Kalamatas Team to Open Epice, a Lebanese Bistro, in 12South

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Maher Fawaz, the Lebanese-born restaurateur who’s operated the popular Green Hills cafe Kalamatas for nearly 10 years, is getting ready to launch a new venture in the bustling 12South neighborhood.

It will be called Epice, from the French word for spice (pronounced roughly as EH-piece). Unlike the original Kalamatas and its two spinoffs (Belmont Boulevard and Brentwood), the new place will be a full-service restaurant.

Fawaz describes Epice as a Lebanese bistro, with authentic flavors and recipes and a small selection of wines to complement the cuisine. (He’ll also offer a local beer or two.) The menu will be created by Fawaz and Beth Collins, Kalamatas’ executive chef since opening day. Some of the Mediterranean dishes will be familiar, some will be more unusual in Nashville — Fawaz promises some examples of real Lebanese home cooking.

Epice is taking over the space at 2902 12th Ave. S. formerly held by the Clean Plate Club catering business (which has moved to Houston Street). Fawaz hopes to open it mid-August.

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