Shane Nasby, formerly of Bellevue barbecue destination Honeyfire, is setting up shop this summer in Nashville with a cool new smash burger spot, Cledis — named in honor of his grandfather, Cledis Nolen. Expected to open this summer, Shane and his wife, Angela, say this burger joint will be located in the former Various Artists Brewing space at 1011 Elm Hill Pike.
Cledis, born in 1926, grew up in the hills of Kentucky during the Great Depression. Shane recalls childhood in Indiana, but also spending time at his grandfather’s roadside restaurant, the Midway Cafe. It's here Shane first dipped his toes into the restaurant industry and came to admire Cledis' passion for helping people. Since, Shane has gone on to co-open HoneyFire BBQ and made TV appearances on Food Paradise and Chopped.
The Nasbys met nearly two decades ago at church, and have two children, Harper and Nolen (also named in honor of Cledis). The Nasbys both emphasize that the main focus of their new restaurant is not only to serve excellent burgers in a comfortable setting but also to create a place Cledis would’ve been proud of and felt comfortable visiting himself.
Shane describes Cledis as a humble, simple man — "one of the kindest souls you’d ever meet. Cledis lived a life full of compassion and kindness. No one who knew Cledis ever had a bad word to say. So to see his name being honored this way is very special to me."
The Nasbys plan to continue their family tradition through Cledis, the restaurant. Each Monday, Cledis will close to feed the hungry in Nashville, and partner will People Loving Nashville to hire employees who graduate PLN’s restoration program, which helps the unhoused get off the streets and back into the workforce.
"We want to lower barriers, making it easier for people to transition back into the workforce by providing a safe community for people to be honest about where they are in life, but still be able to have a job," says co-owner Angela.
The merch at Cledis also supports the Nasbys cause: Cledis logo hats are available for purchase at Cledis.Store, with proceeds from the sale of each hat providing two meals to feed the hungry.
Once open, burger aficionados can expect classic smash burgers and Oklahoma-style smashed onion burgers, plus inventive takes like the "Skippy Thai Yay" -- slathered with Thai peanut butter sauce, bacon and chiles toreados. Sides include fries (which can also be served with roasted chili queso for dipping), sweet potato tots and pickle fries. For dessert: scoopable cheesecake sundaes.
The backyard beer garden is slated to be a centerpiece, with live music appearances and collaborative chef burger features. Cledis will be a family-friendly destination with vibes drawing inspiration from the 1980s. To stay up-to-date on Cledis’ opening and snag some drool-worthy sneak peeks of the menu, follow along with Cledis on social media via @cledisburgers.