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A letter to my Cherished Community

Updated: Feb 2, 2021

This is an open letter I wrote to our community. An Abbreviated version of this is in the March April Issue of the East Nashvillian. My hope is to let everyone know how much I appreciate the love and support of our community, and try to thoughtfully and respectfully communicate some of the difficult decisions and changes we have had to make to get us past the tornado and the Pandemic. We hope you will enjoy our improvements and still support us as we evolve into the next version of Boston Commons.

Photo by Chuck Allen, Courtesy of The East Nashvillian

Dear Friends,

Thank you for all your love and support over the past year. As I look to 2021, I am filled with nervous anticipation, and because our community, I’m filled with a great deal of HOPE too. #NashvilleStrong.

If there is one thing the events of 2020 have reinforced in me, it’s how much I love and love serving my community.

A little break on our Shelby Bottoms Bike ride.

I care deeply about and I’m deeply invested in this community. This is where I live, work, raise my family, and my kids go to school.

I enjoy the many opportunities to support our community through donations, sponsorships, and gathering places for many worthwhile causes and community fundraising events.

3 of my 5 kids at East Nashville's Explore Community School

If it were not for this love and commitment, it would be easy for me to just push forward the necessary changes in order to relaunch into 2021.

Because we all care about you we want you to know what to expect from us as we re-launch over the next few weeks. Change is never easy and when a restaurant changes it can feel like it doesn’t care about its loyal customers or its community. I assure you, this letter is written with love, care, respect and Gratitude for our community and for all of you.

"lets make it better than before"

I have agonized about a lot of the changes we are making to our menus, our facility, and the way we serve you. In the wake of 2020, the tornado, and pandemic, I have struggled to find the meaning and the purpose in all of this, and I agonize because I don’t want to disappoint or let anyone down or leave anyone behind. But I do recognize this as an opportunity to make improvements to the business model, to survive through and beyond the Pandemic, and to fix the things that were a constant struggle for us to maintain, make us hard to do business with, or were becoming too expensive for us to execute to the highest level of quality we expect from ourselves and you have come to know from us.

But be assured, No matter what changes we make the constant will always be two things, our Quality, and even more important than that, our People.

The Worst part, the struggle & pain it caused our Staff!

We all know that it is our team of employee's, (more like Family) that make us special. Over the past 11 months everyone who asks about our re-opening the first question they ask is "when are you opening", and 99 times out of 100 the second question is "is your wonderful staff coming back?" We all know they are the ones that have made us who we are as a company, and we will all continue to strive to be a great place to gather, unwind, and celebrate with you.

Between the Tornado and the Pandemic, the social and the political events of 2020, the worst part is knowing how it all has effected them. I personally miss the folks who I work with. I miss the fun we have, I miss the conversations, I miss hearing about their lives. They already know this, and I want you to know, they are my second family and I love them all very much.

I can’t wait for our staff to come back to work so we can all be together and take care of each other again. Understandably, some found new jobs after the tornado forced us to close. I am not going to lie, I always feel a little better when one of our team mates tell me they don't like their new job and they can not wait to come back. I hate to hear they are not happy, but I like knowing they want to come back home. And the majority will be back and folks from my other two places, Drifters and Beyond The Edge, will help fill in the gaps. It is very comforting to know that when you come in you will recognize a lot of familiar faces who are going to be very happy to see you and deliver to you our unique brand of CharetteCo/East Nashville Hospitality that lets you know you matter to us.

Now the hard part… our menus. .

I’ve thought about this for a long time and this was a very difficult decision. As you know, we have a very large menu and offer a very wide variety of selection and options, something for everyone. But we all know the market and trends are shifting, not just from the pandemic, but in the way businesses have to operate and in order for us to compete we have to adjust and shift too.

We are sad to say we will no longer be serving Sushi.

We know you loved it and repeatedly said it was “The Best in Town” Our reason for this decision has a lot to do with logistics and brand, but mainly it is that what is helping our industry survive through the pandemic are much smaller menus that can be executed very well and very efficiently. Sushi Requires a lot of logistics, a very specialized skill set, and a ton of support items from the special utensils to prepare and eat it with, to all the different spices and sauces that go with that. We are very nervous about this decision, like I said, we do not want to let anyone down or leave anyone behind because although a lot has changed this past year, our mission is still the same; to serve our community. The part of all this that gives me hope is in our opportunity to take all of our high standards, care and quality that went into our sushi and pour all of it into everything else that we do.

2020 has reminded us we must to focus on our strengths, what we are most known for. And with the help of over 600 people that took my survey and provided me with feedback we learned that 92% of you that responded told me your first choice, when you visit us, is one of our Fried Seafood options with 89% saying it is one of our amazing Fish & Chips. I am also humbled and overwhelmed by how many of you also commented that “Boston Commons has the best seafood in town” or “Boston Commons is your favorite Restaurant”. Thank you, you have no Idea how much that means to me.

Additionally, we had our prep kitchen in the Beyond the Edge Building and it is still under reconstruction. So we are not even sure how much we can store and prep at Boston Commons just yet. So we are going to start of with a bit of a reduced menu selection. There are also a few other menu items we are no longer doing, but some will reappear as specials from time to time. We also have a few additions to our menu to appeal to the Non-fried and Non-seafood lovers…and we still have our great kids menu that they love too.

I assure you that the changes we have made are necessary. And I hope that through this letter and the way that we operate you can see the love and care I have for my community, our loyal customers and serving all of you. I apologize in advance if we have taken your favorite item off our menu, it wasn’t done to disrespect or disappoint you. I only hope that we’ve done a thoughtful enough a job rebuilding and communicating that you might find a new favorite dish on our new menu.

Our mission has not changed, to Serve our community and provide high quality food that is creative and approachable and We look forward to serving you very soon.


Matthew Charette

Owner Boston Commons

And Proud East Nashvillian

Deb and I, to better days ahead

If you wish to contact me, the easiest way is through our website where you can join our email list or message me directly. I put my cell phone number and email address on every receipt because I truly value your feedback and I love hearing from you.

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