Article from Channel 5 News
by Chris Cannon
An empty warehouse just off Lafayette Street in Nashville will soon become the latest location for the entertainment and dining venue, City Winery.
The location was most recently the FAB Wholesale Warehouse, and sits next to the Nashville Rescue Mission.
City Winery's Nashville location will have a 350-seat music venue, a 150-seat restaurant, a winery and private party space. The owners are reportedly investing $5 million in the project.
"We think it's fantastic. It's been vacant now for a couple of months, so we are super excited," said Gayle Davis, owner of Hot Diggity Dog.
The small hot dog restaurant is located across the street from the new City Winery location. It has been operating on Ewing Avenue for ten years.
Davis said she had a lot vocal critics when she decided to open her business just steps from Lafayette Street.
"They thought I was completely crazy, they were just like naysayers," Davis explained.
A decade later her business has thrived, and Davis said the opening of Music City Center has only helped.
"We're two and a half blocks from the Music City Center, so I definitely think it's pushing the growth in this direction," Davis said.
Since plans for Music City Center were announced nearly four years ago, development in the area immediately surrounding the convention center has been brisk.
Now developers are looking to expand the footprint of expansion towards Lafayette Street.
"This is prime real estate dying to be better utilized and you're starting to see it now," said Butch Spyridon with the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation.
He said there is a lot of opportunity in the area between the convention center and Lafayette Street. According to Spyridon, the farther south you go, developers can find better prices for land.
"By being a pioneer, they have maybe a better business model, and they'll pave the way and it won't take long. Downtown can and should stretch to, and through, Lafayette," Spyridon said.
Work on City Winery will start in January, and should be completed in September. While the owners are outfitting the property with a winery, they will not be able to produce wine. Current state law prohibits that, but they are hopeful those laws will change in the near future.