Mason Jar Magazine

Buy local. Eat local. Play local in southern, middle Tennessee

MJM Guide to Spring Patio Dining in Southern, Middle Tennessee

Tuesday marked the first official day of spring. As the temperature rise, most local folks are just itching to get outside and take in the fresh air and sunshine. That includes dining al fresco in some of our favorite locally-owned restaurants and bars. We’ll be exploring different southern, middle Tennessee area each week throughout the spring, so be sure to recommend your favorites.

Daddy Billy’s119 Northwest Atlantic Street • Tullahoma

Established in 1975 and re-imagined in 2013 by new owner Nick Smith, Daddy Billy’s offers an outstanding open-air venue for a happy hour cocktail or Saturday night first date. Nestled in the heart of historic downtown Tullahoma, the exposed bricks walls, flagstone, and wrought iron give the space an urban feel. The newly expanded outdoor area now provides seating for well over 50 including metal patio tables with colorful umbrellas, picnic-style tables, and even couches and lounge chairs. There’s also an outdoor stage that offers live music on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The menu offers burgers, wraps, paninis, and sandwiches as well as seafood baskets and fresh made salads. They also serve a full bar including draft and bottled beer, hand-crafted cocktails, and wine by the glass. To see a complete menu, click here or learn more about them on their Facebook page.

If You Go >> We highly recommend the Shrimp Tacos, Catfish PoBoy, or the Bourbon Sriracha Wings.

{Photo courtesy of the Blue Gill Grill}

Blue Gill Grill912 Old Awalt Road • Tims Ford Lake

Nestled in a cove on picturesque Tims Ford Lake between Franklin and Coffee counties, the Blue Gill Grill is a southern, middle Tennessee summer tradition. It opens for the season on April 20 and promises to be a local hot spot until they close for the season in September. The floating restaurant connects to the shore by a ramp and enjoys lake views on three sides. Kids will love the friendly ducks, swans, catfish, and carp who wander up for a bite. There’s also a separate floating stage for live music on the weekends. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and the owners travel to Apalachicola, Florida once a week to bring back fresh seafood. It feels like a little slice of Nawlins located right here in southern, middle Tennessee. They offer an all-you-can-eat Cajun Crawfish Boil every Wednesday and Big Easy inspired menu items like the Mini Muffuletta, PoBoys, Red Beans and Rice, and Seafood Gumbo. They also feature the only coast-style daiquiri machine in the area. Here’s where the beach meet the country with concoctions made with a little local product like the Frozen Dickel Drop, Frozen Dickel Cherry-Lemon Drop, and new this year, the Prichard’s Lemonshine Frozen Daiquiri. They also serve over 20 different types of canned beer, three signature drinks on the rocks (margarita, mimosa, and bloody mary) as well as wine by Lynchburg Winery. To see a complete menu, click here or learn more about them on their Facebook page.

If You Go >> We highly recommend the Frozen Dickel Drop and Crawfish Julie.

{Photo Courtesy of Old Shed Brewing Company}

Old Shed Brewing Company516 East Carrol Street • Tullahoma

Founded in 2011, Old Shed Brewing Company offers locally-produced craft beer and one heck of an atmosphere for a Friday afternoon beer. In addition to their flagship beers like Southern Pale Ale and Haystack IPA, they’ve recently experimented with aging porter in barrels belonging to “other” local producers. Their Tennisky Barrel Aged Porter is aged in local whiskey barrels. (We asked. They won’t confess to exactly whose … so you’ll just need to taste it and give us your best guess.) They also recently introduced as Red Wine Barrel Aged Porter that’s finish in Apropos barrels from nearby Bean’s Creek Winery. Folks can enjoy a cold beer sitting on the front porch or move around to the uncovered side yard that offers picnic tables. On weekends they offer live music by some of the areas favorite musicians as well as snacks from The Food Truck out of Wartrace. (Click here for a full menu.)

If You Go > > We recommend the Old Shed Dog for just $6. It’s a quarter pound spicy sausage braised in Pot Belly Porter and topped with beer braised onions and spicy mustard. Oh my yum.

{Photo courtesy of Emil’s Bistro}

The Porch at Emil’s Bistro210 East Lincoln Street • Tullahoma

Something feels decidedly New South meets Old South on the porch at Emil’s Bistro and Lounge. The white linen covered wrought iron tables, gentle breeze, and accommodating service combine for genteel experience. The restaurant serves delicious southern traditional meets French casual dishes like Tagine Style Pulled Pork, Roasted Rack of Lamb, Open Face Chicken Cordon Bleu, and Pan Sautéed Cobia. They also make some of the best hand-crafted cocktails in the area. We highly recommend the Pear Martini and the Manhattan made with Jack Daniel Single Barrel Rye. Seating on the porch is limited, so it might be best to make a reservation by calling 931.461.7070.

For more information and daily lunch and dinner specials, check out their Facebook page.

{If you’d like to recommend a southern, middle Tennessee establishment for our patio series message us on Facebook or email us at}



This entry was posted on March 21, 2018 by in Uncategorized.
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