Back before the Titans started doing whatever it is they do — ostensibly it is “football,” but sometimes we wonder — the most exciting thing going on the East Bank was watching the barges get launched.
It was beautiful in that Industrial Age way: metric tons of steel, utilitarian monuments to American labor and naked capitalism. Slowly at first, the cables loosening and then faster, faster toward the waterline, splashing down, a wave erupting and the barge righting itself on its well-worked keel.
There are overhead shots from the glory days of the Nashville Wharf, barges lined up in perfect rows on the shore, readying for their maiden voyage.
Those days are over, of course. The only brutal, efficient beauty on the East Bank now is the Titans rushing game (when it works). The Nashville Bridge Company (NaBriCo) is gone, its launching spectacle a thing of sepia-toned photographs.
But the skeleton of NaBriCo’s headquarters still remains. Three buildings in one, flush against the walking bridge.
It will dominate the new Adventure Play Park, the linchpin of the riverfront development plan.
The rehab of NaBriCo was always intended to transform the old building for future use as Parks Department offices with restrooms and a snack bar for the play park. But last week, another new use was announced: a “locally owned, Nashville flavored restaurant with space for live music acts,” according to MDHA.
Dining options in the area are sorely needed, so this is a welcome addition. And perhaps the Unnamed Eatery will draw office dwellers across the bridge, encourage some pedestrian activity and get the mayor off our back about exercising.
Other than the revelation that live music will be on the agenda, not much else is out there about this new restaurant. What will it serve? How much will it cost? Will there be three vegetables with every meat?
It will certainly have quite a view: an unencumbered look across the Cumberland to Nashville’s skyline, regarded as one of the best vistas in the city — a panoramic picture of modern Nashville from inside a century-old cenotaph marking its past.