Any Tennessee Titan fan is familiar with #53, All-Pro Linebacker Keith Bulluck, who was a part of the original dream team that made all of us fall for NFL Sundays. Since his days on the field, he’s been busy raising three adorable girls with his savvy wife, Heather. Recently, they’ve entered a new chapter in launching their own business in the developing complex, McEwen Northside in Cool Springs (hint, it’s one of our own top finds in this neighborhood below). With a charity component that serves worthwhile causes and a steady stream of coffee-loving customers, the Bullucks are loved by neighbors and visitors alike. They’ve lived in the area for several years (after residing in San Francisco and New York as well as Nashville), and have no intentions of leaving anytime soon. Here are a few of their top haunts and habits in and around the neighborhood.
Why They Chose to Live Here:
The distance makes it easy to get into the city but it’s far enough away not to feel crowded. We love the fresh air and how kind people are. Despite the lack of ethnic diversity, the people throughout the community have always been really wonderful– (which is an incredible compliment coming from someone of her experience).
When Out With the Kids:
Well, they’re kids—so they like Chic-Fil-A (of course). But for family meals, we usually end up at Del Frisco’s or J. Alexanders, which we all like. The kids also like that our café is adjacent to Tiff’s Treats and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.
Staying in Shape:
Keith says Lifetime Fitness Center is the best place around for getting an incredible workout, but he also likes getting outside. The hiking trails at Marcella Vivrette Smith Park are his top choice nearby. Heather is a devotee of the classes at Row House -where building up a sweat on state-of-the-art rowing machines is a group effort. She’s also a new tennis player and likes playing with friends (just not in a league, please!) at places like Brentwood Country Club or the YMCA.
The Brown Bag is a solid lunch choice with a variety of healthy options. Keith is a wine guy, so he’s looking forward to the opening of Vintage Vine 100 – a new concept just steps away from work. For dinners or cocktails nearby, Heather says it’s Honeysuckle or Wild Ginger. They also favor Don Julio’s for Mexican fare with better price points. They also like their proximity to Downtown Franklin, where they can enjoy a bit of throwback charm is the historic district while stopping into shops like White’s Mercantile, Anthropologie, and Heather’s favorite place to swoon over estate pieces, Walton’s Jewelry.
Cool Springs’ New Cool
McEwen Northside’s Urban Neighborhood offers the latest in wining and dining.
If you want to see one of the state’s most beloved athletes putting his razor-sharp biceps to work in the kitchen, this is a must stop. Keith Bulluck himself is most often onsite and that includes taking care of all facets of Just Love Coffee operations. Their casual but fresh dining menu is heavy on breakfast specialties and sweet waffle concoctions all day long. They also offer a wide selection of Just Love’s special blends (and you can buy beans and blends to take home). Bring your laptop or just your family and stay a while as there is definitely a true neighborhood atmosphere inside. The best part (well, aside from the omelets and waffles) is that the business is built around funding assistance that ultimately lifts up foster care children. Keith was in the system as a young man and has been giving back through his foundation for years, with the café being the ultimate devotion to ensuring the best for children often overlooked. What’s not to love?
Northside also sports fan-favorites, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and Tiff’s Treats for even more of a sugar fix but what we are most excited about are the more sophisticated offerings. Perry’s Steakhouse is an expansive dining venue hailing from Texas that will likely be a huge draw for date nights and group parties while Vintage Vine 100 is a local concept specializing in serving 100 fine wines by the glass (and bourbons to boast about) daily. Oh yeah, and there’s a Shake Shack, too.
Sweet as Pie
Gigi Butler is in the kitchen again and everyone seems to want a taste. Pies by Gigi is an instant hit in Brentwood and beyond, as fans are making it a destination. She made huge strides in the industry when she launched and operated the widely popular and successful chain, Gigi’s Cupcakes – known for big icing and even bigger flavors. This time around, she’s raising the bar by elevating classic dessert pies while also warming our hearts with savory pies and comfort food dishes and bread. Think classics like quiche, biscuits, or mac & cheese – but with her signature twists on the menu. It’s ideal for picking up when cooking isn’t possible or grabbing a pie to take to a dinner party. We’ve long been admirers of this boot-strapping entrepreneur who started her business as a devoted single mother. Her daughter is also helping in this venture by creating signature homemade treats for dogs (so adorable). If you need a gift, casserole for dinner, or just a taste of home—this is the place.
Working it Off
Balance is essential. With all of the eating and drinking establishments already open and popping up throughout the area, there are a number of wellness and fitness facilities opening in this affluent grouping of suburbs. Young mothers and retirees alike seem to be quite fit in general which is likely why so many fitness concepts continue to open in every new development. At McEwen Northside, there’s a new Club Pilates and a fitness center. Other recent additions to the exercise scene include outposts of Bare3 and CycleBar. A totally unique (starting with the name) specialty resource is Eat the Frog Fitness, which is a fresh spin on personal training for real results. And then for soothing the spirit, Pure Sweat + Float Studio extends the ultimate in healing experiences and take-home remedies for those aching muscles. For a truly healthy finish (and to make sure you don’t end up just eating pies and ice cream in the ‘hood), Clean Juice’s new location pours completely organic blends designed to boost energy, fight antioxidants, and of course… keep that sweet tooth in check.
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