Famous Dave’s loses Franklin lease; will close Dec. 31

Famous Dave’s loses Franklin lease; will close Dec. 31

The local owners of the Famous Dave’s restaurant on Baker’s Bridge Avenue just north of the CoolSprings Galleria announced Tuesday afternoon that Dec. 31 will be the last day of business for that location.

Famous Dave’s lease was terminated when the property owner sold the site.  The new owner intends to re-purpose the location, based on new zoning changes in Cool Springs.

Famous Five Dining (FFD) is actively seeking a new site in Williamson County.  Meanwhile, employees are being offered positions in the company’s other restaurants and catering clients will be serviced from the Hermitage and Smyrna Famous Dave’s locations.

“This is an emotional day for us,” said Co-owner Laurel Renegar.  “We opened our doors here 14 years ago and feel like we’ve truly been a blessing to the community, and that community to us.  Today feels a bit like closing the family home.”

Because of the company’s close ties to its 47 employees, FFD opted to provide its team with information about the closing rather than surprising them after-the-fact, which many restaurant companies do in similar situations.  FFD owners and leaders met with Team Members on Monday to explain the upcoming change, but also assured employees they will be offered jobs as well as bonuses for remaining with the company.  “We have a truly ‘Famous’ team of employees and certainly don’t want to lose anyone while we find the right location to re-open,” Renegar said.

The Franklin Famous Dave’s restaurant has been the gathering spot for multiple community groups and families.  Proud sponsors of local schools, Famous Dave’s became the “Official BBQ” of Centennial High school in 2015. The restaurant’s annual letter-writing campaign for soldiers and other service members serving overseas or recovering from injuries in our military hospitals has garnered nationwide attention.  And during its tenure, Famous Five Dining and Famous Dave’s has helped to raise over $800,000 for Make-A-Wish through its annual golf tournament and Holiday Stars campaign.

“We’ll continue supporting these important groups through our other restaurants,” says Renegar.  “We’re proud of what we’ve done, working side-by-side with some really great people.  We’ve helped to do more than provide Franklin with great barbecue. We’ve helped change lives.  And closing our restaurant will never take that away.”

The restaurant will be smoking fresh, premium ribs, brisket and pork daily through close of business on Dec. 31.  “We know there are many stories to tell and share,” says Vice-President of Operations, John Spoon.  “We’re anxious to hear them all, and turn what has been a sad situation for us into a celebration of what this little restaurant has meant to the community!”

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