Testing the Limits 

City Limits expands westward, Uncle Gio’s gets a northern branch, and Nashvillians take on the Windy City

City Limits Bakery & Café, the bustling eatery nestled on a sleepy side street in Bellevue, is sprawling over to Highway 100 with a bread-based trilogy of stores.
City Limits Bakery & Café, the bustling eatery nestled on a sleepy side street in Bellevue, is sprawling over to Highway 100 with a bread-based trilogy of stores. By the new year, owner Terri Woods hopes to expand the City Limits brand to a bistro, a prepared-food market and another café-bakery along the lines of the 6-year-old flagship.

City Limits has been serving its house-baked bread to the suburban soup-and-sandwich crowd since 2002. The casual, colorful store—often packed with moms in tennis skirts and infants in car seats—will remain open.

The new mini-empire, to be located in the burgeoning Shops on the Harpeth retail strip, will include 100 west, a full-service bistro seating 110 people; Eats à la Carte, a family-friendly market with grab-and-go meals; and a second City Limits Bakery & Café. The three businesses will operate side-by-side at 8080 Highway 100.

City Limits Bakery & Café, located at 361 Clofton Dr., is open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 646-0062.

Say uncle

Nature—and the restaurant industry—abhors a vacuum, so with the recent snuffing of The Olympic Flame at the corner of Nolensville Road and Harding Place, the sprawling former Shoney’s building has quickly found a tenant. Uncle Gio’s Ristorante and Bar, which planted a tricolored flag further out Nolensville Road in 2005, is exporting recipes to an all-you-can-eat spin-off, Uncle Gio’s Italian Buffet, says Reed Demos, partner with his uncle Gio DelRosario in the new venture.

The Gio’s crew plans to do little to alter the image of the short-lived Olympic Flame, which transformed the former outpost of America’s dinner table into a veritable Big Fat Greek Restaurant, complete with a mauve wallpaper frieze of Grecian figures, faux columns and a flickering torch above the door.

But the menu promises to have a more coherent theme than The Olympic Flame, which struggled to fuse American comfort food with fresh Mediterranean cuisine. Demos says the buffet will reflect the original Uncle Gio’s menu, with a roster of lasagna, pastas, chicken fillets and pork dishes as well as the popular pomodoro sauce. The new buffet is $6.95 for lunch, $9.95 for dinner.

Uncle Gio’s Italian Buffet, located at 401 Harding Place, is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 332-8391.

Short haul

Freddie Brooker, the chef who kicked off The Trace’s first menu almost a decade ago, is on his way to the Windy City to help launch a new concept with Nashville ties. After wrapping up a stint as the on-air chef for the Shop at Home network, Brooker is working as a consultant to Nashvillian Bill Thomas and a group of investors—including attorney and self-professed man of leisure Adam Dread. The team plans to recast Chicago restaurant The Twisted Spoke into Brodey’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill.

Named for Thomas’ infant son, Brodey’s will replace the Twisted Spoke’s notorious tradition of midnight breakfast and porn movies—a.k.a. Smut & Eggs—with a family-friendly menu of all-American pub fare. Located in the shadow of Wrigley Field (3369 N. Clark St.), Brodey’s promises refuge for Nashvillians who need a place to hang out and stow their carry-on luggage when they’re in town for Cubs games. Dread says they’re even planning to have lockers for the Nashville crowd, and they hope to open in September.


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