Paint is on the walls, the floor is down, and a brand-new display case is sitting in the front of the store.
Pretty soon, all Porter Road Butcher's new West Nashville location will need is meat.
I swung by the Charlotte Avenue location this morning to see what kind of progress butchers Chris Carter and James Peisker were making. Turns out, it's looking pretty good, if you don't mind stepping over a little wood or around a new oven.
The space dwarfs what they've got on Gallatin Pike. A big cutting room, with a window for customers, is twice as big as its East Nashville counterpart. The two big walk-in coolers in the back are already cold, if in need of a little cleaning, and you can already see where the kitchen is going to be set up.
They plan to do more catering out of the Charlotte location and have a limited number of sandwiches and breakfast items available, too. They won't have any tables — Peisker says they're running a market, not a restaurant — but the idea will be to have food available for folks at breakfast and lunch. They envision people being able to picnic across the street at Richland Park.
Almost all of the vestiges of the former tenant — Church's Chicken — are gone, except one. They're toying with the idea of using the drive-in window, though only for sandwiches and snacks, not for meat orders.
Me: "So I can't drive up and order a pound of bacon?"
Peisker: [emphatically, eyes a little wider as if punctuate that this is never, ever, ever going to happen] "NO."
Without a fast-food setup like the McDonald's a few doors down, the wait times could get really bad. Besides, they both point out, they want customers to come in and interact and talk meat with the staff.
Peisker says they told suppliers nine moths ago about the expansion. They've added one new farm — a small grass-fed, grain-finished beef operation in Ashland City — to their current lineup. "They say they're all ready," he says.
Carter, whose sunburned nose is already starting to peel after a bachelor party getaway over the weekend (he's getting married in the fall to, of all things, a vegetarian), tells Bites that they're on track for opening sometime in August. They'll open with limited hours Monday through Friday until they get the kinks worked out and eventually add Saturdays. The plan, they say, is to have both locations closed on Sundays to give everyone a day to rest.