Lamenting the loss of icons

Friday, July 22, 2011 at 11:11am

There’s nothing quite like Elliston Place Soda Shop’s traditional diner confines. Even poorly crafted milkshakes or mealy mashed potatoes — though neither is ever a problem — would be delicious in this space. 

The little soda shop/meat-and-three has operated from its space for 72 years. A business that still flourishes after seven decades — even had it simply manufactured doorknobs — deserves at the very least a citizenry’s patronage, all emotions being equal.

With the recent scare that this beloved Nashville institution would close (it’s not, after all), The City Paper decided to take time to lament the losses during the past 12 months of five local treasures that operated for 15 years or more.  

1. Davis-Kidd Booksellers. True, The Mall at Green Hills iteration lacked the welcoming vibe of its predecessor at Grace’s Plaza. And its non-book offerings seemed excessive and vanilla. But, hey, this was Davis-Kidd, the best bookstore (sorry, Mills and Zibart’s) Nashville has ever known.

2. The Great Escape Midtown. A certain City Paper editorial type is rumored to have shed a few tears after his last trip to this venerable former Midtown pop-culture staple, whose musty innards, odd layout and emphasis on vinyl simply magnified its cool quotient. Yes, the “replacement Great Escape” on Charlotte Avenue continues to improve its interior. But quirky it is not, and plentiful parking does not compensate for a suburban locale. 

3. Mulligan’s Pub. With its cramped quarters, Celtic music (often live), tiny rooms and intimate bar, Mulligan’s ranked among the city’s most distinctive watering holes. More importantly, the Second Avenue pub offered a refreshing alternative to the more standard bars that dominate downtown’s The District. We miss ye, lad.

4. OutLoud!. This comprehensive GLBT bookstore was arguably the anchor tenant along the Church Street stretch some respectfully refer to as Midtown’s “Gay District.” Can that district recover from this major loss? 

5. DaVinci’s Gourmet Pizza. Some swear DaVinci’s was unrivaled for its stellar pie in a homey place. We agree.