In 2021, we had the opportunity to build out an upscale Tex-Mex restaurant, Blanco Cocina + Cantina, in the brand new downtown retail development Fifth + Broadway. We worked with well-known restaurateur Sam Fox of Fox Restaurant Concepts to construct the concept designed by Nashville-based Gresham Smith and Partners and Scottsdale, AZ-based Testani Design Troupe. It was the first restaurant to open its doors in the new retail center, which only added to the excitement of the project.
The 5,000-square-foot space features salado white limestone walls; a Euro-Wall sliding/stacking windows system; Latilla wood ceilings made from dried, wooden pine poles; blackened steel; and booths lined with brightly colored fabric. Other notable design elements include a suspended bar for liquor storage and speaker boxes with perforated steel and steel trim.
The focal point of the space is the view overlooking Lower Broadway from large front windows – right across the street from Bridgestone Arena. The front entrance is adorned with a large, LED “Blanco” sign.
We hit a few COVID-related challenges along the way, such as electrical delays due to the temporary shutdown of the factory that makes the electrical panels we had ordered. However, once we got the panels in, we doubled the manpower and worked around the clock to get the electricity installed. Otherwise, the project went off with very few challenges.
Now, guests can take a break from shopping to enjoy Blanco’s full menu of gourmet, Tex-Mex-inspired dishes as well as hand-crafted cocktails made with fresh-squeezed juices – all within this beautifully designed restaurant space and state-of-the-art retail center in the heart of downtown Nashville.