It’s not easy to make a name for yourself in the restaurant business, but that’s one problem Fate Thomas Jr. won’t be facing when he opens Fate’s Pig & Pie later this month. Fate Jr.’s daddy, Fate Thomas Sr., made a name big enough for the both of them, in more ways that one.
The former sheriff of Davidson County, Fate Sr. was one of the ringleaders of the vastly powerful East Nashville Courthouse Gang. For decades, his endorsement could make the difference between winning and losing a political race or issue. He often greased the wheels of a campaign by cooking up some of his famous pork barbecue and dishing it up on-site to the hungry hordes.
When Fate was convicted in 1990 on federal charges of using his office for private gain, he was sent off to do his four years in a Texas prison. While Senior was in the pokey, Junior continued the family tradition, in the barbecue pit and in the employ of Metro government.
Last Friday, after 12 years as an officer in Criminal Court Division One and 22 years working for Metro, Fate Jr. departed public service for the world of food service. With partners John Hamilton and Michael Mudd, he will spend seven days a week at Pig & Pie, 7108 Charlotte Pk., one block past River Road on the site of the former Harvest Moon Produce Store.
Pig & Pie will be open for lunch and dinner, with an emphasis on barbecue, but also specialties like smoked mojo chicken, fried and smoked turkey, and meat ’n’ three. Hamilton, a pastry chef, will be responsible for the just desserts; beer will be served. The restaurant, scheduled to open Nov. 15, will seat about 60, though Thomas expects at least half his business to be to-go orders at the heavily trafficked intersection.
While he learned the concept of slow-cooking from his dad, he says his rubs and sauces differ substantially from his father’s, who he expects will pop in from time to time.
Wait, Frank has pigtails?
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