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Back When a Chuckwagon Was a Chuckwagon

Back When a Chuckwagon Was a Chuckwagon

馃 Eating like a cowboy 路聽Who do you work for 路聽Tennessee's San Francisco 路聽Single stairwells 路 Much more!

Good afternoon, everyone.

The storms that rolled through last night seem to have spared most of Middle Tennessee. By the time you read this, most warnings will have expired. Looks like we鈥檒l get a sunny and cool Saturday for Steeplechase.

It wasn鈥檛 all benign, however: WSMV reported early this morning that about 11,000 homes in the area, mostly south of Nashville and between Columbia and Murfreesboro, are without power today, and in Maury County, one woman died and twelve others were injured.

The Cumberland is also 2 feet above flood stage. Not enough to cause damage, but that red, metal sculpture on the East Bank has water up under it.

Onward.

This past Saturday, Senator Frank Niceley threw open the gates to his hilltop farm for Frank鈥檚 Family Picnic. Aside from live music and enjoyable company, the function featured some very unique caterers. Town Creek Chuckwagon has been serving up old-fashioned cast-iron cooking for over a decade out of what is effectively a traveling antique show. While everyone in attendance enjoyed cornbread, beef stew, and 鈥渢he best beans [they鈥檇] ever had鈥 (I鈥檇 heard exactly this statement many times), I was fortunate enough to get some time with the wagon鈥檚 founder, Bart Saucier. We talked about the business, his grounded approach to recipe development and the history behind several items on their 130-year-old chuckwagon.

Saucier and the Town Creek crew have been serving up old-fashioned cowboy cuisine for over a decade, and the mastery of their craft is abundantly clear. What they鈥檙e accustomed to, says Saucier, is 鈥渁 lot of fifty-to-one hundred people events,鈥 like weddings, festivals, and family gatherings. Frank鈥檚 Family Picnic, however, saw an attendance of closer to 500 鈥 and Town Creek rose to the occasion. Keeping things simple for the larger crowd, the crew set two enormous cast-iron pots cooking over a fire to serve beef stew and pinto beans with ham.

Picnicgoers enjoyed seconds and thirds, praising the honed-in recipes all the while. When I asked Saucier about how they develop recipes, he told me it鈥檚 simply a matter of 鈥渢rial and error.鈥 Each time they cook, the crew gets together to make small adjustments. Rhonda, a member of the crew, stopped to apologize to me for the beans being 鈥渁 little too salty鈥 鈥 these being the very same that a dozen or more people remarked were the best they鈥檇 ever had.

Town Creek鈥檚 cheffing finesse doesn鈥檛 end at beans and stew. 鈥淲e cook a lot of bison,鈥 says Saucier, who has a deal with Lazy G Ranch in Cookeville. They love 鈥渢he novelty of it,鈥 he explains, and the opportunity to offer something a little different. On the last weekend of every October, you can find Town Creek right on Lazy G鈥檚 serving nothing but bison stew. Saucier says Frank鈥檚 Family Picnic will be the last event they cater for until the Fall, so anyone looking to give their food a try should mark their calendar.



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Nashville

馃洜锔 Who Do You Work For? Back in March, Councilmember Sandra Sepulveda filed a bill that would require annual disclosures from both Metro board and commission members. This Tuesday, she withdrew the legislation, but plans to come back with another bill in the future: 鈥淭here鈥檚 a list of items we鈥檙e going to be looking at.鈥

In April, two weeks after its filing, Sepulveda announced her intention to defer the bill. 鈥淸I] wanted to have it on the books to discuss in committee,鈥 she explained via X. 鈥淚 fully do not intend for the legislation to look like this at the end of the day.鈥 The bill鈥檚 broad language left many wondering which disclosures would be required of those filling these voluntary positions. 鈥淚 also don't want their spouses to file anything,鈥 she wrote. 鈥淚deally just need to file a general conflicts of interest.鈥

While a certain level of transparency is required of the mayor鈥檚 office and other elected officials, the Nashville Electric Service, the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency, and the Metropolitan Transit Authority are curiously exempt from such disclosures.

