Provence Breads and Cafe has opened its long-awaited Green Hills location. Not only is it a highly visible spot on Hillsboro Road in the posh new Hill Center strip, but the new store also is poised to offer some things the original cafe doesn't have: wine and super-premium frozen yogurt.
The new location quietly opened its doors Saturday in the semicircular corner spot between Anthropologie and California Pizza Kitchen.
Initially, it will offer the Provence basics: soups, sandwiches, panini, coffee and desserts, and loaves of bread to take home. Wine is expected to arrive within a month, along with cheese sampler plates.
Another big part of the concept is Italian-inspired gourmet frozen yogurt. A high-tech apparatus from Italy is expected to be up and running within a month to dispense the product, which is already available at Provence's location on Vanderbilt's Peabody campus (230 Appleton Place, 322-8887).
The frozen yogurt has an especially smooth texture thanks to nitrogen-freeze technology. The result is similar to the Pinkberry concept available in other cities, though Provence owner Terry Carr-Hall says his version is better. (He's given it the brand name Yumi Yo.)
The coffee, meanwhile, also has an Italian influence. The Green Hills store has a fancy La Marzocco espresso machine, said to enhance the artistry of the barista (as opposed to the push-button machines some coffeehouses use).
The new store is a sunny space that seats 36. Another 22 can sit on the patio, which is sure to be a popular spot, drawing from well-heeled Green Hills neighbors as well as the food fanatics who shop at nearby Whole Foods Market.
For now, the cafe closes in the early evening, but Carr-Hall says he'll extend hours soon to catch the after-dinner dessert and wine crowd.
Provence Breads & Cafe, 4031 Hillsboro Road, suite 905, 385-1400, www.provencebreads.com. Hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.
Listening Room moves
The Listening Room Cafe, a restaurant and live music venue, has relocated from Franklin to downtown Nashville. The cafe has taken over the former Kazu space in Cummins Station on 10th Avenue South off Demonbreun Street.
In a move that's rare for the neighborhood, owners Chris Blair and Mark Craven are serving three meals a day. (Well, it's rare during the work week, anyway.) They do light breakfast (pastries, yogurt parfaits and egg sandwiches), lunch and dinner. In the evenings, the cafe shifts gears and puts the focus on live music from singer-songwriters.
There's an espresso bar serving gourmet coffee (the restaurant has its own blend from Bongo Java), along with a full bar that offers 40 different beers and 40-45 wines, at least 15 of which are available by the glass.
Craven and his wife, Tracy, opened the original Listening Room in Franklin in 2006. After teaming with Blair, they closed that location and reopened the much bigger Nashville venue in early September. Blair says they did a major renovation of the Cummins Station space, taking out walls and creating a stage. He says they took particular care to ensure good acoustics.
Blair describes the music concept as similar to Bluebird Cafe, with songwriter rounds.
The menu is mostly sandwiches (some served steamed), wraps and burgers.
The Listening Room Cafe, 209 10th Ave. S., 259-3600. Hours: 8 a.m.-midnight Monday-Friday; 6 p.m.-midnight Saturday. To see the menu, visit www.listeningroomcafe.com. The music schedule is at www.myspace.com/thelisteningroomcafenashville.