The building — vacant for years — fronts Broadway, 19th Avenue South and Division. Situated across Broadway from the original Broadway Brewhouse, it has a quirky facade that includes a vintage geometric look. On the Division side, the property has a carhop-style awning.
“Chuy’s plan is to reuse the current structure on the corner of 19th and Broadway, maintaining the feel of the original façade while transforming the structure into one of their signature looks,” XMi said.
The Austin-based chain incorporates a lot of pop art, folk art and thrift-shop chic in their restaurants’ design. There’s always a room with hubcaps lining the ceiling and a shrine to Elvis. So in a way, the dilapidated-but-promising building makes sense.
There’s also no question that Midtown has become a bar and restaurant hub for businesses that can afford the rent.
“The restaurant folds very well into the fabric of Midtown — a walkable neighborhood that includes a nucleus of lunch and after-hours destinations. Chuy’s is the perfect fit for this property,” said Henry Menge of XMi.
Major renovation is expected to begin in late February, and will include “a thatched-roof palapa area for dining and drinking outdoors.” Approximately 150 people will be hired before a grand opening sometime this summer.
This will be the third Chuy’s in Tennessee. In addition to Cool Springs, there’s a location in Murfreesboro.
And finally, time for full disclosure. Even though it’s a chain (founded in Austin in 1982), I really love Chuy’s. When I was recently stuck without a car in Fort Worth dealing with a family illness, I walked to the Chuy’s on West Seventh Street every day. Good enchiladas, more than a dozen salsas, friendly service — it really brightened my life.