Now that the state has approved the creation of a new 鈥渁uthority,鈥 the East Bank Development Authority, it will be interesting to see how any future 鈥渄isclosure鈥 legislation would affect it if the council decides to codify its existence. The language in the bill passed by the state does not outline any restrictions on who can be appointed to the authority鈥檚 board, but does grant the council certain powers over the members, including the power to dismiss them. MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

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馃寜 Tennessee鈥檚 San Francisco Freddie O鈥機onnell got some national press coverage yesterday: Guardian US published an interview with the mayor, focusing on the relationship between Nashville and the state. O鈥機onnell, as ever the reasonable spokesperson for himself, kept it tame, noting that there are plenty of issues on which the city and state can successfully work together, such as infrastructure and economic development. In the interview, O鈥機onnell reiterated his commitment to delivering 鈥渉igh-quality city services.鈥 From a partisan perspective, there was very little attack surface.

Nonetheless, the Tennessee Star hung their hat on his description of the transit referendum as 鈥渧ery progressive,鈥 bringing into question the legality of the initiative under the state鈥檚 2017 IMPROVE Act. 鈥淚 do think it has come into vogue to run against Nashville, almost as if we were Tennessee鈥檚 San Francisco,鈥 O鈥機onnell mused about the negative Republican posture towards the city. 鈥淢aybe that gets you points in a rural Republican primary?鈥 DAVIS HUNT

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馃彔 Stairwells: Only One Way Out Sepulveda isn鈥檛 the only council member who pulled a bill off the docket. Councilmember Rollin Horton withdrew one of his NEST bills that, if passed, would have allowed for single-exit safety stairways in buildings up to six stories. 鈥淪ince this bill was introduced, the Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill addressing these types of structures and setting up minimum safety conditions,鈥 Horton said. He went on to explain that he鈥檒l draw up an alternative bill once Metro Government and fire professionals ensure it's in alignment with the new construction safety standards.

The bill he鈥檚 referring to is quite similar to his own legislation, and allows the state fire marshal to sign off on single-exit stairwells for buildings up to six stories if certain conditions are met. One important stipulation is that it prohibits 鈥渁 utility system from requiring a property owner to construct or pay for construction of off-site utility improvements,鈥 explained Sen. Richard Briggs (R-Knoxville) from the Senate floor on April 9th. Given that Metro Nashville has established a Stormwater Capacity Fee and toyed with the idea of tacking on a one-time stormwater utility permit fee for any future developments that plug into Metro鈥檚 water and sewer system, Horton may have to take a closer look at his bill. MEGAN PODSIEDLIK

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馃敘 Some Data to Ponder Tennesseans for Student Success conducted a poll of 4,000 respondents, revealing that improving education in the state is a higher priority than protecting gun rights. The Tennessee Firefly, a product of TSS, ran with that headline stat in their reporting. But I found the top priority most interesting: immigration reform. Second to that, 64 percent of respondents said we should raise academic standards in public schools.

The median home price in Nashville exceeded $500,000 for the first time last month, according to a Greater Nashville Realtors release. In April 2023, the median home price was $468,300.

And, finally, a report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis reveals that Tennessee鈥檚 economy continues to outpace the national average. Since 2017, Tennessee鈥檚 GDP has grown 3 percent yearly compared to the country average of 2.2 percent. Most of this growth has concentrated in Middle Tennessee. DAVIS HUNT

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DEVELOPMENT

  • Fonda 12 South opens in the former Josephine space (NBJ)
  • Airport-area property home to Amazon sells for $76.2M (Post)
Entertainment

THINGS TO DO

View our calendar for the week here and our weekly film rundown here.

馃搮 Visit our On The Radar list to find upcoming events around Nashville.

馃帶 On Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week.

馃懆馃徎鈥嶐煂 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide and yearly festival guide.

TONIGHT

馃幐 T-Bone Burnett @ The Blue Room, 8p, $79.90, Info

馃幓 Amos Lee with the Nashville Symphony @ Schermerhorn Symphony Center, 7:30p, $59+, Info

馃崁 Live Irish Music @ McNamara鈥檚 Irish Pub, 6p, Free, Info

馃幐 Kelly鈥檚 Heroes @ Robert鈥檚 Western World, 6:30p, Free, Info

馃幐 Open Mic @ Fox & Locke, 6:30p, Free, Info
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