Yes, Nashville is growing. No, it's not a small city anymore. But every once and a while you run into people and places that remind you that not everthing is strip malls, parking lots, and chain stores.
After a sales pitch to Belmont University this afternoon, I went by a shop where time has stood still. Davis Cookware and Cutlery Shop is one of the last merchants in trendy Hillsboro Village that were here when I went to grad school twenty years ago. And it seemed dated back then. You walk in to a crowded small store that even has a small space cordoned off for the owner (Ted Jr.) and his son (Ted III) to sit down and enjoy a chat or read a magazine. The other spaces are stuffed with boxes, some of them open, some not, of merchandise. Prices are on price labels stuck to each product. No checkout scanners here.
No matter what you want, you'll end up talking to one of the employee/owners for longer than you were expecting. This time, I end up talking windows with the son and coffee with the dad. There's another son, Scott, that is, at least according to his dad, the most knowledgable coffee guy in Nashville. He's letting me smell many of the coffee that they have for sale while he tells the story of Scott and how he's been a barista for 30 years and has access to "special" beans that are unobtainable to mere mortals.
So after 20 minutes of being on the receiving end of a monolog, I leave with Scott's number and how exactly to get to his unmarked, private coffee shop in an industrial district. I'm intrigued enough to try it, though I know I don't have the trained taste buds to appreciate great coffee.
It was a surreal experience that I know I can repeat at any time. Or at least until Ted Jr. passes the baton.
Categories: Local Adventure