Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant to open in downtown Nashville

Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant, known for its burgers, down-home food and live music, will open its first downtown Nashville location this fall, a move that nearby shopkeepers say should draw more customers and boost business.
The location will open as early as August at 500 Church St., near the Downtown Presbyterian Church. Owner Andy Marshall said Puckett's and its landlord plan to spend about $700,000 expanding the site from 3,400 square feet to 5,200 square feet. Construction will start in four or five weeks.

Marshall said he's been eyeing a downtown location for a couple of years but now believes it's a good time to start a new outlet because of the number of available restaurant spaces, favorable rents and enough residents downtown.

Marshall said he expects annual sales at the new store to reach $3 million or more within a three-year period. That would be at least 50 percent more than recent sales at his Franklin location.

Related20 years and still servingMap: Puckett's location in Nashville

"Puckett's has always been big about being part of communities," he said. "The community is there."

Puckett's started in Leiper's Fork in the 1950s, serving residents of Williamson County. Marshall bought the store in 1998 and has since opened another restaurant in Franklin.

Marshall said he sold the Leiper's Fork operation to songwriter and Mississippi native Rob Robinson last year, although he retains ownership of the land there and the Puckett's brand name.

Puckett's serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and features live music nights.

Marshall said the new location would be similar to his Franklin store. Its kitchen will operate seven days a week, opening at 6 a.m. daily and closing as late as 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Steven Means, who manages produce for H.G. Hill Urban Market for his father, said Puckett's could drive more customers into the store looking for goods that Puckett's doesn't have, such as fresh meats. The owner of H.G. Hill Urban Market — Scott Means — and Marshall are related.

Meanwhile, the number of downtown residents is expected to grow slightly this year. The Nashville Downtown Partnership estimates downtown residents will increase 3 percent this year to more than 5,700 people.

"I think they will be very successful. They've got a great product and a good following," said David Baker, a partner at Baker Storey McDonald Properties, a commercial real estate firm. "I think people will seek out Puckett's."

Marshall said Puckett's could expand further at some point, perhaps with stores in Columbia or Collierville, Tenn.

Wendy Lee can be reached at 615-259-8092 or

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