Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The New York Times Shares a Remarkably Grounded Scoop on Barista Parlor

Posted By on Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 3:05 PM

The New York Times has filed another report on Nashville's steadily enriching restaurant scene — in this case, focusing on the wonder that is cutting-edge coffeehouse Barista Parlor on Gallatin Road in East Nashville.

And for those who recoiled at the Gray Lady's story last month, which cast East Nashville as a land of "hipsters," doing hipster things in hipsterrific ways with hipsterical results, it's worth noting this story never uses the word "hipster" once. But more to the point, it's actually written by a Nashvillian: veteran journalist, style guru and occasional Scene contributor Libby Callaway. (The much-maligned item was penned by the NYT bureau chief in Atlanta, Kim Severson.)

Whether or not you agree that using the word "hipster" is misguided, evil or just plain lazy — or stand with Jack Silverman in defending the occasional usage — it's nice to read Callaway's description of East Nashville, which I find a lot more informative and sensible in tone than some other stories that have popped up in national media. (Full disclosure: I used to work with Callaway years ago at the Tennessean and the erstwhile magazine All The Rage.)

And Callaway offers up an enticing news nugget: She says Barista Parlor's Andy Mumma is working to open a new venue with a famous partner:

There’s already a spinoff in the works: Later this year, he and Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys will introduce a new project inside a 10,000-square-foot multi-use building close to Nashville’s downtown. Right now, mum’s the word for Mumma and Auerbach. Neither will reveal what exactly will go in the space, but bet that it will involve the work of local craftsmen — and, of course, coffee.

That's news to us here at Bites, but we'll let you know if we hear more. In the meantime, Callaway's post is a fun read. She points out all the local artists, craftspeople and businesses that Mumma promotes and showcases at his shop, not just the big things, like the eye-popping 24-foot mural by Bryce McCloud of Isle of Printing, but also the little details, like the employees' aprons, created by local leather-goods designer Emil Congdon of Emil Erwin.

Check out the post and let us know what you think. (And in case you missed it, here's a link to last week's entry in the national-media-noticing-Nashville derby, Food Republic's "21 Great Things To Eat and Drink In Nashville.")

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