New Member Spotlight: BOX

As the newest member of Nashville’s beloved Bongo family, BOX, short for Bongo + Bakery On 10th, has received a warm welcome from the community since opening on Valentine’s Day of 2017.

Bongo got its start in 1993 when local restaurateur Bob Bernstein opened Bongo Java, Nashville’s first coffeehouse, and over the years the company has expanded to include various locations and concepts scattered all over town, including Fido in Hillsboro Village and Bongo East in East Nashville.

BOX takes all of your favorite aspects of Bongo and rolls them up in one location: Bongo Bakery’s sweet treats, Bongo Java’s organic coffee, and a full kitchen serving up healthy eats.

Anitra Brumagen, director of operations for Bongo, has been with the company for 12 years and notes that a couple of key factors set BOX apart from its other concepts.

“BOX has the most inventive of all our menus. It’s an amazingly creative, beautiful menu that has been so thoughtfully crafted,” says Brumagen.

Nestled next to Waverly-Belmont Elementary School on 10th Ave. and escaping the hustle and bustle of nearby 12th South, the restaurant and coffee shop has a family-friendly atmosphere, complete with boxes of toys tucked neatly away by the entrances for BOX’s smallest guests to enjoy.

She also states that this is the first time the company has truly been able to design a brand new building from the ground up, which resulted in a modern, colorful, clean and simple space.

“In the past we’ve taken an old building that’s charming and funky with all sorts of quirks and just made it work for us,” says Brumagen. “Getting to create something that truly adhered to our vision was new and exciting for us.”

BOX’s head chef Lydia Gamble wanted to provide healthy, fresh and delicious options for diners, including several vegetarian dishes. Menu items like panzanella, a bhakti bowl with crispy garlic chickpeas, a falafel sandwich, and a hot chicken salad sandwich give guests plenty of unique options.

You can satisfy your cravings and your sweet tooth at the restaurant — the bakery sells a plethora of cakes (like its infamous Pink Radio Cake), cookies, muffins and other assorted sweets.

Don’t forget to grab a cup of Bongo’s spectacular coffee to accompany your meal. Bernstein himself helped found Cooperative Coffees, an organization with the goal of paying coffee farmers prices that are higher than fair trade, of which BOX is a member. Each cup o’ Joe is fair trade, organic and locally roasted in East Nashville by Bongo Java Roasting Co.

With Fido celebrating its 20th anniversary last fall and Bongo Java’s 25th anniversary rapidly approaching next March, BOX also looks to make its mark on our town and grow into a staple that Nashvillians flock to for years to come.

Brumagen credits Bongo’s loyal customer base with the success of the company and expresses her gratitude for their patronage.

“I’ll visit other locations during the same day, and I’ll  see the same people. I’ll be at Fido in the morning, then head to BOX for the afternoon, and some people will have just swapped Bongo locations,” laughs Brumagen.

BOX is located at 2229 10th Avenue South and is open Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the kitchen stopping food service at 4p.m. BOX has a separate, exclusive brunch menu that is served all day on both Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit bongojava.com/box