Halfway Market and Diner reopens in Franklin, after two and a half year hiatus

Halfway Market and Diner Reopens
Posted at 5:33 PM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-13 09:27:04-05

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Far too many restaurants lately have been forced to say goodbye, and the Halfway Market and Diner in Franklin is no exception.

"Thank you dear, so good to see ya," said Kellye King, the owner.

Only, their farewell was back in 2019.

"We lost our lease and tried to negotiate and it just didn’t work out," King said. "Oh no, we were looking [for a new location] the day we left."

And while COVID-19 certainly slowed down their return, it finally came this week, fittingly in a building that used to be a church. Instead of pews, they have a plethora of chairs, which quite literally came from kitchens from all over this community. "

Some of the chairs came from yard sales and people just donating them," said King.

In many ways, it felt more like a reunion than a reopening — with longtime customers waiting however long it took to order up their favorites. But the real relight of this place isn't on the menu.

"It’s just nice to see some old faces I haven’t seen in a while," said Trish Stiles, a longtime customer.

It's served up each time you sit at a table and cell phones never leave someone's pocket.

"They put them down and they visit, they talk. And maybe since COVID, it’s even more important to do that," said King.

Or it could be when customers over the years, gradually become family.

"You get to know these children as they grow up," said King.

"Well, my daughter said she’d bring me out to the best restaurant in town. So here we are on my birthday," said Pat Johnson, another customer.

"Well, I’ve got your birthday. Make her take you for a massage or to the salt cave," said King as she comped Pat's meal in honor of her special day.

Which is why, if you ask Kings, the hellos are so much sweeter, when instead of goodbye, you can just say — see you next time.

"Have a good day," King tells one of her customers.

The Halfway Market and Diner is open each day from 5:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. They plan to expand their menu once the restaurant is fully up and running. It is located at 1419 W. Main Street.