Axios Nashville

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It is Friday. You know what that means.

  • Today's weather: There's an 80% chance of rain, including the possibility of thunderstorms tonight. High of 80.

🎂 Happy early birthday to our Axios Nashville members Richard Riebeling, Linda Wesson and J.T. DuBois!

Today's newsletter is 908 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Nashville is in a bagel boom

The everything bagel with chipotle chicken salad at Crieve Hall Bagel Co. Photo: Adam Tamburin/Axios

From Donelson to West Nashville, some of the buzziest restaurants in town are new bagel shops boasting long lines, creative schmears and satisfying sandwiches.

Why it matters: For many years, Nashville was a relative bagel desert, but that's a thing of the past.

Flashback: Proper Bagel in the Belmont area earned a loyal following, and the O.G. Star Bagel Cafe held down the fort in Sylvan Park. But considering Nashville's booming culinary scene, it was rather odd to see so few bagel shops.

Dig in: The problem has been solved over the last few years, and the newcomers are spread out across the city — meaning there's probably a worthwhile option near you.

  • Here are four relatively new bagel shops we visited this week.

🥯 Crieve Hall Bagel Co.

Shoutout to Axios Nashville pal Lizzy A. for suggesting Crieve Hall Bagel Co. as the meeting spot for a recent catch-up session.

  • The only thing more enjoyable than swapping old newsroom stories was the bagels. Nate ordered a simple cinnamon sugar bagel, while Adam went with a chipotle chicken salad on an everything bagel.
  • A second location in the Inglewood neighborhood is in the pipeline.

The buzz: Crieve Hall Bagel Co. was born out of a love of sourdough. (NewsChannel 5)

A display case of schmears at Benji's Bagel & Coffee House
The display case of schmears at Benji's Bagel & Coffee House. Photo: Courtesy of Alison Carmona Rau

🥯 Benji's Bagel & Coffee House

A hallmark of Nashville's cool new bagel shops has been long lines of loyal patrons clamoring for their morning fix.

  • Benji's displays its variety of cream cheese schmears in a glass case, ice cream shop-style.
  • Nate's better half Ali recommends the spicy cucumber dill.

The buzz: Benji's Bagel & Coffee House has seen lines grow since opening in January. (Tennessean)

🥯 Bagelshop

Donelson has one of the fastest-growing neighborhood food scenes in Nashville, and Bagelshop is one of the most popular newcomers.

  • The Really Hot Roast Beef sandwich — which comes with jalapeños, pickles and horsey cream cheese — was the perfect lunch for Nate this week. Although it packs some heat, it wasn't too hot, like the name suggests.

The buzz: Bagelshop launched its Donelson location in December with neighbors in mind. (WKRN)

🥯 All or Nothing Bagels

Leave it to Nashville to make the parking lot of a drum store the epicenter of its growing breakfast and coffee options.

  • Weak Coffee Co. operates out of a kiosk inside Nelson Drum Shop. Weak is known for its creative lattes and loyal customers, who gather with their coffees at picnic tables outside the shop.
  • At the other end of the parking lot is the purveyor of the best bagel we had during our Bagel Bonanza this week: All or Nothing Bagels.
  • They keep it simple, as the name suggests, pairing your choice of everything or plain bagels with a delightful list of schmear options. The coconut cream schmear was all Nate could think about this week.

The buzz: All or Nothing was named best new bagel shop last year. (Nashville Scene)

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2. O'Connell unveils his first budget

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Nashville Mayor Freddie O'Connell released his $3.28 billion budget proposal on Wednesday, telling Metro Council the city must "live within our means."

Why it matters: O'Connell isn't asking for a property tax increase. Although he proposed new investments in schools, affordable housing and employee raises, O'Connell also directed departments to achieve 1.4% savings next fiscal year.

Zoom in: O'Connell committed $30 million to the Barnes Housing Trust Fund for affordable housing. He also earmarked $18 million for new Metro Nashville Public Schools textbooks.

  • Kevin Crumbo, O'Connell's top financial adviser, forecast a trying budget cycle due to relatively flat revenue projections. The biggest question before the release of O'Connell's first budget as mayor was whether city workers would receive pay raises.
  • O'Connell proposed 3.5% cost-of-living pay increases and funds for merit-based raises.

The intrigue: Metro Councilmember Delishia Porterfield, who holds the influential position of budget and finance committee chair, described the mayor's budget as "living within our means while trying to do as much as we can for people."

What we're watching: On the campaign trail, O'Connell promised to create a standalone agency for trash and recycling collection.

  • His proposed budget earmarks new jobs as the city moves toward creating that agency.

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3. The Setlist: Morales passes the torch

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🚌 The anti-tax advocacy group Americans For Prosperity won't oppose Mayor O'Connell's transportation proposal. (Nashville Banner)

🎤 Morgan Wallen, who's in the midst of a three-show run at Nissan Stadium, waived his right to appear in court to face charges stemming from allegations that he threw a chair off a lower Broadway honky-tonk roof. (Tennessean)

🍽️ Tom Morales, the Nashville restaurant and hospitality executive, is handing control of his company TomKats to his children. (Nashville Business Journal, subscription)

4. Preds look to stay alive

The Predators' Roman Josi skates with the puck during Game 4 against Vancouver. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Predators followed up their devastating Game 4 loss with a thrilling victory in Vancouver on Tuesday to keep their season alive.

  • The win improved the Predators' all-time record in playoff elimination games to 7-15.

What's next: Nashville hosts Vancouver for Game 6 at Bridgestone Arena tonight.

  • You can take in the impossibly fun playoff atmosphere even if you don't have a ticket.
  • The Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. is hosting a viewing party at Walk of Fame Park beginning at 4pm today.

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5. The Friday News Quiz

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

We're taking another swing at stumping all you smartypants.

  1. What's the name of the independent music venue that launched a fundraising drive?
  2. Is overall bus ridership in Nashville higher or lower than it was in 2014?
  3. What was the focus of CDC director Mandy Cohen's speech in Nashville this week?

Our picks:

Nate is proud of his son Everett, who is writing a delightful short story about a superhero named Potato Chip Man, who solves food-related mysteries all over the city.

Adam is still in New York on an all-fry diet.

This newsletter was edited by Jen Ashley and copy edited by Katie Lewis.