21c Museum Hotels, the award-winning Louisville-based boutique hotel, contemporary art museum and restaurant group, announced Monday the appointment of Levon Wallace as executive chef of its forthcoming restaurant, which will be located in 21c Museum Hotel Nashville (221 Second Avenue North). The as-yet-unnamed restaurant is scheduled to open spring 2017 near the city's Printer's Alley district.
Wallace previously worked with 21c Museum Hotels in Louisville, when he joined Proof on Main in 2012, succeeding opening executive chef Michael Paley. During his time at Proof on Main, 21c Louisville was selected among Bon Appetit's "10 Best Hotels for Food Lovers" and he was selected as the 2014 Rising Star Chef from Star Chefs. Wallace returns to 21c Museum Hotels after serving as the opening executive chef of Cochon Butcher Nashville.
"The creative vision that 21c brings to its properties is something that has always been a source of inspiration in my cooking and approach to leadership," Wallace says. "I'm excited, energized and looking forward to returning to 21c to be a part of that vision here in my current home of Nashville. I have developed great relationships with local farmers and purveyors and look forward to showcasing the region's extraordinary agricultural pantry and working with a terrific team."
Wallace will shape the 21c Nashville dining experience with his distinctive interpretation of a market-driven menu that will change frequently. In addition to the daily breakfast, lunch and dinner service and weekend brunch, Wallace will oversee private events and in-room dining for 21c Museum Hotel Nashville.
"Levon Wallace and 21c Museum Hotel Nashville are a perfect marriage," says Sarah Robbins, chief hospitality officer for 21c Museum Hotels. "In many ways, his cooking is a reflection of his soul. He's really put down roots in Nashville—the South has truly become home for this California native—and you'll see his unique mix of influences play out on the menu. We're excited for Levon to return to our team, bringing his soulful, honest and playful cooking to 21c Nashville and making 21c Nashville an unexpected destination for locals and visitors alike."
Guests will enter the new restaurant via Banker's Alley, between Second and Third Avenues. Inside, they'll find a space and menu that plays with both the grit of the building's history and the restaurant's location on the alley, but with an element of unexpected sophistication. The restaurant's retained original features reference the building's history as a hardware store and warehouse, while a variety of spaces offer opportunities for both lively social gatherings and intimate shared meals. The east dining room bar and lounge space offers double-height ceilings with a palette of rich colors with wood and steel accents. The intimate west dining room offers a more refined décor, with marble accents and softer materials. Adjacent museum galleries showcasing contemporary art, including permanent site-specific installations and rotating curated exhibitions, will foster exploration over cocktails or following a meal.