional store safety and cleaning protocols and possibly consider acknowledging them with a nice “thank you.” (As it is most appreciated).

Please Be Aware – We have discontinued the use of all re-usable bags within our stores until further notice. We are happy to supply you with a fresh bag for your purchases at no charge.

All 9 of our Federal Meats Locations are OPEN for Safe In-Store Shopping and any of our staff would be happy to assist you with your meat & deli purchases along with any questions you may have.

2021 HOURS:

Monday Closed
Tuesday 9am – 5pm
Wednesday 9am – 5pm
Thursday 9am – 5pm
Friday 9am – 5pm
Saturday 9am – 5pm

(Our Hamburg Village Location will open from 10am – 5pm Tuesday – Friday, Saturday 9am – 5pm.)

We appreciate your support & cooperation as we are working our hardest to keep up with production and bring you as many of our Federal family favorites as we can.

We sincerely thank you again for your continued cooperation and support during the last several months and we wish you and your family continued safety and good health.

Sincerely yours,
The Staff at Federal Markets


The Third Place

Customers are always looking for places beyond home and work where they can go to escape or socialize—the so-called “third place.” Retail venues such as restaurants and coffee concepts satisfy for the “third place” in many non-commercial operations. FSD takes a look at several successful examples of restaurants and coffee shops.

KU Dining at 30,100-student University of Kansas in Lawrence took advantage of a commercial restaurant moving out of the Kansas Union to get back in the “restaurant” business.

“When the restaurant decided not to come back, we weren’t expected to fill the space, but we felt it was necessary,” Alecia Stultz, assistant director of retail, says. “Spring is when a lot of instructor candidates come on campus. We felt they should have somewhere professors could take a candidate to talk without having to leave campus. So we started thinking about it, came back from winter break and in about a month we opened a restaurant, hence the name Impromptu Café.”

Impromptu Café has 44 seats and features artwork by a local artist. Stultz says the concept is a casual dining experience that focuses on local produce, including herbs from the Union’s rooftop herb garden.

“Lately we’ve featured a lot of local products, especially produce like tomatoes, green peppers and jalapeño peppers,” Stultz says. “Impromptu’s menu was developed completely by our executive chef. We have small plates such as a chipotle chicken cheese dip with tortilla chips, sandwiches such as a triple-decker club named after our campanile, salads and entrée-type items such as Caribbean chicken with mango-pineapple salsa. Then we have daily specials, which are usually the items that feature the local produce.”

Stultz says the café is only open for lunch, but it’s proved to be very popular with students, faculty and staff. Stultz says it was important to keep the price point down so the café would continue to attract students.

“We always try to bundle items and keep the feature of the day as a pretty good value,” Stultz says. “You’re able to go in, have a good meal and still get out of there spending $7 or $8.”

Several of the KU Dining team came from restaurant backgrounds, which helped with the restaurant’s quick turnaround.

“We were very lucky to have experience,” Stultz says. “I come from a restaurant background, as did our executive chef, so we had an idea of what it was going to take. We knew we wanted to keep it small, but we wanted to make it diverse. As for advice I would say start small. Figure out who you’re going to target.’”

Pub grub: At 4,200-student University of Richmond, dining services runs a successful pub called The Cellar, complete with table service, wine and beer. Dee Hardy, director of food and auxiliary services, says it was created to give students a late-night social space.

“We’ve had The Cellar for about 10 years, and when we first opened it was contrary to the trends to open a pub,” Hardy says. “We serve pizza, gourmet burgers, sliders, wraps, paninis and pasta—all made to order. We are very residential and the majority of our students live on campus. Primarily 80% of our business is tied into the board plans, which are excepted at The Cellar. We also have a debit card on campus where the funds are not restricted to foodservice, they can be used anywhere, so we take that also.”

Hardy says all on-campus retail venues, including The Cellar, run weekly promotions geared toward demonstrating value to students. Hardy says she has noticed a change in spending in the past year.

“I really think families are saying, ‘you have this plan, you need to use it,’” Hardy says. “I’ve had calls in the last year that I’ve never had before— parents who are asking when and where we serve breakfast and where we are located compared to such and such because their son says it’s too far to walk to breakfast. We’ve got consumers who are very concerned with value.”

What’s old is new again: Value is also a huge component of the new Café 4 at 329-bed St. Clair Hospital in Pittsburgh. Chris Vitsas, general manager for Cura Hospitality at the account, says keeping prices down was very important because the café was replacing a diner/snack shop that was known for its cheap meals.

