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Signs

A bottle of red, a bottle of white

MamaMia

The building that lies at the northwest corner of Harding and Trousdale has various restaurants. There’s Donut Place and Sub House, Bei Jing Chinese, and Back to Cuba Cafe. But this mural visible from Harding on the south side of the building advertises a restaurant in a different building, Mamma Mia’s, which lies just north.  Oddly, there are no words, no indication what this mural is advertising, but it is clearly a copy of the image found on Momma Mia’s sign. I suppose you are just supposed to guess that Italian food is somewhere nearby, and you must seek it out.

Located at 735 Harding Place/4961 Trousdale Drive. The mural is on the south side of the building, facing Harding. This a small strip mall, with plenty of parking here and nearby businesses. Mamma Mia’s is next door at 4671 Trousdale Drive. Grab some grub and enjoy the art!

Wake up! And have some pizza!

Slim and Husky's Wake Up

Slim & Husky’s is the happening new pizza joint on Buchanan Street. Seriously, go there off hours if you can, because long lines are common. The pizzeria is owned by neighborhood locals who are trying to be part of a revitalization of the neighborhood, but the restaurant is also symbolic to some extent of the gentrification that is changing the neighborhood. So the Dough Joe piece has a certain resonance. Dough Joe (also known as Yusef Hubb, aka Joseph Love III) has chosen for his topic the final scene in School Daze where the activist Dap (Laurence Fishburn) clangs the bell on the quad calling out the entire community to, well, “Wake up!” I don’t know who designed the restaurant logo painted on the adjoining wall. Slim & Husky’s website has this to say about the tractor in the logo: “The tractor in our company logo represents our locally sourced ingredients and locally brewed beer. It also signifies the redevelopment of historic North Nashville, something our three founders take great pride in as Nashville natives.”

Slim and Husky's Logo

Located at 911 Buchanan Street. The two murals are in an outdoor seating area that faces Buchanan on the east side of the building. S&H has a fair amount of parking, though it can get full at peak hours. Grab a beer and some pizza and enjoy the art.

Have a Coke and a record deal

LaymanMural

Layman Drug Company, the drug store, has been out of business for a couple decades. Layman Drug Company the recording studio opened just a few weeks ago and has a spiffy new mural to boot. (On that link you’ll find the links to their social media pages more informative than the website.) The long shuttered Chesnut Hill drug store was purchased by Will Greig to convert into a studio. Like practically every building in Nashville, it has connections to music history, including a notable appearance on the cover of Dion’s Velvet and Steel album. The mural is by Michael Cooper of Murals and More, though the signature is painted black on black and is very hard to see. (It’s where the phone line trails out of the image.) In the slideshow below, I also include the historic sign on the north side of the building and the modern sign above the doorway, as well as a full view of the mural with the faded historic sign just above it.

Located at 1128 3rd Ave South. The mural actually faces Chestnut Street. There is plenty of street parking, as well as a parking lot across the street – which has a prominent “for sale” sign, so it may not be a parking lot much longer.

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Going soon?

FatBottom

The Fluffo Matress Factory/Fat Bottom Brewery sign at 9th and Main may be going away soon. Fat Bottom Brewery, founded by Ben Bredesen (son of former Mayor and former Governor Phil Bredesen) moved out of the old Fluffo factory to a new bigger spot in The Nations on 44th Ave North in summer 2016. The brewery part of the building has been empty since, but construction has recently begun on a major upgrade of the building, and it remains to be seen if the new owners and tenants will maintain the tradition of preserving signs from previous tenants. Let’s call this endangered art.

Located at 900 Main Street, at the corner with 9th Street. There’s a little street parking, and you could park across the street at the Weiss Liquor Store and Weiss Market, but don’t stay long if you’re not buying!

Play time!

NatureCenterMural

Shelby Bottoms Park is an enormous and fantastic network of playing fields, greenways, nature trails, and even a small golf course at Vinny Links. The Nature Center is an educational and information center where one can learn about the vast flora and fauna found in the park. Nearby the center is the Nature Play area, an area designed for small children to enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment. Two pieces of art are found in the Nature Play area. The small mural above on a small storage shed features animals that might be found in the park. And above the entrance gate is a crawfish (or maybe you call it a crawdad?).

Located in Shelby Bottoms Park, a little northeast of the Nature Center building. There are various entrances to the park, notably off of Davidson Street and at Lillian and 19th. The closest parking to the Nature Center and the play area is on the east side of the railroad bridge. Just drive under it and park. The center and the play area will be to your left, south towards the river. If you don’t have kids the right age, it’s just off the entrance to the Greenway and the nature trails, so make it part of you next hike!

Lobster

Sweet and Spicy

BoltonsFishandChicken

On the 2300 block of Franklin Pike, there are two neighbors who share a very similar art style. One is Bolton’s. We’ve met them before on this blog, in No, I didn’t need my taste buds, actually. That post featured the oldest Bolton’s on Main, and you can read all about Bolton’s and find links about Nashville’s hot chicken tradition there. The other is Supreme Kreme Nashville, which sells Thai-style rolled ice cream and boba tea. Now that’s just the combination you need, right? A powerful burn from Bolton’s cooled down with some tea and sweets from Supreme Kreme. Make it a date!

Located at 2309 A and B Franklin Pike South. Supreme Kreme lists its address as Eighth Avenue South, while Bolton’s says Franklin Pike. They are the same road. Both lie directly across from the intersection with MelPark Drive. Plenty of parking. Grab some grub and enjoy the art!

On your side

NationwidePirtle

In some neighborhoods, lots of business owners have concluded that public art is important for their brand. In others, it goes more slowly. So kudos to Eric Pirtle of Eric Pirtle Insurance Agency in Donelson for being a pioneer. Outdoor art is a little unusual in Donelson, but there are a few prominent examples (like this one). There is no signature on this work, but the artist does manage a little bit of trompe l’oeil, with some illusion of depth.

Located at 2630 Old Lebanon Road in Donelson. The mural is on the east side of the building, facing the railroad tracks. There is plenty of parking at the agency and nearby. Get a quote on your car insurance and enjoy the art!

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