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Busy Square

Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 at 8:00 am

My Take

By Mark McGee

I remember many, many years ago a columnist in Murfreesboro wrote that someone was “deader than the Shelbyville square at 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon.”

Well, the square is livelier now and in the near future it should really be a happening place to be.

Glass Hollow Table and Tavern is soon going to open for high-end food offerings centering on steaks as well as tavern specialties.  Open for dinner Thursday-Saturday evenings, there will also be a brunch feature on Saturdays and Sundays.

The older Riverview building is being transformed into a Grindstone Cowboy location similar to the one in Eagleville. I am not a coffee drinker, but there will be other options when the project is completed.

Spring Street is going to be limited to pedestrian walkway with space for all kinds of gatherings in what is expected to be the Riverwalk development.

Also expected soon will be Classic Hops, another project from Keith Weaver’s Nashwood development company. It will be a 50’s style restaurant centering on top-shelf hamburgers as well as a craft brewery that will be visible to dining room patrons. The location just off the square is where the old Bedford Box Factory was located.

All of these new additions plan to also include entertainment with a variety of musical acts.

These are quality developments planning to offer first-rate experiences. All have the goal of providing something new for local residents, but they also have expectation that the Shelbyville square can become a destination for travelers and residents of near-by towns.

With Nearest Green Distillery, George Dickel Distillery, and Jack Daniel Distillery forming the “Whiskey Trail” visitors are going to want other places to stop and explore.

Those attending the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration will have more options in terms of dining and entertainment.

In Shelbyville, the sides are divided over growth with few people undecided in their opinion.

But growth is here. In the last three years both the city and county are becoming more attractive to businesses looking for a new territory, to those seeking cheaper housing than in a metropolitan area like Nashville, and to industries and educational institutions wanting to expand.

Growth is here and it is not going anywhere. I commend all those willing to make the commitment.

Tennessee’s Backroads Heritage – an organization that promotes tourism in the rural areas of Bedford, Moore, Marshall, Coffee, and Franklin counties as well as Monteagle Mountain, and of which I am a board member – has long been a promoter of the area.

In our view as a board, the more visitors, the better for all concerned. There is excitement for what lies ahead.

When those visitors spend money here they help fill our tax coffers helping us to complete projects using someone else’s money.

We have long been known as the “Pencil City” and the “Capital of the Tennessee Walking Horse.” Maybe it’s time to add “the happiest square on earth” to the list of accolades.