More Dining Options Available In Downtown Nashville
by Chris Cannon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Downtown Nashville is known for its honky tonks and night life. But that is slowly changing to include fine dining. Several restaurant owners have decided downtown is where they want to do business.
"I can't think of any other place I'd rather be right now," said Deb Paquette, chef and owner of Etch.
Etch opened at the end of August on the ground floor of the Encore condominium high-rise on Demonbreun Street.
Paquette is a veteran of the Nashville restaurant scene. She operated the popular Zolo restaurant off of West End for 13 years. Now she is trying to carve out a new food niche for herself.
"I sort of want to make my mark on people to say, hey this is a great place to eat, hence the name Etch," Paquette said.
Etch is just one of the new dining options people have in downtown Nashville. Currently there are 182 restaurants in that area of Nashville. Eight years ago that number was 125.
"Business is good, business is good and it's getting better," said Tom Turner from the Nashville Downtown Partnership.
Several other restaurants recently opened, or are preparing to open in Nashville. The Southern opened several months ago. Blue Coast Burrito opened a location on 5th Avenue. Rodizio is under construction on 2nd Avenue. M. is in the works at Cummins Station. Bobbie's Dairy Dip, the legendary west Nashville ice cream stand, will soon open on 4th Avenue near the Arcade.
"To me it really says we're on a nice upward trajectory and all of this is pre-convention center," Turner said.
Many of the new restaurants opening downtown are cutting edge and raising Nashville's food profile.
Paquette said she has been working to do that since the 1980's.
"It's finally happening thanks to a lot of the other chefs in the city who've been kicking butt and really working hard to get us there. It takes an effort from everybody and it's working," she said.
A city known for its honky tonks and neon is quickly becoming a hot spot for food.