After months of wrangling, businessman Matt Charette and Metro have struck a deal that will allow Charette to start work on his East Nashville sushi restaurant without plonking down $42 grand for access to water and sewer.
Charette, founder of Batter'd & Fried and Beyond the Edge restaurants at Five Points, will now proceed with construction on Watanabe sushi restaurant in the burgeoning retail strip of Riverside Village. Charette had previously hoped to open his new venture in May, but was delayed when Metro's water department required a single up-front fee for converting the space from a retail store to a restaurant, which would presumably use more water and sewer capacity.
With the help of the mayor's office, Charette has reached a detente with the water lords that will allow him to pay the hefty change-of-use fee over time. Meanwhile, he hopes the mayor and Metro Council will find a way to amend the prohibitive water tariffs with the goal of fostering restaurant business development in transitional neighborhoods like Riverside Village.
Located at 1400 McGavock—next to Mitchell Delicatessen and Sip coffee house—Watanabe is named for chef Hide Watanabe, who launched Wave Sushi inside Batter'd & Fried two years ago. With a menu of sushi and other Asian cuisine, the 150-seat restaurant is slated to open this fall.