The Picnic Cafe lease won't be renewed after 40 years

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 20:23:43-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — For nearly 40 years, Belle Meade has been the home of some famous local chicken salad.

The Picnic Cafe has been serving up some favorites for many years, but the owner says the lease won't be renewed, and they will need to find a new location soon.

"I came to this spot in 1984. I started in '83. It’s almost been 40 years," owner Kathy Bonnet said.

It's hard to find a local restaurant like the Picnic Cafe that can say they've been in Nashville for this many years.

"I just started one going door to door for one summer, when things could be done that way 40 years ago," Bonnet said.

Many of long-time guests still remember those days.

"It’s been 40 years ago and I'm 98, so 58 years ago," said Mrs. Bernard.

The Picnic Cafe eventually settled in Belle Meade on Harding Pike.

Some could say it's the fruit tea and great food that keeps people coming back and staff busy.

Bonnet says they're serving up a little bit more than that.

"A community of love."

But this community could soon need a new home.

"This will be coming to an end. So, I'm told, and we'll have to move at that point. I'm not sure where, but we will stay right in this vicinity if we can get a lease. It’s a lot more complicated than I thought," said Bonnet.

Jimmy Granbery, Chair and CEO, H.G. Hill Realty Company sent a statement explaining the reason.

"The road network outlined in Metro’s Harding Town Center Urban Design Overlay has been in the works for 20 years and will have impacts on our property located at 4320 Harding Pike, which is currently occupied by The Picnic Cafe. As a valued tenant for many years, we have worked with the owner to offer three alternative sites for relocation. At this time, there are no current plans for the property."

The Picnic Cafe doesn't know when and where they will go but Bonnet says they will find a way.

"If we have to get a food truck, we'll do that and sit in the parking lot I don't know what we're going to do, I really don't but we are going to relocate, try to relocate."

Bonnet says they've been really blessed to be where they are, and they don't want to leave.