City Fire American Oven and Bar quietly launched on Monday. Henry Hillenmeyer, the man behind the two previous restaurants in the space (Urban Flats and Music City Flats) is still the owner, but he brought in a new general manager, Nathan Shryock, who says the team has created a completely different concept.
"The menu is 100 percent different," Shryock says. So is the restaurant's interior. "We spent six months totally renovating it," he says, bringing in warmer details like walnut tables.
A touchstone in the decor is the era of the early 1900s, yielding "an eclectic mix of old and new" that reflects "the growth of American culture," the GM says. "You'll see a modern POS system sitting on an antique hutch."
The menu delivers "good American comfort food," made from scratch, Shryock says, with some items fired in the restaurant's stone oven.
A glance at the menu reveals a diverse slate of American classics. The entree list ranges from shrimp-and-grits to filet of beef to Skillet Verlasso Salmon to bacon-wrapped meatloaf. Some items, like the salmon, are marked with asterisks indicating they can be prepared gluten-free.
Sandwiches include an homage to Nashville hot chicken, fish tacos with grouper, and a Cuban variant with pulled pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles and mojo mustard sauce.
There's also a prominent list of entree salads, like a seared tuna salad with mango, tomato, avocado and a sesame-ginger-cilantro vinaigrette.
The full bar offers some twists on classic American cocktails, and a wine list featuring only American producers.
Shryock says diners have expressed some confusion about the identity of new restaurant, and he repeatedly stresses the fact that it has the same owner as the previous incarnations in the space, but is a completely new concept.
Furthermore, he notes, Nashville's City Fire American Oven and Bar is an independent restaurant, but shares a name with two restaurants in Florida. The Nashville eatery has a very different menu and atmosphere from those restaurants, he says.
"Every City Fire will have the feel of its region," he says, citing a unique clientele in the Nashville location. "We've got a good mix of people here, business folks, Gulch residents, people heading downtown for entertainment."
Shryock says social media isn't set up yet, but he encourages people to browse the menu on the website, call for a reservation or just stop by.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
City Fire American Oven and Grill
610 12th Ave. S. in the Icon tower