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Audrey’s on the Square

Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 9:00 am

A delicious addition to Uptown Shelbyville


A scrumptious carrot cake—one of the many treats offered at Audrey’s on the Square. (Photos by Zoe Watkins)

Since opening in December, Audrey’s on the Square has been offering sweet treats and brunch options in a cozy yet upscale environment.

Located “four doors” from Shelbyville staple, Pope’s Café, Audrey’s is owned by husband-and-wife team Cole and Lexi Krieg. They also own and run Pope’s Café.

Wanting to provide Shelbyville with something different, the Kriegs decided to open Audrey’s, which also offers homemade cinnamon rolls, cakes, cheesecakes, soups and sandwiches.

“We wanted something a little more upscale, and this is where it landed,” said Cole.

The name Audrey comes from Lexi’s great-grandmother, Audrey Insel (who lived to be 100). Lexi wanted to tie the restaurant to her personally.

Cole, too, was impacted by his grandmother, who taught him much of what he know about cooking.

“My grandmother, she helped teach me everything about farming but she also helped teach me everything she knew about food. That was more geared toward southern cooking,” said Cole.

Prior to buy Pope’s, Cole worked on his family’s farm in Rutherford County. But after going through some health challenges, which included two strokes and two heart attacks, Cole decided to go into a “less stressful” industry—ironically, that industry was the restaurant business.

“Sometimes a restaurant’s more stressful,” said Cole with a hearty laugh. “After the first two weeks, we were like, ‘what have we done,’ but it has really picked up.

“It was a big difference from bailing hay when it was 100 degrees outside.”

Cole and Lexi said they were encouraged to purchase and operate Pope’s—which has been serving southern style food since 1941—after hearing rumor’s it might turn into a Mexican restaurant (just one of the dozen already in Shelbyville).

“We wanted to save it from that happening and keep Pope’s, Pope’s,” said Cole.

Cole and Lexi Krieg

And anyone who has driven through the Square over the past couple of weeks may have noticed the façade work going on outside Pope’s. Cole explained the brick was wanting to “crumble,” so the building’s owner began renovating the exterior.

After purchasing Pope’s a year and half ago, Krieg bought the location for Audrey’s last fall, which used to be a boutique.

For Lexi, after graduating from Shelbyville Central in 2014, she looked to go to culinary school. She, along with Cole’s sister—who is also named Lexie—both do the majority of cooking and baking.

Her favorite thing to bake are their cheesecakes, while her favorite dish they serve is the chicken and rice soup.

It’s just a few of the items they offer, which include their best-sellers of lobster bisque, the Italian sandwich, and loaves of fresh-baked bread.

After working at Merle Norman for 14 years, Lexi said she is excited to see some reoccurring customers. She added she gets a lot of her ideas from those customers who give feedback.

Cole added, “I like working with the people. It’s rewarding when they say something like, ‘I like this.’ You also build those relationships with the community.”

However, some of the challenges of being in the restaurant business include finding employees and lack of parking on the Square during busy times. But the challenges don’t stop them from wanting to give Shelbyville a nice and delicious option.

As a husband and wife team who’s been married for about a year, Cole and Lexi say they make pretty good business partners—even if they occasionally clash over the restaurant’s eclectic décor.

“Lexi sees one thing and then I see another, but we eventually work it out,” Cole said.

They have lot of plans coming up. They hope to do something every other Friday. This Good Friday, Cole will be preparing a family style meal of baked ham, roasted chicken, salads, vegetables, and banana pudding. They are also hoping to push their catering services and offer a Mother’s Day tea time.

Fellow neighbors and friends, Kay Rose, left, and Faye Sudberry, right, were some of the customers enjoying a lunch at Audrey’s.

Audrey’s on the Square is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call (931) 488-4882 for more information, or visit them at 112 Public Square East.