Nestled in the heart of downtown Nashville and historic Printers Alley, Sea Salt’s location is steeped in Nashville music history. Printers Alley was home to the “Nashville Sound”, a subgenre of country music made famous by Chet Atkins and others in the mid-50’s. Boots Randolph emerged as a major contributor to this new sound that combined elements of jazz, honky tonk and 50’s pop. In 1977, Boots opened his own nightclub, Boots Randolph’s, which he operated for 17 years in our very building until 1993.
Sea Salt now follows in his path by bringing live music to the same space that Boots entertained guests for almost 2 decades. With entrances on both 3rd Avenue and Printers Alley, Sea Salt provides a venue with main floor and balcony seating coupled with great food and drinks in the tradition of Boot’s supper club. The original brick of this historic late 19th century building is now complemented by gorgeous blocks of pink sea salt, which gives the space an aesthetic quality matched only by its richly satisfying dishes.
Food & Drink
Sea Salt Nashville is a restaurant and bar with roots in the traditions of sourcing and pairing local southern ingredients with freshly caught fish and seafood, locally raised grass-fed beef and non-GMO free-range chicken. At Sea Salt Nashville, Chef Mike adds sophisticated spins on time-tested classics such as Scallops and Grits, Nashville Hot Oysters, Buttermilk Fried Chicken Thighs and Cajun Blackened Redfish.This theme carries over to Sea Salt’s highly rated Brunch Menu which offers 4 types of Eggs Benedict, house-made Biscuits & Gravy, Chicken & Waffles and delicious Beignets
The vision for Sea Salt Nashville has always been to create a place that serves unforgettable, locally sourced food that can be enjoyed more often than solely for special occasions. While the locally inspired menu is reason enough to visit Sea Salt Nashville, its bar cannot be overlooked. The bar program features regional craft beers, a carefully curated wine list, and specialty cocktails formulated specifically with the menu and concept in mind. The bar at Sea Salt Nashville truly showcases the best that this region has to offer.
Keith Zust, Co-Owner & Director of Operations
With over 15 years of restaurant management experience spread across the nation, Keith has gathered his favorite aspects of the industry and combined them to help create Sea Salt, a casual restaurant with fine-dining level food made from locally sourced ingredients.
Keith started his career in hospitality in Scottsdale, Arizona. There, he became manager at Season’s Rotisserie and Grill where he worked alongside a James Beard award-winning chef and learned the ropes of fine dining and how to make a guest truly feel at home.
In 2001, Keith moved to Boston with the chain Maggiano’s where he spent time in the kitchen and learned the importance of running a profitable business. Later, while working with Brinker International, he landed in San Antonio with the task of making Las Ramblas, a hotel restaurant, into a relevant player in San Antonio’s burgeoning culinary scene.
In 2008, Keith moved with his family to Chicago to be the Director of Operations for Mainstay Hospitality where he oversaw the multi-unit group. He then joined Zapatista Restaurants where he assisted in opening four more restaurants for the group and later worked as general manager of Authentico Restaurant in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Now established in Nashville with his wife and two young children, Zust is thrilled to showcase his wealth of knowledge in food, beverage and hospitality with Sea Salt, a place where everyone is comfortable, but every night is unforgettable.
Mike Haggerty, Co-Owner & Corporate Chef
Chef Mike Haggerty, a Chicago native, grew up in a very traditional Italian family. From an early age he learned the importance of from-scratch food and the power it has to bring family and friends together. As he grew so did his passion for culinary arts, and at 16 he started working in pizza joints where he honed the skills that would later get his pizza named as the 21 Best Pizzas in Chicago by Chicago Magazine as Chef at Fiamme in Naperville Illinois.
Chef Mike attended Robert Morris University Culinary school, and at only 23 years old, became one of the youngest executive chefs in the industry. He worked at Eddie Merlot’s Prime Steakhouse as well as Eagle Brook Country Club before he was named executive chef at Zapatista. It was at Zapatista where he met his future Sea Salt partners. Chef Mike utilized his amazing palate and years of scratch cooking to create the inspired menu at Sea Salt.
Chris Funk – Co-Owner & Corporate Controller
Chris Funk has been involved in the restaurant industry for much of his career. From 1990 to 2003, Chris created, owned and operated three different restaurant concepts in the Chicago area, most notably Rose & Crown London Pub located in the Lakeview neighborhood.
Subsequently, Chris took positions as the financial controller and business manager for a Chicago based real estate developer and then an internationally recognized supplier of licensed sports memorabilia. This led to Chris’ position as corporate controller for the Zapatista restaurant group where he first met and worked with Sea Salt partners Keith Zust and Mike Haggerty.
In 2014, Chris began consulting and worked with business start-ups in the US and Australia. It was during this time when Chris reconnected with his previous co-workers to join them in opening their new restaurant concept in Nashville.
Before moving to Nashville, Chris had lived in downtown Chicago for 30 years. Born in Ohio and raised in the Chicago suburb of Barrington, he received his BA in Economics from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Keller.
Brandy Hicks – General Manager
Brandy has worked in hospitality for 27 years. The food and beverage industry have allowed her to live throughout the continental United States, Hawaii and Ireland. She has now planted her roots in Nashville, TN.
She started her career learning everything about the industry from her mother, Candace. Her mother ran a restaurant and Brandy started out on salad preparation, bussing and hosting. She taught Brandy from early on that working hard, always educating yourself on any new changes in the industry and following rules is how you perfect your craft and make it in this forever growing industry.
Brandy has been with Sea Salt since the beginning. From laying the hardwood floors that now resides in the restaurant, to seeing it grow into having live music. She is excited for the future of Sea Salt and feels lucky to be the part of watching these fellas from Chicago expand on to other ventures.