Fort Louise, Nashville’s Friendly Chef-Driven Restaurant Officially Opens it’s Doors in Inglewood on Friday July 14th
New East Nashville Neighborhood Eatery Helmed by Local Nashville Talent & Nationally Acclaimed Chef Serves Up Lunch, Dinner, Saturday & Sunday Weekend Brunch and Al Fresco Cocktails
NASHVILLE, TN (July 12, 2017)—Located in East Nashville’s Inglewood neighborhood, local entrepreneur Jessica Bower and acclaimed Chicago Chef Greg Biggers (McCrady’s, TRU, Morimoto) announce a friendly spin on American comfort cuisine by introducing Fort Louise (1304 McGavock Pike), which officially opens its doors to the public for dinner at 5pm on Friday, July 14th, 2017. Presenting a menu of snacks, salads and large plates, Fort Louise is a cozy 1,400 square foot passion project for Chef Biggers, who— together with proprietor and current Nashvillian Jessica Bower, as well as newly announced chef de cuisine Jonathan Hawks—imparts guests with a casual dinner party atmosphere. Located in a former residential house outfitted for open-air dining on its generous back porch, Fort Louise is a welcoming neighborhood destination for lunch and dinner, as well as Saturday and Sunday weekend brunch.
THE TALENT: Inglewood resident and co-owner Jessica Bower – who also owns East Nashville’s Steluta, a lifestyle boutique with clothing, jewelry and apothecary items – continues to show her personal passion towards the bourgeoning district by opening Fort Louise. With this project, she leverages her top front-of-house hospitality experience honed at acclaimed restaurants such as Charleston’s FIG and Pittsburgh’s James Beard-nominated Dinette.
Bower turned to her hometown friend and current top Chicago-based chef Greg Biggers to lead the new restaurant’s culinary program as Chef/Partner. Biggers has spent nearly two decades working alongside an impressive portfolio of chef talents in some of the most acclaimed kitchens in the country. From Charleston’s world-class McCrady’s with Michael Kramer, Chicago’s 4-star TRU with Rick Tramonto, and Philadelphia’s Morimoto—Biggers is currently Executive Chef of Chicago’s Cafe des Architectes at the Sofitel Hotel and will remain in this position as he takes on this Nashville passion project on his own. Biggers joins newly appointed Chef de Cuisine, Jonathan Hawks in the kitchen at Fort Louise. Hawks most recently served as the Executive Chef of the iconic Captiol Grille at Nashville’s The Hermitage Hotel, and previously led kitchens at Charleston’s historic The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel, Kiawah Island Golf resort, Brays Island Planation and more.
“It’s no secret my background is focused in fine-dining,” Alabama-native Chef Biggers said. “I’m ready to try something a little different, something much more personal to me. I’ve been buttoned up throughout my career, but now I’m ready to loosen things up a bit. Fort Louise is a true reflection of my style, using everything I’ve learned along the way.”
THE SPACE + BACK PORCH PATIO: A former residential house substantially remodeled to accommodate a chef-caliber kitchen and charming back porch for relaxed al fresco dining, the standalone concept recreates the same atmosphere as a dinner party at a friend’s home. The large and enclosed patio includes bench seating and lush green planters, serving as a comfortable open-air gathering spot for prime dining and drinking in the warmer months--whether grabbing a 6-pack of fresh oysters washed down by a frozen rosé cocktail, or settling in for a full meal.
THE FOOD: Described by Chef Biggers as “a friendly spin on American comfort cuisine,” the tastefully abbreviated Fort Louise menu highlights playful renditions of surprising snacks, salads, and large-plate entreés including Monkey Bread served with a beef-fat candle, Curry Fried Chicken Bucket with Tasmanian honey and benne seed corn bread and Crispy Deviled Eggs with pickled red onion, candied bacon and jalapeño, among others for lunch and dinner. Weekend brunch offerings include a Hashbrown Waffle with poached eggs, hollandaise and Gruyere cheese, Challah French Toast with a cream cheese glaze, strawberries and candied pecans, as well as many more dishes.
