Blackhorse Pub & Brewery reopens 13 months after a kitchen fire

Blackhorse Pub Reopens
Posted at 5:18 PM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-02 17:20:36-04

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Ask any repeat customer and they'll tell you there's something on Blackhorse Pub and Brewery's menu that keeps them coming back for more.

"Well, I just had a Boo Radley," said longtime customer Lane Lyle.

"Their pizzas are world-class," said customer Charlie Foust.

"Beer cheese dip," said customer Cindy Greene

That also seems to ensure the wait staff around here stays in constant motion.

"I literally walk around in circles making sure everything’s okay," said Nick Lesser, the general manager of Blackhorse Pub and Brewery. "Typically, it’s putting out fires left and right."

But on March 3, 2021, they had an actual fire to put out. Flames from the kitchen spread to the roof, leaving the restaurant the owners love to their core, just as bare.

"In some respects, it’s a total loss," owner Jeff Robinson told us back in 2021.

Robinson said it might have been easier to just tear down the historic 19th century structure and start over, but then the pub would have lost its personality.

"Oh I mean we couldn’t recreate this," said Robinson. "As we went through this process, a lot of people asked, 'what are you changing?' And the more we studied it, the more the answer was: not much, because it worked."

Thursday was the first day the 30-year-old pub was able to reopen on Franklin Street in Downtown Clarksville, after 13 months of empty chairs at empty tables. Customers noticed how similar the new design was to the original.

"I love how they recreated the exact same place that it was," said Greene.

"We missed this place. It was a symbol of downtown when there wasn’t anything else downtown," said Foust.

It wasn't just the regulars that were ready to return to the pub. Nearly half of Blackhorse's wait staff, and nearly all of the management personnel, came back ready to serve once again. "It’s like we’ve perpetually got 96 offspring," said Robinson with a smile.

After going through so much, you can understand why this team feels like they can take on just about anything.

"We had the tornado in [1999], had the fire," said Robinson. "Hell, we’ve had the plague. We had that. All we need now is the pestilence and we’ll have covered all the Biblical problems."

Well, almost anything. "If the locust comes back this year, I’m out," joked Robinson.

This may not be the last of construction equipment at the Blackhorse. Robinson said next they hope to add on to the back of the pub to be able to expand their brewery options.