My cohort and cube neighbor D. Patrick Rodgers hoofed it down the block this afternoon and asked partner Russell Nelson why they're dousing the coals. (Russell's the friendly fellow, usually wearing a Chicago White Sox hat — which makes him my kind of guy — who asks, "What you sippin' on?" when you take your seat for lunch. Which we do. Sometimes twice, or even three times, a week.) As you might have guessed, the decision comes down to money, or lack thereof. Between running lunch in The Gulch and catering private events (like the Scene's Next Big Nashville V.I.P. party) on the side, Nelson says that he and pitmaster Pat Isbey haven't had a day off in the past three weeks — and they still haven't been able to make ends meet.
Is this the end of Jimmy Carl's Lunch Box? Perhaps not. They're looking for investors interested in opening a permanent location — they'd like to stay near downtown — and Nelson thinks that with a dinner service and the ability to sell beer they'd be able to cover food costs and make a better run of it. Maybe it really was too good to be true that I got to talk White Sox baseball (and now, Bears football) over great barbecue just a short walk from work, but c'mon Nashville — when Nov. 5 rolls around, I'll be down to one walkable lunch option in The Gulch that doesn't make me want to die. And I don't want to want to die.