It’s not everyday you get to eat dinner in an old drug store.
We were wandering up Main Street in Franklin, Tennessee (just outside Nashville) looking for a jail-turned-brewpub (which we later found out was closed) and saw what we thought was a drug store, but it was actually restaurant in a historic building that was long a pharmacy.
For over 70 years, locals came into Grays Drug Store to pick up their prescriptions and to catch up on the latest town gossip (part of the fun of being in a small town, if you ask me…but I’m sure many of you small-town’ers won’t agree ha ha!).
The building, which was erected in 1876, has been completely renovated after several years of standing vacant. Now called Grays on Main, this spot has once again become a gathering place for the locals. But now they flock here to enjoy some delicious food to go along with their daily gossip!
I love that owners have re-used some of the original material of the building and have kept it close to the rich good ol’ days of the original drug store. As you’ll probably notice if you keep reading my blog, I love to see historic places get renovated and used for something else instead of just sitting vacant and deteriorating. Especially if they are turned into a brew pub or restaurants (me being a foodie freak ‘n all…)
The original pharmacy sign graces the front of the building, which is why we thought it was actually a drug store. But the inside has been completely renovated yet still retains that historic feel. The walls are decorated with several vintage mirrors and photographs as reminders of the heyday of the Drug Store days.
There’s also a neat display at the front of the restaurant containing old pill bottles and equipment.
They’ve also decorated a wall with old prescriptions from the 1930s that they found while renovating. How cool is that? I thought it was a really nice touch and a great way to keep with the historic theme of the restaurant.
Just seeing this building is worth the visit in itself, but the food is absolutely fantastic. It’s pub-style food inspired with a strong Southern influence, not too surprisingly.
I ordered the Fried Green Tomatoes since my first experience trying them a few days ago was a success (did I mention I might have to move to the Deep South just for the food?). These were even better! They had a fairly light coating (which I preferred) and tasted like they were just picked from the farm an hour ago. Just delicious! I inhaled the plate in a manner of seconds, and I almost ordered another round but I knew my gluten-hating stomach would be mad at me later.
Cowboy and I had the fried chicken waffles, which they are apparently known for here (food-wise, anyway) and now I knew why. They were absolutely delectable, and I don’t eat chicken very much AND I try to eat gluten-free (yeah sorta bad combo then, I know!). But these were so sumptuous I didn’t stop at one bite. Mnnn…fried gluten.
Now it was time for dessert. Cowboy even offered to share something with me but I told him it depended on how tasty it was (ha!).
He was looking wayyyyy to eager for dessert, so I suggested he order another beer in hopes that it would happily distract him (it worked, woo hoo!).
I decided on the Goo Goo Clusters S’more Pie, if anything just for the name. It sure sounded fun! It’s made with Goo Goo Clusters, a Southern confection which I’d never heard of but it sure sounded delightful. You really can’t go wrong with anything with S’more in it, especially if caramel AND chocolate are involved.
Holy Mother of God. I am moving to Franklin, just so I can eat this pie everyday. Hands down the best dessert I’ve EVER had (and being a dessert & chocolate freak, I’ve had many).
This beautiful temptation on a plate consists of a homemade pie crust chock full of Goo Goo Clusters, toasted marshmallow, graham crackers, chocolate, caramel and nuts. It sounded amazing, but rest assured it tastes even better.
I’ve had S’more- type desserts before, but never anything like this. It had a nice mix of chewy and gooey, and absolutely delicious. I think it took me 2 hours to eat it because I savoured each and every bite. I did let Cowboy near it with his fork but only once. And only very briefly.
Apparently this place is also the first brandy bar in the country. As is the focus of everything here at Grays, beverage guru Jon Yeager has created a brandy bar concept to pay tribute to the late 19th century when cocktails were just coming into vogue. While they sounded delicious, we just tried the beers on this visit. Next time we swing by this neck of the woods, though I might give one of their brandy drinks a try. If you’re a brandy cocktail lover, this place is definitely one to check out.
What a great place, and I’m so glad we happened upon this restaurant even though we were looking for another historic building-turned-into-a-restaurant in this town. Fortunately that place was no longer here so we were able to discover this amazing spot.
If you are spending some time in Nashville (and have a car) take a short drive to Franklin. It’s a beautiful town (though this restaurant alone is worth the visit). It has won awards for most Beautiful Main Street in America. We got there later in the day so didn’t see as much as we’d like, but we’ll definitely be back.
After a nice dinner, we stopped at the Starbucks for a coffee and sat outside on the patio and soaked in the beautiful evening of small-town life. I’m thinking of moving here! 🙂