Scoping Out Future SoBro at Weekly Open Thread

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The Music City Center construction cam at Oxblue.com
  • The Music City Center construction cam at Oxblue.com
Bites' own Chris Chamberlain had a great scoop this week reporting that beloved chef Deb Paquette is teaming with restaurateurs Doug Hogrefe and Paul Schramkowski of Amerigo to open Echo in the Encore condominium building at Third Avenue and Demonbreun in the SoBro neighborhood downtown. The launch is scheduled for sometime in March.

This is great news for folks who came to love Deb's food over the years — at Cakewalk Cafe, Bound'ry and then at Zola, which Deb and her husband Ernie Paquette operated for 13 years. Echo at the Encore is in a prime spot next to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and just a block or so from the Country Music Hall of Fame and the upcoming Music City Center.

And it's catty-corner from another ambitious restaurant project, the southern steak and oyster, at the Pinnacle at Symphony Place. As I reported in my Food Biz column in The City Paper, restaurant and movie catering pros TomKats plan to open the southern (lack of capitalization is intentional) in the ground floor of the 29-story Pinnacle sometime in January.

We've known since both of those developments opened that the ground-floor space was reserved for future restaurants. Now it looks like some folks in the biz think the time is right to get restaurants open in advance of the Music City Center. If all goes as planned, SoBro could be transformed in the near future.

Bites world, what kinds of transformations have you witnessed lately? Like Alexis, did you transform sugar and cream into Salty Caramel goodness? Did you discover any local treats like Walker Creek Toffee? Tell Open Thread what's on your mind.

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