Diana's Sweet Shoppe, which takes its name, concept and complete interior from an actual 1926 candy store, threw open its doors on Lower Broadway Thursday with a ribbon-cutting party. (Was it ribbon candy?)
Gibson Guitar Inc. owns the store, which was transported in panels from Port Huron, Mich. Diana's operated in the lakeside town from 1926-2001. Gibson acquired the shop, brought it to Nashville and reopened it with the help of consultants Ben and Max Goldberg of Strategic Hospitality. (The brothers Goldberg are known for cocktail haven Patterson House and other hot projects.)
The new Diana's sells fudge (made in the store in giant copper kettles) and colorful, old-fashioned candy by the pound. There's a soda fountain serving up sundaes and floats made with local Pied Piper Creamery ice cream, and East Nashville's Olive & Sinclair chocolate bars have a prominent presence.
In the dining area, hungry customers can grab a wooden booth and order from the menu, which offers club sandwiches, chicken salad and other traditional lunch counter fare.
The shelves and counters, bright brass sconces and decorated wood-panel walls are all lifted from the Michigan shop. (In the 19th and early 20th centuries, shop interiors were built as panels that could easily be moved and rehung in a new location.)
But the stars of the show are the fudge, the ice cream sundaes and the rows of glass jars filled with wildly colored sweets, everything from old-fashioned taffy to new-fangled gummy green-apple army men.
Diana's Sweet Shoppe serves lunch and dinner; hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number, 242-5397, isn't in service yet but will be working soon.