Lockeland Table on Track for Early August Opening

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At Lockeland Table, the latest creation of chef Hal Holden-Bache and general manager Cara Graham, they're starting to put the finishing touches on what I believe will be one of the favorite new restaurants on the East Nashville scene and for anyone interested in really innovative food served in a dynamite new room. I was fortunate enough to take a sneak peek at the construction earlier this week, and I was verily impressed.

The building located at the corner of Woodland and 16th streets has a lot of history that Holden-Bache and Graham are striving to revere. They've left the kitschy "Boutique Coiffures" handpainted sign on wall of the 16th Street side and have even managed to retain the original phone number of that business so they didn't have to repaint. They have also fabricated a spectacular wooden sign to hang from the same pole as the original Coca-Cola sign from the days when 1520 Woodland St. was a small grocery store. The latest tenant before them was John Guider and his photography studio, so you know the space has great light, accentuated by the huge windows that cover the entire front wall of the dining room.

Tall ceilings reveal the original 30-foot rafters, and the huge walls will serve as gallery space to display archival photographs of the building's history. Graham's mother and aunt, partners at Twisted Sisters Arts, have created a gorgeous copper facing around the restaurant's wood-fired pizza oven that will be a centerpiece for the room. They also repurposed the original stamped-tin ceiling into attractive accent pieces to complement the recovered barn wood and patchwork recycled trim that decorate the rest of the space.

Holden-Bache's menu is not at all recycled, though. He has filled multiple legal pads over the past few months working out his list of opening dishes. I've had a peek at the menu, but he wants it to stay secret until opening night which is scheduled for Aug. 9. I can share that there will be happy hour specials that include some innovative and affordable snacks for sharing while you sit at the comfortable bar serving cocktails and local brews or at the short chef's bar with a view of the kitchen and a front-row seat for the pizza floor show.

Along with a short list of pizzas, there will also be some intriguing appetizers and a selection of cheeses as well as heartier main dishes. Many of the ingredients are sourced locally or regionally, and the menu will call out specific suppliers whenever appropriate. Holden-Bache has also created a kids' menu to encourage a family-friendly environment, especially since he is now the proud papa of a 4-week-old old boy to accompany his bouncing baby restaurant. The children's menu will feature a three-course meal for less than $10 and will have some healthy options for parents and kids who want more than just chicken nuggets and ice cream. You'll have to show your ID to get that great deal on the kebabs and Oreo nuggets, though.

Another great surprise will be Lockeland Table's nightly burger special. I don't want to spoil that surprise either, but trust me when I say that people will be lining up to buy one of these burgers from a rotating roster of delights. In fact, they'll have to. [He said cryptically.]

There's one booth in the back of the restaurant which Chef Hal says will probably be "the kissin' table." As romantic as that might be, save me a spot at that pizza bar so I can watch these talented folks work.

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