The new building is gorgeous, with lots of exposed brick and warm wood tones to the decoration. True to the building's former incarnation as Lavender Motors, automotive design elements dominate the interior, along with some owl statuettes which refer to the restaurant's logo. Particularly striking is a huge chandelier-type sculpture constructed from old car mufflers which dominates the main dining room. There are also lots of fun hubcab wall hangings all over the restaurant.
The dining room has tall ceilings and a textured tin ceiling, but still manages to feel comfy and charming. A long bar stretches the length of one of the rooms, with over 25 beers on tap and room for even more. A host of high-def big-screen televisions should make this a very popular sports-watching spot, if any of the Tennessee football teams turn it around and become worth watching. (Commodores excluded.)
Located only a block off of I-40 and within just a couple of minutes from anywhere on 440, M.L. Rose is worth a visit. Despite the multitude of cars in the lot during my recent lunchtime visit, there were plenty of seats available inside, and service was prompt and courteous.
Since I only had the chance to try their fiery chicken sandwich and those utterly addictive waffle fries, I can't speak to the entire menu yet, although I've heard the XXX hot wings will light you up! If you get a chance to eat a little deeper in the menu, please share your comments and let us know how you think the food stands up to the original incarnation.