brown's art

The owners of Brown’s Diner have submitted plans to Metro for a series of upgrades to the property that include a temporary food truck.

A group of local real estate investors owns the property, having paid $1.5 million for it in early January. The transaction followed the sale of the iconic business itself in December 2020.

Bret Tuck, one of the original investors in Edley’s Bar-B-Que, owns the business and said he and the property owners envision a front deck, to be covered and heated and cooled, that will replace an existing patio. The patio has no covering and is essentially surrounded by an excessively tall wrought iron fence that suggests a cage when patrons are seated.

In addition, Tuck and the owners are hoping to temporarily add a food truck to serve as the Brown’s Diner kitchen while renovations are underway on the main kitchen. The trolley will sit to the left-front of the diner's entrance.

Brown’s opened its doors in 1927 and holds the longest-running valid beer license in Nashville. Metro records show that Oda Brown acquired the property in 1937. The business was named for Charlie Brown, Oda's then-husband. Brown's Diner began life at the Blair and 21st intersection site now home to The Kinnard's Building.

Tuck said the food truck will be called Trolley Brown, named to honor Charlie Brown. He added that no employees who worked at Brown’s when it was previously owned by Sandra Love and Jim Love have left the restaurant and bar business since he acquired it.

The property owners are seeking an exception related to building setback regulations and will go before the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals at an as-yet-determined date to request approval. The owners have enlisted Nashville-based Remick Architecture and the local office of Chicago-based engineering and land-planning company Alfred Benesch and Co. to assist in the effort.

Tuck said the interior renovations will improve the restrooms, kitchen functionality and energy efficiency and will not alter the eatery's vibe or overall space. In addition, Brown’s Diner will offer a breakfast menu all day.

Tuck said a cost to undertake the project is not being disclosed.

The address of the Hillsboro Village-area diner is 2102 Blair Blvd., with the business housed in a ramshackle former mule-drawn trolley car that is easily visible from bustling 21st Avenue South.

I began my journalism career in Nashville in 1990, with my current position with Nashville Post having evolved since October 2000 (when I was with the now-defunct The City Paper, a sister publication of the Post starting in 2008).

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