Thursday, September 5, 2013

Meg Giuffrida to Open Cherry Street Eatery at Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Posted By on Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 5:49 AM

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Meg Giuffrida, the popular cook and restaurateur best-known for the late Red Wagon in East Nashville, has lined up an interesting new project: She's overhauling and managing the cafe in the ground level of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

The new venture is named Cherry Street Eatery and Sweetery, and it will be open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday to serve breakfast and lunch to downtown denizens, and 5 to 9 p.m. on concert nights to serve patrons at the Schermerhorn. She hopes to do a soft opening in connection with the season opening symphony performances this weekend, serving desserts only. Regular hours are scheduled to start Monday, Sept. 9.

Giuffrida describes the food as "kind of Red Waggony," with sandwiches, soups, salads and pastries. She'll have her famous pimento cheese, her "grownup" grilled cheese and a longtime favorite sandwich, the BLAST, slightly updated: It's bacon, lettuce, avocado, swiss and tomato with Sriracha mayo. Desserts will include cakes from Wolfe Gourmet Cakes.

She says the symphony approached her about the collaboration, and it's turning out to be a pretty perfect partnership. Giuffrida has a uniquely diverse resume. After closing Red Wagon, she launched a side business making charming A-line skirts from vintage fabrics, and later ran food services at the Martha O'Bryan Center, feeding and teaching hundreds of needy kids in the East Nashville community, and she also launched the Second Rise Kitchen bakery and culinary job training program for adults. Later, she did a stint running the hot bar at The Turnip Truck Urban Fare.

Another aspect of Cherry Street Eatery is that Giuffrida plans to hire staff from Thistle Farms, the social enterprise that employs the women of Magdalene House.

Giuffrida, who's married to noted musician Paul Burch, says her family has been very supportive. One reason she closed Red Wagon was to have more flexible time to spend with her young son Henry. Now that he's almost 11, she says "nobody's more excited than Henry" about the new cafe.

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