The Best Burgers, Spirits & Brews in Franklin
What do guys really like? From daytime talk shows to magazine articles to advice columns, no one really seems to have a definite answer. Do they like football? Do they enjoy monster trucks? Power tools? Golf? Fishing? We can argue endlessly about what should end up on the master list, but there are three things guys like that we can almost universally agree on: burgers, spirits and brews. Luckily for the “manly men” in Franklin who love all three, this area has a wealth of options to explore and enjoy. For those on the hunt for something new and exciting, we’ve compiled a list of some local suggestions.
401 Cool Springs Blvd.
Franklin, TN 37067
It’s pretty much a fact that guys like burgers. Preferably big burgers with lots of toppings to choose from and maybe a beer or two to wash it all down. So where do guys who like burgers go when they’re in Franklin? One of the more popular choices is Burger Up in Cool Springs.
“Guys like to be comfortable, and that’s what we offer with no pretenses,” says Jason Smith, general manager of Burger Up Cool Springs. “We’ve got a good draft beer selection, a good bourbon selection and you can’t go wrong with the burger.”
Their best-selling burger is the “Woodstock,” featuring white cheddar, Jack Daniel’s maple ketchup and Benton’s bacon. Another favorite is the “Ramsey” with house made pimento cheese. They have a daily burger that changes frequently and also have sliders, salads and their “Hot Chicken” sandwich, their own interpretation of the local favorite. Although they’re serious about their food, they maintain a fun environment that guys from all walks of life can appreciate.
“We don’t take life too seriously,” says Smith. “We’re feeding people and having a good time doing it.”
In order to distance themselves from the sea of corporate restaurants surrounding them, Burger Up features locally-sourced food and ingredients. Their grass-fed and grain-finished beef has no hormones or antibiotics and comes in fresh every day from Bear Creek Farm. They make their ketchup and sauces in-house, and even their buns are baked locally. With such a strong emphasis on local food, it’s no wonder that they place the same amount of emphasis on local people, too.
“We love Franklin”, says Smith. “I spend a lot of time at the front door, meeting people. If I don’t know you, I want to know you. To me, it’s the essence of hospitality.”
For more information, check out their website at BurgerUpCoolSprings.com
Gray’s on Main
332 Main Street
Franklin, TN 37064
Guys in Franklin wanting to enjoy a night on the town with live music, incredible Southern food and hand-crafted cocktails in an elegant and historical atmosphere need look no further than Gray’s on Main. Dating all the way back to 1876, the building operated as a pharmacy from 1926 to 1998. With actual antique prescriptions decorating the walls, a restored tin ceiling and the only historical neon sign allowed in downtown Franklin, Gray’s exudes a vibrant and welcoming feeling of Southern sophistication.
“We want our locals to feel like they’re at home and tourists to feel like they’re coming home,” says Joni Cole, co-owner of Gray’s on Main. “We’re truly all about hospitality.”
Although Gray’s on Main is well-known for its warm hospitality and its eclectic and upscale Southern food, their bar program is among the most impressive in the country. As the first brandy bar in the South and the second in the United States since Prohibition, they strive to connect to the past with their progressive, brandy-forward cocktail specialties.
“This building dates back to 1876, the Golden Age of Cocktails,” says Kala Ellis, trained mixologist, beverage historian and bartender at Gray’s. “Our goal is to honor the story of the building with our bar program.”
Bartenders and mixologists at Gray’s pay head-spinning attention to detail, hearkening back to a time when creating cocktails was considered a true art form. They create their own cocktails, their own syrups and even their own bitters.
“Cocktails are history, artistry and chemistry,” says Ellis. “Although we honor the past, our vision is on the future. We want to create the next great cocktail.”
To help drive its progressive vision forward, Gray’s created “You Don’t Know Jack,” a brandy and bourbon-based cocktail it hopes will become a future classic. It joins other popular handcrafted drinks on the Gray’s menu like its best-selling Anthem Spirit or the Brandy Crusta.
The thoughtful precision and focus that goes into its cocktails brings the building’s past as a pharmacy full-circle. It’s this renowned expertise that is bolstering its reputation as a place where a refined gentleman can always find an exquisite cocktail.
“We love finding people who share our passion,” says Cole. “Luckily Franklin is
full of people like that.”
For more information, check out their website at GraysOnMain.com
1110 Hillsboro Rd. #260
Franklin, TN 37064
If you’re looking for a good place to relax with your buddies and try some new brews, The Casual Pint is a solid choice. As you might infer from their name, it’s popular for guys who just want to hang out in a fun and casual atmosphere.
“My goal is to be that neighborhood watering hole where you can drink good beer with your friends,” says Ken Franse, owner of The Casual Pint. “I love Franklin. We live, shop, play and go to church in this community and we love being a part of it.”
The Casual Pint is one of the only places in the area where you can have a beer on-site and then take home a growler or a “craft your own” six-pack. With over 350 different beers to choose from, there is plenty to discover.
“We’ll have a beer here that you’ll like,” says Franse. “Our main demographic is men, and they love to gather here. It’s a great place to try beers.”
With a heavy focus on local brews, you may discover a new favorite. Currently the best-selling local beer is Tailgate’s Peanut Butter Stout, but new options rotate through their 28 taps on a frequent basis. They also have Thursday Trivia Night, Pint Nights, Beer Dinners and Singer/Songwriter Nights featuring live music. And although they don’t serve food, customers are welcome to bring food or have it delivered right to the bar. It all adds to the fun and relaxing vibe that is so popular with guys in and around the Franklin area.
For more information, check out their website at TheCasualPint.com