Franklin food staples to reopen dine-in services as COVID-19 fears linger

Posted at 5:33 PM, Apr 27, 2020

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Dine-in services resumed at some Franklin restaurants on Monday as part of the governor’s plan to reopen the economy.

Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant in Franklin was filled with loyal customers like Daryl Mason. They were ready to eat, get out of COVID-19 quarantine, and help the economy get back on track.

“I’ve been checked I don’t have it, and seems like some of the numbers are plateauing, and in some areas even going down, and this place as you can see smells very clean in here, and it doesn’t necessarily smell like food, it smells like cleaning chemicals,” Mason said.

Owner Andy Marshall said his restaurant group, A. Marshall Hospitality, is opening several of their establishments this week.

“We’re just glad to be back, this is more than just us coming back as a business, this is us getting employees back to work, in A. Marshall hospitality we’ve had over 400 employees that have been temporarily laid off," said Marshall. "That’s been hurtful and damaging to us as a company, and I know it’s hurt them.”

To stay safe, employees are wearing masks, they’re sanitizing frequently, they’re keeping the restaurant at half capacity, and the bar is closed.

Next door at Meridee’s Breadbasket, they plan on reopening on Thursday according to development manager Kelsey Voss. On Monday they installed Plexiglas at the cash register, and an employee wearing a mask and gloves baked pies behind a glass barrier.

“We’re doing everything so that when people walk in the door they feel really safe,” Kelsey Voss said.

Owner Jim Kreider said closing up Meridee’s Breadbasket was emotionally taxing, but he said it’s time to cautiously take the first step to recovery.

“We’ve had to lay a lot of people off, so there’s a lot of them feeling the financial implications of all this, and are happy to get back,” Kreider said.

Davidson County restaurants are not reopening yet.