Gray & Dudley, a new restaurant and lounge led by Executive Chef Levon Wallace, will open this spring at 21c Museum Hotel Nashville (221 2nd Ave. North), the seventh property developed by the award-winning Louisville-based boutique hotel, contemporary art museum and restaurant group.
The restaurant name is an homage to the building’s past life housing the Gray & Dudley Company, which redeveloped the building around 1899 using the first floor as its retail showroom and upper floors for wholesale hardware operations. The former use of the building provided inspiration to 21c and the design team led by Deborah Berke Partners as they reimagined the space as a restaurant and lounge, embracing and celebrating high and low, new and old.
The largely communal menu will offer guests the opportunity for shared experiences and culinary discovery, regardless of whether Gray & Dudley is their destination for social gatherings, special celebrations or casual bites. On any occasion, guests will receive heartfelt hospitality at every encounter. Wallace’s approach is eclectic with a variety of influences, inspired by the Mediterranean, regions of France and Italy and his own West Coast roots. Among the culinary techniques Wallace will showcase on his menu, the traditional hearth cooking used throughout these regions will shine. The market-driven menu will change frequently with a selection of dishes that are fresh, bright, simple and playful.
“The menu and experience we’re shaping at Gray & Dudley reflects my journey as a chef. It’s my coming of age,” said Wallace. “I’ve found inspiration in my heritage, my travels and this building, and it all amounts to creating a genuine experience for guests to enjoy at their own pace and without any level of pretense.”
Guests at Gray & Dudley can expect a thoughtfully curated list of classic cocktails and an informed and engaged staff to guide those who seek to venture beyond familiar territory. The wine list is also tightly focused, hinging on timeless standards, while still harboring a few surprises.
Wallace previously worked with 21c Museum Hotels in Louisville, when he joined Proof on Main in 2012. During his time at there, 21c Louisville was selected among Bon Appetit’s “10 Best Hotels for Food Lovers” and he was selected by Star Chefs as the 2014 Rising Star Chef. Wallace returned to 21c Museum Hotels in September after serving as the opening Executive Chef of James Beard Award winner Donald Link’s Cochon Butcher Nashville.
The front-of-house team at Gray & Dudley will be led by Food and Beverage Director Shane Batchelor, previously of Nashville’s Strategic Hospitality where he oversaw restaurant operations, employee training and development and brand growth. Batchelor will also oversee banquets, catering and in-room dining services.
Guests will enter Gray & Dudley via Banker’s Alley, between Second and Third Avenues in downtown Nashville. Inside, they’ll find a lively yet relaxed reprieve from the commotion of Broadway, and an ambiance that plays with the grit of the building’s history but maintains an element of sophistication. The east dining room, bar and lounge space soars with double-height ceilings, grounded by a custom wood and blackened steel bar with copper and zinc accents. The rich color palate and industrial materials juxtapose the space’s past and future. The west dining room is intimate, with a more refined décor of marble accents and softer materials. Two private dining rooms, with seating for 12-14, can be used in unison for casual or more ceremonious group outings. Large historic windows overlook an outdoor dining area on the alley, bringing renewed spirit to the underutilized downtown passage. Adjacent museum galleries showcasing contemporary art, including permanent site-specific installations and rotating curated exhibitions, will foster exploration over cocktails or following a meal. Gray & Dudley offers abundant opportunities for any type of dining experience.
Gray & Dudley will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily as well as weekend brunch, in addition to providing all banquet and catering services and in-room dining for 21c Nashville. For more information, visit GrayAndDudley.com or follow on Instagram @GrayandDudley.
Room reservations, packages, group bookings and events at 21c Nashville are now available for May 14, 2017 and beyond. For information or to book, visit www.21cNashville.com or call 615.610.6400.