New restaurant to take place of Germantown Cafe East - WSMV News 4

New restaurant to take place of Germantown Cafe East

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There will soon be a new name on the side of the restaurant at a trendy East Nashville development.

But it's a hard transition for the previous owner, who lost his partner during a tragic accident in the kitchen.

In June, Jay Luther died after becoming trapped inside the cooler at Germantown Cafe East. He tried to call for help but was found dead the next day, and the restaurant has been closed ever since.

Now, there are new plans under a new owner.

"I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do - just dealing with the tragedy and also trying to move forward from a business perspective," said Chris Lowry, with Germantown Cafe. "I take things day by day and a focus on what I can focus on and the things that I can control and knowing that our other, original location is still doing well. That is the most important thing to me right now."

So much reminds Lowry of time spent with Luther and the restaurant they worked so closely together to build.

"After the accident in June, I couldn't quite wrap my head around coming back in here," Lowry said.

Lowry approached restaurateur Manny Hatz about taking over the space in the Fifth and Main condo building.

"Chris and Jay really embraced the community, and community is really important," Hatz said.

Hatz is a resident of Fifth and Main and a frequent customer at the restaurant.

"I'm really excited. I love what they did with the restaurant, so I was looking forward to reopening it, rebranding it and carrying on their legacy of what they already did," Hatz said.

Lowry will continue to run the original Germantown Cafe and plans to be a frequent visitor of Hatz' establishment.

If there is a silver lining in Luther's death, a sizable scholarship fund has been established in his place at Nashville State Community College. In fact, Hatz - who plans to open his restaurant at Fifth and Main next month - plans to make a contribution to that as well.

To contribute to the scholarship fund, mail your donation to:
NSCC Foundation
120 White Bridge Rd.
Nashville, TN 37209

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