Restaurant at Pinnacle Will Happen, But Not as Reported, TomKats Says

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TomKats Inc., the food and entertainment empire that includes the Loveless Motel and its adjacent Loveless Barn music venue, Saffire restaurant in Franklin and a vast catering business that serves both local customers and movie sets around the world, says it plans to open a restaurant in the ground level of the 29-story Pinnacle at Symphony Place downtown.

However, TomKats honcho Tom Morales says virtually every detail of the project, including the name and the restaurant concept, remain up in the air, despite a Tennessean story to the contrary.

"What a thrill to have so much interest in the new TomKats venture," Morales said in a statement Thursday responding to media inquiries (including mine) after the Tennessean story appeared on Wednesday.

"The ink isn't even out of the pen, and there's such support and enthusiasm from my home community, and I sincerely appreciate it. I have traveled the world feeding people, and my unique perspective on food and hospitality has culminated in this project," Morales said.

"I can assure you that there is a much bigger and more exciting picture to this restaurant, and I look forward to sharing complete details — from the actual name to the culinary philosophy, as well as accurate restaurant specs — with you as soon as the planning is complete."

Rumors have circulated for months that TomKats and Pinnacle were teaming up, but before this week's Tennessean story (which Morales called "premature"), nobody at TomKats would comment at all on the plans, saying no deal was set.

Almost a year ago, a leasing agent for Pinnacle, Richard Fleming of Cushman & Wakefield Cornerstone, told my Nashville Post colleague J.R. Lind that an announcement on a tenant was imminent, but wouldn't give details of the restaurant other than to hint at a "Nashville icon."

The restaurant name the Tennessean cited, The Southern, has been rumored for a while, but Morales' comment about "the actual name" seems to contradict that. Bites will share details when we get them.

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