Cafe Ma’Kai – Local Business Spotlight


This week on Local Business Spotlight, we sat down with Grace Riordan of Cafe Ma’Kai. Cafe Ma’Kai was born from The Old School; a farm-to-table restaurant located about 10 minutes from downtown Nashville. Both are subsidiaries of MillarRich LLC, a company committed to the well-being of individuals with disabilities by providing a work sponsorship program allowing these individuals to gain practical work experience and skills. 

While The Old School boasts an incredible locally-sourced menu, live music, a beautiful barn for hosting events on their charming piece of land, they wanted to expand. They wanted to have a presence in the heart of Nashville. And so, Cafe Ma’Kai opened near the corner of Wedgewood and 12 South.

“Our goal was just to be your local, neighborhood cafe…it’s kind of a blank slate.”

Grace Reardon, Cafe Ma’kai

The values from The Old School carried over to Cafe Ma’Kai. They pride themselves on using local, sustainable food sources, making their own syrups for lattes, and partner with Counter Culture Coffee, an ethically sourced, fair trade brand. 

Cafe Ma’Kai doubles as an event space. The bright and simple design allows it to be used as a blank slate. They also host “Acoustic Cafe” every fourth Thursday. A live music event featuring local artists. You can enjoy their all-day breakfast or grab a drink at their full bar and enjoy locally sourced food while listening to a locally sourced artist.

Visitors are also welcome to check out their in-store local marketplace. A corner of the restaurant featuring local artisans’ creation ranging from prints and tea towels to candles and jewelry.

Visit them at 1210 Wedgewood Ave. Find out more about Cafe Ma’Kai on their instagram @cafemakai_nashville or on their website at And for our Belmont listeners and readers, they accept Bruin Bucks!

Through March 15th, Lightning 100 listeners and readers can save 15% on all non-alcoholic beverages by mentioning they heard about Cafe Ma’Kai on Lightning 100’s Local Business Spotlight.

What’s playing in Cafe Ma’kai?

Hozier’s self-titled album (expanded edition, obviously)

Check out our past Local Business Spotlights here. Want to be our featured local business of the week? Submit here.

Written by Erin Renfro