“We had the old diner style in the past so [Café 4] is definitely modernized and updated,” Vitsas says. “We have received a lot of great compliments from our external customers. Every weekend, the old snack shop was full of people from the community that just came for breakfast, and we still get a lot of those customers. The bottom line is we have a soup and half sandwich combo for $3.69. Where can you get that anywhere? Our pricing itself is what drives a lot of our sales.”

Café 4 is right off the main entry of the hospital and Vitsas says it was designed to be place where hospital visitors could relax or get some work done while waiting for friends or family.

“The thought was this could be a place where someone could say, ‘I have to come take my mother for a test so I can drop her off and grab a cup of coffee,’” Vitsas says. “We have a soft seating area with a Wi-Fi connection available, so they can get some work done.”

The new café, which seats 32 and has an outside patio, features made-to-order options.

“The concept is everything fresh and made to order in front of you,” Vitsas says. “If you go to the ‘Salad by Design’ area we have 27 salad toppings. You tell us what greens you want, whether its iceberg, mixed greens or romaine. Then from that point, you pick your own toppings and dressing and we put everything together for you. We also have a few pre-designed salads you can choose from. Then we have our fresh, housemade stock soups that rotate every day. We also have a deli sandwich area that features a few predesigned sandwiches such as a classic New York corn beef sandwich or a hot Italian panini. Or you can create your own sandwich from our fresh-baked bread, five different meat choices, cheese, condiments and choose whether you want it served hot or cold. It’s a really nice area, and for people like me who might be a little picky, you can make my your own soup and salad or soup and half sandwich combos. We also serve pastries and breakfast sandwiches in the morning.”

URBNMRKT: At the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, the last few years have seen major devel­opments in restaurant options for the 33,000-student campus and the larger USC downtown community. The newest addition to USC’s portfolio of restaurants, URBNMRKT, just opened this fall in a building a few blocks from the main campus. Kris Klinger, director of USC Hospitality, says despite the tough economy, the department decided to go ahead with the opening.

“URBNMRKT is basically sandwiches, salads, hot items and breakfast in a really unique space,” Klinger says. “In light of the economy we still decided to move forward with the space and it’s doing very well. You walk through and order your food and sit down. All items are made fresh to order. It has seating as well as being equipped for grab and go.”

Some sample composed menu items from URBNMRKT include: an Asian noodle salad with stir-fried vegetables a leafy greens salad with tomatoes, basil and fresh mozza­rella barbecue pork shoulder with crunchy slaw, mustard-glazed salmon with quinoa pilaf and herb salad and a grilled vegetable wrap with sweet peppers and hummus. Klinger says his department hasn’t been able to judge how the economy has affected its restaurants because they are all so new. However, the university recently had its first football game where all restaurants were open and Klinger says they had a successful day.

URBNMRKT is the newest in several successful restaurants USC has opened. The university’s Restaurant Row consists of three restaurants in an area adjacent to campus [for more on restaurant row, see FSD of the Month, June 2009].

“We think one of the most important pieces of developing a restaurant is to really utilize the brand to help maintain those concepts and execute them at the highest level,” Klinger says. “I think sometimes we forget to do that and then we see things drop off after a few months and we’re not sure why. In this type of economy, it’s critical that the brand is executed to the best of our ability. With retail, you really want to be aware about what’s available to the students while they are at home. You want to provide something that they’re familiar with but then also create signature items at each venue that folks will want to come back for. That’s something we’re trying to do with all our venues here.”

Coffee is king: Even though high school students may have limited funds, students at 8,300-student Canyon (Texas) Independent School District still regard coffee has a necessary indulgence, according to Ken Robinson, foodservice director for Aramark at the district. A reality that the district’s two high schools’ Java City—Aramark’s coffee concept—locations are happy to cater to.

“Most customers live within an allowance or budget, but they’re going to be here every day and they’re going to still have their favorites,” Robinson says. “When you talk about the economy being in a downturn, it’s the big purchases where you see a difference. We haven’t seen drop off because of the economy, but we have experienced challenges because of Texas’s stance on nutrition. Now our pastries are nonfat and we’ve implemented smaller portion sizes, which economically is an advantage to the customers.”

The high schools’ Java City locations function as full-service coffee shops. The menu includes hot and cold espresso beverages, fruit smoothies and pastries. During the meal hours, they offer salads, sandwiches, wraps and fruit parfaits.

“We took a section of our operation that was not being used and implemented a full-service coffee shop,” Robinson says. “We turned it into another access point to serve our customers during high-volume times. It’s been a great service for our customers. When implementing these locations, administrators and parents welcomed us with open arms because we educated everyone up front about how this was something the students wanted. Outside of school, students are hanging out at coffee shops, so having one at school is a cool thing for them.”

