The Finch – American Grill – Hires General Manager as it Eyes Early 2024 Opening in Historic Building at Union Station

Milkshake Concepts to set anchor in historic complex and fuse upscale and approachable dining; Ben Rodriguez, a veteran general manager, to lead American Grill as general manager.

NASHVILLE, TN – Milkshake Concepts, the experiential hospitality group known for significant investments in Nashville’s culinary and hospitality scene including one of the city’s most popular steakhouses, Harper’s, is preparing for an early 2024 opening of its next main attraction, The Finch, an elegant yet casual American Grill, within the historic Union Station complex.

Suitable for both relaxed encounters and formal engagements, The Finch is an all-day oasis of culinary craft and casual sophistication, offering lunch, dinner, happy hour, brunch, and kids’ menus.

Standouts from the wide-spanning menu include the Volcano Rock Shrimp, a daily selection of fresh oysters, Honey Sriracha Glazed Salmon, and Steak Frites made with Black Angus New York strip steak accompanied by their famous house l'entrecôte sauce. Additional favorites include signature entrées such as Wagyu Short Ribs and an unforgettable Smash Burger.

“Elegant yet approachable, The Finch will be your anytime escape from the bustle and grind,” said Imran Sheikh, Co-Founder & CEO at Milkshake Concepts. “We’re thrilled for The Finch to soon become a new centralized community gathering spot for any occasion while breathing new life into a historic and beloved building.”

The Finch will be led by general manager Ben Rodriguez. Rodriguez has worked in hospitality for over 20 years in NYC, Austin, and Detroit. For the last 11 years he has been part of the growing restaurant scene in Nashville, most recently as general manager of Sunda. He and his wife also owned and operated a small gourmet store and cafe outside of Nashville.

“Ben is a seasoned hospitality leader and the perfect person to lead the opening of this dynamic restaurant brand at this iconic location,” added Sheikh.

Rodriguez will oversee the 6,896-square-foot space, which formerly housed Flying Saucer Draught Emporium and has been comprehensively renovated to reflect the historic character of the 123-year-old Union Station Baggage Building, infusing it with new life and vibrancy. 

“In design, our overall goal was to hold, maintain and honor the character of the historic building while adding beautiful furniture, lighting, and décor to create the ideal everyday dining destination,” added Sheikh.

Franklin-based Barnett Design Group spearheaded the remodel, crafting a breezy and laidback aesthetic, with elegant accents to elevate the space. White oak furnishings are complemented by marble-topped bars throughout the restaurant, while bird-feather wallpaper, gold-toned fixtures and blue slate accents tie in The Finch’s signature style. Three massive mirrors reflect the train yard, pulling the property’s history into the space. A large, central marble-topped bar anchors the room, along with a raw bar and encasing accordion-style windows.

The Union Station complex, including the Baggage Building, opened on Oct 9, 1900, a stunning example of late-Victorian Romanesque Revival architecture with high towers reminiscent of European castles. Union Station became a historic landmark in 1976 and remains registered on the National Register of Historic Places for its relevance to the city of Nashville and the state of Tennessee.

The Finch will open in early 2024, paying homage to the past while charting an exciting future built around community and memorable experiences.

About Milkshake Concepts

Milkshake Concepts, founded by Imran Sheikh, Asim Sheikh, and James Faller, is an experiential hospitality group redefining the industry with multifaceted restaurants and nightlife. Based in Dallas, the group’s current brands include Harper’s, STIRR, Vidorra, The Finch, Citizen, Serious Pizza, and Dirty Bones, with several additional concepts in development. In 2023, the group opened Harper’s Steakhouse in Nashville’s Peabody Plaza and looks forward to continuing their expansion in the greater Nashville area. Milkshake Concepts has found success spanning many categories, from fast-casual to full-service and luxury nightlife, by constantly pushing the envelope on what is popular and expected.