Several years ago a friend of mine was visiting from Cincinnati and I said, “Hey, let’s walk down Elliston Place.” We didn’t get very far before we found ourselves in a dive called The Gold Rush where we played some pool, talked about old times, and drank us some beers before sitting down and having some excellent fried catfish. Just a few doors down from The Gold Rush is the Elliston Place Soda Shop where, more recently, Ann Koplow and I had lunch.
I used to walk down Elliston Place almost every day on my way to the bus stop. It was a nice place to walk through. Here’s The Gold Rush now:
In fact most of the block is coming down. Here it is from the back:
Elliston Place is part of a historic neighborhood. It’s where you’ll find the famed Exit/In where a young Steve Martin would get the entire audience really worked up then lead them out and down the street to McDonald’s where he’d order three-hundred burgers, then abruptly change that to “one small fries”.
It’s a few blocks away from Centennial Park, and when Dave Attell filmed an episode of his show Insomniac in Nashville he rode down Elliston Place in the back of a pickup truck for the final shot.
It’s strange to walk down the sidewalk there and see empty lots behind the storefronts. I don’t know if they’re leaving the facades for reasons of safety—maybe there’s a plan to block off the sidewalk at some point and knock the rest down—or if they’re being preserved. I hope it’s the latter. Neighborhoods change. I get that. Elliston Place is no longer the place goth kids go to hang out on the weekends, which it was when I was in high school, and the English pub is now a hookah bar. The pizza place is, well, still a pizza place, but there’s another former pizza place that now sells bubble tea.
Some of these changes seem like improvements but I’m still sad to see some of the history go.
There used to be a great cigar shop at Elliston Place – I bought my husband a box of cigars for our first anniversary. I never made it to Gold Rush, but he did. And then, there was Smack, and a great little thrift store… the times they are a changin’.
I never knew about the cigar place! Although if I wanted cigars I could have gone to JJ’s, another place I’m sorry is gone. And thank you for reminding me about Smack. I couldn’t remember the name. In a weird coincidence I was telling that friend from Cincinnati about the music video for “Weapon Of Choice” as we walked by there and there was a TV in the window with that video playing.
Great memories, Chris. I’m so glad I got to see Elliston Place and you.
ANN J KOPLOW recently posted…Day 3645: No worries
I’m so glad you got to see Ellison Place, too, and that we could share a milkshake there. Fortunately the Parthenon isn’t showing any signs of going anywhere.