Robinson says the two locations offer some value-based promotions to attract custo­mers, such as a coffee punch card where if a student buys 10 items he or she get the 11th item for free. The locations also offer gift certificates for students or parents to buy if they want to give a special thank you to a teacher. Also, Java City often offers specialty drinks such as a cinnamon roll latte or a pumpkin latte.

“The biggest challenge for us is nutrition guidelines,” Robinson says. “In Texas, they are getting tighter and tighter with how many grams of sugar per 100 calories they’ll allow. We also have restrictions during the school service day that after the bell rings, we can only serve certain sizes of beverages. That’s not as much of a problem because we have the short size, which is 12 ounces or less. The students only want to purchase the short during the school day anyway because it’s hard to consume 16 ounces or more when you’re trying to get to class.”

Dare to drip: At 1,900-student Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Beth Gentry, general manager for Bon Appétit, says the campus’ Colorado Coffee location noticed students were favoring regular coffee rather than espresso-based drinks, so they decided to start stocking a greater variety of drip coffees.

“I think it was more a drop off in customers that were faculty and staff,” Gentry says. “The students still line up in the morning. I think they are going more for drip coffee. I’ve heard from people who say, ‘I love my lattes, but now I only get it on Fridays as my treat.’ So we’re bringing in different kinds of drip coffee. We started seeing the move toward drip coffee in March so we expanded the kinds we had available from two or three to five. We try to use the place as an education tool to teach people about coffee and what happens in the coffee business.”

Colorado Coffee sells coffee from a local roaster by the same name. The concept also features fruit smoothies and grab-and-go food options that change throughout the day.

“I think one of the things that has really made that location successful for us is the focus on coffee in the morning but also transitioning dur­ing the day,” Gentry says. “Offering grab and go at a coffee location, you really need to know that timing is of the essence. In the morning, you have to have enough people to make coffee as quickly as possible and then at lunch it’s more focused on sandwiches and salads. Being very time- of-day conscious is important.”

Perks that work: At 4,200-student Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., Sodexo’s Jazzman’s Café offers a Jazzman’s perks card for frequent customers that offers discounts and surprise treats for guests.

“To be eligible for a frequent customer card, you have to buy one of our combos such as a coffee and a specialty muffin,” Mike Nagorka, general manager for Sodexo at the university, says. “We feature a variety of different perks. We’ll offer things like a free drink when you join, free syrups in your drinks, 50-cent refills or a free beverage if you buy ground or whole-bean coffee to take home. We just started this promotion this year so we currently have about 60 customers. One other thing we offer as a promotion is we have an improv creations board, where the baristas post their favorite beverages for that week as well as student-inspired drinks. We offer discounts on those items to push them, especially the barista favorites because they might be uncommon.”

The Lee University Jazzman’s Café is set up like an Internet café with Wi-Fi, eight computers and a printing service. The menu features the standard hot and cold beverages, smoothies, Chai teas and hot chocolate and freshly baked pastries such as muffins, scones and turnovers. There is also a deli case that offers freshly prewrapped sandwiches, salads, wraps, parfaits and, in the morning, an assortment of breakfast sandwiches, which are made fresh daily.

Coffee as art: At Pulse, the coffee concept at the University of Kansas, Stultz says they are always trying to come up with innovative promotions.

“We do a lot of things for Pulse,” Stultz says. “We do a lot of buy a coffee, get a half-price pastry or vice versa. One cool thing we started was latte art. We had people asking if we could do foam art but it’s hard to do a Jayhawk in foam. So we made a stencil of a Jayhawk head and our official KU logo. We use the stencils to make the either design with cinnamon or cocoa powder on the latte’s foam. We have special events where between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m., every cup that comes out has latte art.”

Stultz says they are also considering starting a coffee club where anyone could join and they would offer specials, but also use it as a way to gain feedback. Pulse has four locations on campus, all serving coffee from a local roaster made especially for Pulse.

“We did a cupping and engineered it ourselves,” Stultz says. “We’ve tweaked it a lot. We’ve ended up with a pretty good medium roast, but it’s not your average mass-produced coffee.”

Another new initiative is a mini-catering program called Pick Me Ups.

“We were trying to answer a hole in our service for people who wanted catered items but didn’t necessarily want all the bells and whistles associated with full catering,” Stultz says. “So we decided to offer small catered items out of our Pulse locations. We offer things like a dozen bagels and cream cheese, coffee, muffins, etc. We started it last winter and it’s been pretty successful.”


Fresh to Order Heads to Elliston, Tenn. - Recipes

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Watch the video: Frisch wedding toast (August 2022).