Blue Moon Rises Again on the Cumberland

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When I’m not at my laptop writing, or not at a restaurant eating, I’m on the water paddling. (Seriously. In the interest of full disclosure, I do some of this for more than fun: I own Nashville Paddle Co.) So, when I find out about a restaurant on the water, I can’t get there fast enough. That’s why I was thrilled to hear that Blue Moon Waterfront Grille is reopening at Rock Harbor Marine on the Cumberland this spring.

For years Blue Moon was a mainstay in West Nashville (albeit with several different owners), with its waterfront dining and laid-back, island-esque attitude. There are other places to dine alfresco on the water in Davidson County — including two lakeside spots, Shipwreck Cove at Elm Hill Marina and The Black Pearl at Black Jack Cove in Old Hickory — but Blue Moon was the only waterfront eatery on the river in Nashville. (There will be another when the soon-to-open spot in the Bridge Building next to Cumberland Park is completed.)

The old Blue Moon literally washed down the Cumberland during the May 2010 floods. In the almost three years since that happened, the Rock Harbor phones have been inundated with calls asking when this local institution will open its doors again. Finally, an answer: The new Blue Moon Waterfront Grille is being rebuilt as I type, with a planned opening in mid-April.

The reborn Blue Moon will be casual, like its previous iterations, but with a few upgrades, says Tom Loventhal, who is managing general partner at Noshville Delicatessen, an investor in Tin Angel, and one of the investors in the new venture.

The team, which also includes investors from Rock Harbor and others, has not yet hired a chef, and is still working on the new menu, but Loventhal says they will shake things up a little.

“People will want po’boy sandwiches, so we’ll have that,” he says. “But I am not real big on fried food. If we have 40 items on the menu, only six or seven will be fried,” he says. Menu items likely will include fish tacos, salmon, a buffalo burger, black beans and rice, and key lime pie. A few old favorites from the 1996-2004 Blue Moon recipe files are under consideration, too, such as grit cakes and fried lobster. A weekend and holiday brunch menu is in the works, too.

The decor may be a little funkier than in the past, but Loventhal promises one thing: “People love Blue Moon because they can wear shorts, T-shirts and sandals and sit by the water. They will still be able to do that.”

Once it's open and in full swing, Blue Moon Waterfront Grille’s hours will vary by season. From April 15 to Sept. 30, hours will be 3-10:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 3 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sunday.

In the fall, from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, and in early spring, from March 1 to April 15 (the latter season starting next year, of course), hours will be 3-9:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 3-11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday.

The restaurant will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays year-round, and won't operate in the months of January and February, with the possible exception of during playoff and college bowl games.

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