’Boro Business Buzz: Ichiban, Champy’s Restaurants to Open; Old Fort Picnic Shelters Torn Down; Roll the Dice Slated to Close

It’s no secret that Murfreesboro loves to eat, and at least two regional names are making new homes in the ’Boro.

First, downtown Nashville staple Ichiban Japanese Restaurant is picking up and moving to Murfreesboro. After more than two decades on Second Avenue, Ichiban is relocating to the old Moose Lodge building on NW Broad Street.

Restaurant spokeswoman Becky Kounlavong told the media the restaurant experienced a fire in January and the owners, not surprisingly, couldn’t find an affordable place in Nashville.

Kounlavong said renovations to the building should be completed by late summer. The restaurant will feature authentic Japanese food, a sushi bar and a banquet hall.

The Moose Lodge is relocating to 1507 W. College St.


Champys (1)
Chattanooga favorite Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken is spreading its wings and flying into Murfreesboro.

The Chattanooga-based chain restaurant will take over the building formerly occupied by Hooters on NW Broad Street. The outparcel is in front of the old KMart.

The Murfreesboro location, the company’s seventh, is slated to open by the end of the summer.

Samantha Goonon will bring Champy’s “Fortys and Foul” to town as the franchise owner with her brother TJ Goonon. Goonon started with the restaurant as a server while she was a student at University of Tennessee in Chattanooga and moved up the ranks to become a district manager.

According to the company’s website, Champy’s was opened in June 2009 by Seth and Crissy Champion, who created a chicken mini-empire with an old family recipe. The made-to-order menu includes fried chicken, hand-rolled tamales, fresh sides and desserts.

Champy’s currently has six locations in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.



Cup Pop

If you’re looking for something more adventurous, a new concept to Mufreesboro recently opened near the MTSU campus. Cup Pop brings the tastes of the Korean peninsula to the ’Boro with Korean barbecue in a cup.

Chef Sook Carter serves up native classics like bulgogi, katsu and gyoza, all in the convenience of a cup.

Cup Pop can be found at 3832 Middle Tennessee Blvd., in the shopping center with Beat the Bookstore and located behind The Boro Bar & Grill.

For all the sweet teeth out there, Murfreesboro has two new ice cream and palatas restaurants.

The new paleterias can be found on Memorial Boulevard and in Jackson Heights Plaza on Broad Street.

Paletas are frozen Mexican treats similar to popsicles, most often made from fresh fruit ices.


Have Vinyl Delivered to Your Home
Still have a hole in your heart left by the dearly departed Little Shop of Records? Let Heart of Vinyl fill what’s missing.

18342666_1864872700453511_4727425378304273705_nThe mobile record shop is the brainchild of Riverdale grad Justin Frazier, who wants to share his love of vinyl with the world.

“I love music and vinyl and I want to bring that love of music to others who enjoy it as well. I’ve spent my life collecting records and digging through dusty crates,” Frazier said about the mobile record shop that he runs through his social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.

He will deliver music to your doorstep in Rutherford County for a $15 minimum purchase, in Nashville for a $30 minimum and ship to anywhere in the U.S.

“I deal with new and second-hand albums but I spend lots of quality control time making sure that the second-hand albums are in good condition. If I wouldn’t purchase a record and play it then it doesn’t go into my shop,” he said.

Visit facebook.com/heartofvinyl to see his latest offerings.


Roll the Dice

Roll the Dice

Roll the Dice
at 211 Robert Rose Dr. will close to business in July after seven years of serving the tabletop gaming, collectable and roleplaying community, the store announced in a post on Facebook.

“We are so grateful for all of the kindness and support you have shown us over the years,” the post said.

The store will close July 30, but it will continue to host its full calendar of events through July 23, including a MTG pre-release on July 8 and 9, Pokémon pre-release July 22 and 23, and MTG PPTQ and Pokémon League Cup.

“We will also be continuing to bring in new products, while slowly clearing out our inventory,” the post said, adding they will also sell their fixtures and promotional items strategically.

Customers are devastated by the news.

Richard Nosnhoj said the people involved with the store that sells board games, roleplaying games, collectible card games and puzzles has become like a family to many.

“Many hearts will be broken and many gamers will be lost without this wonderful and iconic shop,” he said.

One customer, Zach Coulter of Murfreesboro, has even launched a GoFundMe to attract investors for him to buy the store.


Hunter Fowler

“I have a large group of friends that I’ve made in my couple years of going to this store, all of whom were deeply saddened by the news of the potential closing of Roll the Dice. I spoke to the owner about the business and asked if he would be willing to sell the store, to which he agreed,” Coulter said on his GoFundMe page. Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/cbmm4-save-roll-the-dice


Murfreesboro Law Office Adds Associate Attorney
The Law Office of W. Scott Kimberly (107 N. Maple St.) announces the addition of Hunter Fowler as an associate attorney with the firm. Fowler will focus his practice on criminal defense, family law and civil litigation.

Fowler is a 2016 graduate of the Nashville School of Law; for more on the law office, visit murfreesborolawyer.com.


Picnic Shelters Removed at Old Fort Park
In early May, the city of Murfreesboro razed shelters No. 1 and 2 at Old Fort Park as part of improvements at the park, said Mike Browning, spokesman for the city.

The removal was expedited because one of the shelter’s restrooms was damaged in April, Browning told the Pulse.

“A shelter restroom was severely vandalized: toilets, sinks and stall doors were destroyed . . . Conservative costs for repairs are more than $5,000,” he said. “Rather than make those repairs, an operational decision was made to proceed with planned demolition.”

Mayor Shane McFarland told WGNS the city deemed the facilities were unsafe and needed to be torn down. The 50-acre park still contains a pavilion near Kid’s Castle.

“The removal of the shelters is important to the safety and function of Old Fort Park, as well as its future development into a vibrant park that best serves our community,” Browning said.

Photo courtesy WGNS Radio

Photo courtesy WGNS Radio


Browning added the removal has been planned for some time and the city stopped taking reservations for the pavilions in January.

But homeless advocates are still upset by the loss of the pavilions where they have served food and fellowship to the city’s homeless population for the past seven years.

“It has been one of the most consistent reprieves from life,” Amber Hampton said about how the homeless community viewed the shelters.

Browning said the city plans to replace the shelters, which were donated to the city by the Murfreesboro Rotary Club in 1980.

The park’s master plan, which is only a draft and not binding, calls for a new maintenance shed to be built behind the pavilions as well as three new pavilions on the site. It also includes improvements to the entrance at the intersection of Old Fort Parkway and New Salem Pike, Browning said.

These investments in the east side of the park will complement improvements made to the west side, like the Greenway extension, a large shelter, a playground, the Adams Tennis Complex, new lighting, and stream restoration.

“The next improvements focus on the east side of the creek, beginning with the removal of these old shelters,” he said.

According to the city’s annual report on the Parks & Rec Department, the city saw 221 reservations of the Old Fort Park pavilions in 2015 that generated more than $10,000 in revenue.


About the Author

Michelle Willard is a freelance journalist and local know-it-all. If you have a tip about a new business coming to town, an old one closing, complaints, compliments, comments or corrections, contact Michelle @michwillard on Twitter or michelle.willard@gmail.com.

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