• Mary Ann

Midtown Café celebrates 35 years of business


credit Gemma Friedli

Chef/owner Randy Rayburn releases commemorative cookbook

Nashville culinary landmark Midtown Café will mark 35 years of business this October, announces owner Randy Rayburn. To celebrate, Midtown Café will offer an array of specials throughout the month of October, and Rayburn will release a self-published cookbook with longtime colleague Karren Pell.


Midtown Café’s 35th Anniversary: Stories, People, Recipes” is a book containing decades of stories, memories and recipes from people who worked closely with Midtown Café and sister restaurant, Sunset Grill, which closed in 2015. The book will be sold onsite at Midtown Café for $15 each, with 35% of proceeds donated to the Nashville State Community College School of Culinary Arts.


Additional celebrations for the October anniversary include:

- Gift card sale: receive a 35% discount on gift card purchases of $100 or more, available in the restaurant or online (valid only on purchases made October 1-31, 2022)

- Signature soup: 35% of proceeds from all Midtown Café lemon artichoke soup will be donated to the Nashville State Community College School of Culinary Arts (valid on bowls and quarts of soup purchased in restaurant, October 1-31, 2022)


- A special ‘greatest hits’ menu featuring fan favorites over 35 years will be offered in addition to the regular menu, available all of October, for breakfast, lunch & dinner


“I was a regular at Midtown Café and loved it so much that I bought it 25 years ago when it was 10 years old, and I wanted to diversify from owning only Sunset Grill,” said Rayburn. “The people and their stories are what make Midtown such a fun place to work. We have loved serving our friends, neighbors, and guests all these years. Karren and I wanted to share some of the many stories that we knew and had heard over decades, and finally decided it was time to reach out and celebrate all those stories from our work families to share with all our guests.”

Midtown Café, located at 102 19th Ave South, opened in 1987 by original owner John Petrucelli as a fine dining establishment long before Nashville’s restaurant boom. Rayburn purchased the restaurant in 1997, which included the rights to the infamous lemon artichoke soup, and has since been a haven for business lunches, celebratory dinners, and most recently, leisurely breakfasts. Rayburn is arguably among the most respected, seasoned managers, chefs, restaurateurs, and consultants in Nashville, having worked in the city for nearly five decades. His resume includes Café Ritz, Tavern on the Row, Third Coast, Mere Bulles, F. Scott’s, Sunset Grill, Midtown Café, Cabana, and Elliston Place Soda Shop.


Midtown Café is open 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. for breakfast, brunch, and lunch seven days a week; 5 – 8:30 p.m. for dinner Monday – Wednesday; and 4:30 – 9 p.m. for dinner Thursday – Saturday. For more information, visit Midtown Café online.


credit Gemma Friedli