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Advocate photo by J.T. BLATTY-- Chef John Besh inside of the Bayou Bar at the Pontchartrain Hotel. His latest restaurant Marsh House is in Nashville.

When chef John Besh started expanding, his first few restaurants were located practically at arm’s length. Today seven of them are clustered close together in downtown New Orleans.

Lately, though, more of the chef’s projects are taking root beyond Louisiana and this week the latest makes its debut in Nashville.

The new restaurant Marsh House opened today (Oct. 24), Besh’s company announced. It is part of the new Thompson Nashville, a 224-room hotel in downtown Nashville. Marsh House serves contemporary Southern cuisine with an emphasis on seafood (see the opening menu below). Justin “Cam” Cameron, an alum of Besh’s flagship Restaurant August, is chef de cuisine of Marsh House. 

Besh will also operate a rooftop bar called L.A. Jackson and a coffee shop called Killebrew within the hotel, and these are each slated to open shortly.

The Nashville Thompson is in the Gulch neighborhood, a once-industrial district that has been recast as a modern urban hotspot between the city’s Music Row and central business district. Like New Orleans, downtown Nashville is now in the midst of a building boom, with new hotels contributing to the buzz of construction and development.

The project is part of a new division called Our House Hospitality that Besh and his company formed earlier this year to provide food and beverage services for hotels and resorts.

Though Nashville is a new market, some familiar names are involved in the project. The Thompson Nashville was developed by a partnership that includes the Berger Company of New Orleans and AJ Capital Partners, the Chicago-based firm that redeveloped the Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans, and the New Orleans based investment firm ERG Enterprises. Earlier this year, Our House Hospitality opened new editions of the historic hotel’s Caribbean Room restaurant, the Bayou Bar and the Silver Whistle café and added the new rooftop bar Hot Tin.

Besh has restaurants in other cities. A second location of his bistro Lüke is in San Antonio was his first foray outside the New Orleans area when it opened in 2010. And the first location of Johnny Sánchez, the Mexican restaurant he opened in partnership with Food Network star chef Aarón Sánchez, is in Baltimore.

Earlier this year, Besh announced plans to expand with Houston with a new Louisiana-style restaurant called Eunice, which is slated to open next year.

Marsh House

401 11th Ave. S., Nashville, 615-262-6001

Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.