CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In addition to their beer cheese dip and pizza, Blackhorse Pub and Brewery is also known as a favorite gathering spot in Clarksville. But the restaurant has been closed for the last six months after a devastating fire.
"My wife considers it our fourth child," said Jeff Robinson, co-owner of the Blackhorse.
March 3, 2021 -- what started as a small kitchen fire, spread to the roof and put the other historic Franklin Street properties nearby in jeopardy. So firefighters had to heavily douse the restaurant, causing major water, smoke and fire damage. "In some respects, it’s almost a total loss," said Jeff.
Six months later, this space which they love to their core, remains just as bare. "It’s left a void in our lives to not have it for these last few months," said Sherri Robinson, co-owner of Blackhorse.
Negotiations with insurance companies and the city have lasted longer than expected, leaving the nearly 30-year-old fixture in the Clarksville community in limbo. "The water damage basically went from the front to the rear of the building," said Jeff.
But at last, next week, reconstruction officially begins. "We know we have to remove the whole roof, replace it and commence on the work underneath the roof in the dry," said Jeff.
While the Blackhorse is under the knife, Sherri decided now was the time for a face lift. "I’ve always thought it could look better than it does now," she said.
The exterior of one of their buildings, covered in deep red bricks stacked over the top of the window front, has looked like this for as long as the Robinson's have owned it. Sherri suspects it probably went under a makeover in an attempt to look more modern during the 1960s. "I think downtown wanted to look more uniform, more mall-like," she said.
But searching through an old Clarksville Facebook page, she discovered a picture of what it originally looked like, fittingly taken in the Roaring 20s. "The original facade was a really light colored brick, probably yellow," said Sherri.
So as the Blackhorse hopes to roar back into the 2020s, they have gotten approval from city planners to restore the facade to it's original glory. "It feels like an incredible gift to put it back the way it was and to give it it’s character back," said Sherri.
And when they finally do, after all this time, they'll consider it a dream come true. "It’s just going to be a joy when we get to reopen," said Sherri. "We want to be back in Downtown Clarksville, we love Clarksville, we’ve always been committed to being a part of downtown."
The owners don't have a specific timeline for reopening, but hope it's well before they celebrate their 30th anniversary in Clarksville next year.