Oct 20, 2023 - Food and Drink

New food options arrive in Donelson

A tray of cookies.

A tray of HiFi Cookies. Photo: Katie Lewis/Axios

If the longstanding Greek Deli in Donelson Plaza absolutely had to be replaced, only a music-themed cookie shop would do.

Why it matters: HiFi Cookies is one of a handful of new-to-Donelson eats rounding out the neighborhood's food options.

  • While some, like HiFi and Yeast Nashville, are retrofitting their storefronts, SweetMilk and Bagelshop are setting up in brand-new developments.

Zoom out: As a food scene, Donelson has already arrived.

  • Local faves include the sandwiches at Phat Bites, Tennfold Brewing's pizza and Nectar Urban Cantina.
  • The success of those standard bearers is drawing more concepts to the neighborhood.

Context: In a 1-mile stretch, there's the newly built and now leasing The Flats at Donelson Plaza (offering one month of free rent) housing Bagelshop; HiFi in the old Greek Deli; Yeast in the remodeled building next to Edley's; and SweetMilk, part of a new development from Pat Martin and the Darsinos family of Darfons fame.

What they're saying: Opening in an existing building has its challenges, said Max Palmer of Bagelshop, whose first spot opened in Fairlane Hotel in 2021. He and his wife co-own the business, and while Fairlane gave them access to most necessary kitchen equipment, they hadn't built their "dream location."

  • That's where The Flats comes in. "We always knew this was where we really wanted to plant our roots," says Palmer, who lives nearby.
  • "We also love [the] idea of being in a living space, similar to the hotel, because we wanted it to feel homey for us and for those who live there but want to get out of their rooms for a bit."
  • "Donelson gives me the same warm and fuzzies that East Nashville did when I moved to Nashville in 2008," says Yeast Nashville owner Sara Way. "I'm excited to be in another community and get to fill bellies and to become friends with more peeps over there!"

State of play: Palmer says Bagelshop aims to open early next month.

  • HiFi opened in July, and SweetMilk soft-opened this month.
  • Yeast Nashville, which announced a Donelson location in October 2021, intends to open before Thanksgiving.

Driving the brews: Donelson is also developing its pick of coffee options. While Caliber Coffee serves Fredrichs for their drip, SweetMilk and Yeast Nashville both carry longtime local favorite Drew's Brews.

  • Bagelshop tested many roasters nationwide before landing on Atlanta's Chrome Yellow. Palmer says they knew it was a good fit from the first meeting.
  • "The coffee is out-of-this-world good, and the company really cares a lot about the coffee that they roast," he says. "We always wanted to bring something to Nashville that locals haven't been able to get anywhere else."

💭 Katie's thought bubble: My family and I grabbed brunch at SweetMilk last weekend.

  • While they're still working out some service kinks, the food made up for any delay. Not a crumb remained of our blueberry buttermilk pancake, country fried steak biscuit or Nonie Sue's Table (a classic Southern breakfast of farm eggs, bacon, hash browns, and biscuits).
  • As a thorough journalist, I've also been twice to HiFi. The Funfetti Bowie, HiFi's most popular cookie, is also a favorite in our house. I'd tell you about the Witchy Woman and Dracula's Wedding cookies, but, um, I'm not sure where they ran off to.
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