THE DRINKS: Refined craft cocktail selections include the ever-tangy Magnolia Bee’s Knees, mixed with gin, lemon syrup and elderflower liqueur, the hearty Smokin’ Post with Scotch, chamomile and bitters as well as an updated classic with Louise’s 7 & 7 with 7UP, Rittenhouse Rye and lemon bitters. The Fort Louise beverage program is anchored by The Test, a shareable “ewer of punch” made with lemon juice, pineapple, coconut rum and dark rum. It’s inspired by the Greek goddess Iris, known for carrying a magical ewer of water responsible for knocking out “anyone untrue” who took a sip. In addition to classic and craft beer selections, the beverage program’s focused wine list includes a South African Sauvignon Blanc, a French rosé as well as half-bottle cans of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris from Oregon.
THE NAME: The name Fort Louise has multiple meanings for the duo. Biggers’s mother is named Louise, it’s a nod to the historical roots of the area, and also a reference to what Bower lovingly calls her own Inglewood home, “Fort Bower.”
HOURS: Fort Louise is open for lunch, Tuesday through Friday, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Dinner hours are Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. with dinner on Friday and Saturday running from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m and the restaurant is closed on Monday.
Follow Fort Louise on Instagram @hungrylikeafort or www.hungrylikeafort.com for more details.
ABOUT CHEF/PARTNER GREG BIGGERS: Fort Louise Chef/Partner Greg Biggers has spent nearly two decades working alongside an impressive portfolio of chef talents in some of the most acclaimed kitchens in the country. From Charleston’s world-class McCrady’s with Michael Kramer, Chicago’s 4-star TRU with Rick Tramonto, and Philadelphia’s Morimoto—Biggers is currently Executive Chef of Chicago’s Cafe des Architectes at the Sofitel Hotel. He’s recently been named a Rising Star Chef from StarChefs.com and earned the Mobile AAA 5 Diamond award two years in a row. A leader in his field, Greg has been granted numerous specialized food program certifications, allowing him to make a variety of cave aged cheeses, cured meats and salumis, house made vinegars, fermented mustards and canned jams and pickles. He’s a top trainer for HACCP approved food programs and has worked to certify some of the best chefs and restaurants in Chicago, including Stephanie Izard’s Duck Duck Goat, Paul Kahan’s Publican Quality Bread, BOKA, North Pond and more. Although he remains at Sofitel in Chicago full-time, Biggers now swaps out the white tablecloths and the formal chef's coat and throws on an apron and a 90s punk band t-shirt to launch Fort Louise—his very own cozy, neighborhood side-project in Nashville with friend and partner Jessica Bower.
ABOUT JESSICA BOWER: Hailing from a family of entrepreneurs that taught her the value of hard work, Florence Alabama native Jessica Bower has paved her way to success through a variety of industries, positions and passions. Taking up residence across the globe in spots such as Charleston, Southern France, Bologna, Pittsburgh, and now planting her roots in Nashville, this self-made hustler kicked off her career by studying Fundamental Arts Management. She then pursued her master’s degree in Italy, received a full ride for an honors program in International Arts and Cultural Heritage Management, spent a summer in Paris at an arts magazine as an editorial assistant and then became a professor, spending time working in the education department at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Most recently, she opened Steluta, a lifestyle boutique in Nashville’s up and coming Inglewood neighborhood in 2016. Throughout all the twists and turns of her career, she’s always somehow found time to pursue her love for food and dining. Whether taking on an intense and accelerated curriculum at pastry school in France, or working front of house jobs at acclaimed restaurants such as Charleston’s FIG or Pittsburgh’s James Beard nominated Dinette, Bower has been around the world and back again with hospitality running through her blood. Recognizing the potential of the thriving Inglewood area of Nashville, Bower kept her eyes peeled for the perfect spot to finally open her own restaurant concept, and just a few months later, she signed the lease for Fort Louise—a friendly, neighborhood eatery that is opening doors in East Nashville in 2017.