Monday, October 27, 2014

Make A Stop At The Thistle Stop Cafe

LogoNoBackground-250x249.pngOne of the greatest things about Nashville, TN, is that it is filled with locally owned, one-of-a-kind music venues, boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Tonight the Little Black Dress Club found a gem that was all of the above and more!

The Thistle Stop Cafe is not just a coffee shop. It’s a life-changing experience, literally. Located in West Nashville on Charlotte Pike, this cafe features dozens of tea cups from all around the world, each with its own special story. The 150-year-old coffee-stained floor came from Al Gore Sr’s tobacco warehouse. There have been more than 100 volunteers who have supplied the walls, deck, furnishings and all the other special things which make this coffee shop so special!


The story began in 1997 when an Episcopal priest named Becca Stevens, from Vanderbilt University, created Magdalene. Magdalene is a residential program for women looking to overcome lives spent on the streets filled with trafficking, addictions and prostitution. After two years in a program that offers housing, food, therapy, education and more, all based on the 24 spiritual principles of Magdalene, graduates can find work at the Thistle Stop Cafe. Offering a healthy, nourishing menu and delicious teas and coffee, all served by Magdalene graduates, this cafe invites guests to embrace generosity, compassion, understanding and support. The walls are adorned with photos and stories of women from all walks of life. Handmade soaps, lotions and more, all made at Thistle Farms by these extraordinary women, are on display and available for purchase, and the freshly handmade sandwiches and soups are some of the best you will experience. Take time to read more about Becca by purchasing her book titled “Snake Oil, The Art of Healing and Truth-Telling.”

Thistle Thursdays is a monthly music series hosted at the cafe. The lineups feature some of the best intimate performances you will find, and half of the ticket proceeds benefit the women of Magdalene. I have been very excited to grab a coffee and a meal at this cafe after hearing what a great experience my coworkers had there. The only thing that made it even more exciting was finding out that one of my childhood idols, Tiffany and friends, were going to be performing on Thistle Thursday.


Little Black Dress Club members lined up on the sidewalk 45 minutes before the doors opened. Standing in the cold and blustery weather, we anxiously awaited our chance to be 12 years old again. Getting to the cafe early paid off, as we had first dibs on the open seating and managed to score a table stage side. The women of Magdalene who staffed the cafe tonight were welcoming, helpful and genuinely happy to be there. We all ordered sandwiches, soups and coffees from the menu and then patiently waited for Tiffany to make her appearance. She did not disappoint. Taking the stage with the chorus to “I Think We’re Alone Now” I was immediately thrown back to 1989, wishing I had worn blue eye shadow and a denim mini skirt.

Not only was her voice amazing, Tiffany looks great! Wearing her fringed out, open sweater, her self-described ode to her favorite, singer Stevie Nicks, along with knee-high red boots, she immediately rose to “girl crush status.” Her song list included all the 80’s favorites, plus newer selections coming out this fall and several songs she wrote herself and even a couple of covers.
Open My Eyes
I Will Not Break Down
Just Me
Bobby McGee
Autumn Leaves
Love You Good
Could’ve Been
All This Time
                      I Think We're Alone Now - which in my opinion, was just as great a hit as when the Beatles recorded it in 1963. 
Click here to see our live recording of her final song of the night, "I Think We're Alone Now."

64336_817702081609286_4813756356076475936_n.jpgTiffany had some fun friends singing on stage with her including a rockin back up singer  who we thought looked like Pink with big hair! She told stories and made jokes between each song. She danced through the cafe, entertained us at our table, and made us all feel like we were teenagers again - at least for a couple of hours! When the show was over she was in no hurry to rush off stage. She greeted us at our table, shared hugs and jokes and even posed for a few selfies.
10733563_817701348276026_705228605860353606_o.jpgMeeting childhood idols is risky for me. I fear that they won’t live up to my 12-year-old memories and I will be left with the feeling that the last 30 years were a lie - not unlike what happened with Tommy Lee of Motley Crue when I met him in my 20s, but that’s a whole new blog post....

Tiffany was everything I thought she would be when I first saw her perform in a shopping mall and again when she opened for NKOTB in 1989. Knowing she had agreed to come and perform such an intimate performance at the Thistle Stop Cafe and hearing her speak about empowerment, overcoming addictions and showing such support and love for the women of Thistle Farms is reason enough to sing her praises. Much to the chagrin of my coworkers, I will be singing “Could’ve Been” for the next three weeks!

I feel our LBDC girls would agree, Thistle Stop Cafe is a gem and Thistle Thursday with Tiffany was a blast! Click here to view more pictures from our night with Tiffany at the cafe and help show them your support by stopping in today!
~Shay Ashcraft, National Director
Tiffany and the women of Magdalene




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