BOBBY KARL WORKS THE ROOM
I think I’ve had a taste of the music biz’s next restaurant hot spot.
Fin & Pearl staged its preview party in the Gulch on Friday evening (Dec. 2). I declare the venue has “hit” written on it. Why?
First of all, it is the latest venture of the great Tom Morales. His TomKats catering company has serviced more than 2,000 superstar Hollywood movies. Plus he is mega connected with the Nashville music industry, partly thanks to his sometime partner, former CMA honcho Steve Moore.
Second of all, Fin & Pearl is located in the ground floor of the 12th Avenue South building that is now home to Sony Music Nashville and will house WME and several other music endeavors. Third of all, it is specializing in seafood, which we need on the Nashville dining scene.
Fourth of all is the forecast suggested by the attendees: The industry turned out en masse for the eatery’s event “with hosted drinks and bites.” Bobby Karl went to the gig just to see and congratulate Tom. We wound up working the entire room.
That’s because Patrick Clifford, Bob Titley, Drew Alexander (promoting a Monday eve Basement East gig featuring Dylan Scott with Curb songwriters including Will Nance, Ruthie Collins and Bobby Tomberlin), Toni Thomas, Manuel, architect Seab Tuck (wearing a stylish, steel-gray Manuel jacket), Robert Ellis Orrall, Hank Adam Locklin, Kathy Hooper Wright, and Tom’s fellow music-biz restaurateur Randy Rayburn were making merry. And that was just in the first hour.
Randy Talmadge & Trav Livingston were schmoozing, too. The veteran publishers have moved back to Music City after spending the past decade in Palm Desert, California. She hated it there.
Included in Randy’s catalog are the timeless songs Trav’s father Jay Livingston wrote with Ray Evans – “Mona Lisa,” “Dear Heart,” “Silver Bells” (160 million records have been sold of this Christmas classic), “Tammy,” “Buttons and Bows,” “Que Sera Sera,” “To Each His Own” and the like. There are 26 Livingston & Evans songs that have sold more than a million records apiece.
We entered and left the gig arm-in-arm with mighty producer Mark Bright. “Great minds think alike,” he commented about our coincidental identical scheduling.
Fifth of all, is the fabulous menu. The “bites” included lobster BLTs, crab & avocado crostini, shrimp (both cocktail and fried), crab dip & won-ton, chicken-caesar egg rolls, smoked-salmon crostini and tenderloin beef with crab paste on toast, plus a raw-oyster bar with all the trimmings. There were also a number of specialty cocktails offered.
The décor is gleaming moderne, with butcher-block tabletops and faux vintage ceiling-fixture globes. Glass walls on two sides offer views of Gulch nightlife. A large, antique, neon sign states “Seafood Café” in the middle of the dining room. Partygoers took turns taking selfies with it. An expansive central bar offers a convivial environment for many.
Fin & Pearl is billed as, “Nashville’s premier sea-to-fork restaurant.” Tom Morales also operates Acme Feed & Seed on Broadway, The Loveless Café on Highway 100, The Southern on 3rd Avenue downtown and Saffire at The Factory in Franklin. Both Acme and Saffire double as live-music venues.