Deb Paquette, former chef/owner of Nashville restaurant Zola, has partnered with Doug Hogrefe and Paul Schramkowski, owners of several restaurants throughout the Southeast including Amerigo, to develop Echo, a new restaurant located on the ground floor of the Encore building in SoBro.
The 4000-square-foot restaurant will seat 150, with a private dining room, full bar, outdoor patio and an open kitchen with bar-style seating, allowing the guests to interact with the chef and her kitchen.
“I’ve been pestering Deb about doing this for over a year,” Hogrefe said in a release. “She finally gave in. I couldn’t be happier to be partnering with someone whom I consider to be one of the best chefs in the country. We hope to make Nashville proud with this new venture.”
Paquette is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. She has been featured in Bon Appétit and Southern Living and on the Discovery Channel’s Best Chefs of the South. Gourmet magazine once named Zola one of the 60 best restaurants in the United States.
“I can’t wait.” Paquette said in the release. “What an opportunity to be a part of a growing downtown and to return to a fabulous kitchen. I am so ready to have people’s taste buds dancing like crazy.”
The architect on the project is Barry Brechak of Barry Brechak Architecture & Design, with interiors by Laret Casella. The restaurant is slated to open in March of 2012.
“I told Deb that I wanted to give her the restaurant of her dreams,” Schramkowski said in the release, “a restaurant where all she had to focus on was great food, and let us worry about the front of house, the administrative concerns, and all the details that can burden a chef/owner.”