Despite the pandemic, a wave of new businesses opened in Clarksville, Tennessee in recent months with more slated throughout the year. Plus, live music is back--and back in a big way--and new trails are open. Here are a few new places you’ll want to add to your must-see list this spring and summer.
Dock 17 opened in April featuring gourmet burgers and brews for dinner on weekdays, with added brunch hours on Saturdays and Sundays. The restaurant is in The City Forum indoor recreation complex, near the Exit 11 interchange off I-24. In addition to spacious indoor seating, guests can relax around the outdoor fire pit.
Fun menu items include Hog Heaven, crispy sweet potato fries topped with pulled pork, apples, kettle corn, cinnamon whiskey cream and plum sauce. Burger staples include names like Boot Scootin’ Burger, Big Loud Trucker, and Rocky Top. Brunch entrees lean beyond the traditional to add items like Chicken & Mushroom Crepes and Benedict Burger Sliders. Dozens of options for creative specialty cocktails, brews and wines will round out a distinct dining experience.
Veteran-owned Black Rifle Coffee also opened a location in Clarksville in April. Being the home of Fort Campbell Army Post and thousands of veterans seems a perfect fit for the company. Social media activity would seem to confirm the pairing. “We are defying all the limits of Facebook organic posts with over 113,000 impressions and 16,200 engagements so far on our grand opening announcement,” said Visit Clarksville Executive Director Theresa Harrington.
In downtown Clarksville, property continues to change hands frequently with new business and announcements happening regularly. City Market renovated a historic building and reopened what some Clarksvillians might remember as The Arcade, a collection of businesses that operated in the building in the mid-70s and early 80s. So far, four shops are open:
Fanelli’s Deli and Market is an authentic Italian deli with specialty gourmet retail products. Ryan Bowie, owner of City Boy County Life (also located in the Market) and executive director of the Roxy Regional Theatre share his thoughts on the Meatball Sub. “The bread, perfect. The meatballs, like my grandmas. The sauce, a perfect balance of sweet and savory and the addition of the pesto...genius.”
With the absence of live theatre in 2020, Bowie pursued other dreams and opened City Boy County Life in the fall, a home décor and lifestyle collection.
“Opening a new business in the middle of a global pandemic seems crazy to most but I wouldn't have had it any other way,” he said. “Combatting a lack of creativity due to the Roxy Regional Theatre ceasing live performances, I needed something to pull me out of bed, that gave me focus and got those creative juices flowing again while at the same connecting with people on a different level.”
The Clarksville Collection carries custom-designed and USA-manufactured Clarksville and Montgomery County merchandise. Think beyond t-shirts and tumblers to kids’ apparel, playing cards, coasters, magnets, and many other pieces. The Clarksville Collection is the second retail store downtown from Bostonian transplants, Jody Isaacs and Steve Tyrrell, who moved to Clarksville specifically to enhance the downtown community.
Make Your Mark Framing opened their second brick-and-mortar store in Clarksville in City Market after operating the shop in nearly Dickson for four years. They offer high-quality and unique framing products and services and are Tennessee’s only Certified Picture Framers (CPF).
The Vine on Franklin will be Clarksville’s first wine bar and is set to open later this spring. The Vine will offer wines from all over the world, accompanied by charcuterie boards.
Drake's opens a Clarksville location on May 3 at 120 South Hampton Plaza, site of the former Demo's restaurant. The regional chain specializes in burgers, sushi and beer. Clarksville marks the 17th market for the restaurant with locations in Indiana, Kentucky, southern Illinois, east Tennessee, North Carolina and Alabama.
Two food trucks are making the leap to full brick-and-mortar locations including Founding Frothers Coffee and Legends Smokehouse & Grill.
Red River East Trailhead opened this past weekend, extending the Cumberland Riverwalk to a point that is across the Red River from the Greenway and connect the trail system to Austin Peay State University. Once a pedestrian bridge across the Red River connects to the Greenway, the trails will total about 9 miles from north Clarksville to downtown.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has shed an even bigger light on the essential role of our community parks and trails,” said Clarksville Parks & Recreation Director Jennifer Letourneau. “We saw an increase in usage over the last year and continue to add to this inventory of recreational facilities that improve the quality of life of our citizens and enhance the visitor experience.”
Parking for the new section is at Action Air on Kraft Street at the McGregor Park expansion (behind O’Charley’s on Riverside Dr.) Red River views are spectacular and benches are scattered along the shaded paved pathway.
Live music is back with a new addition to Clarksville’s typically full summer concert schedule.
Beachaven Vineyards & Winery is transitioning its long-standing tradition of the popular Jazz on the Lawn to smaller, more intimate outdoor events every weekend from May 15 through October.
Fridays are Happy Hour from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM with flight specials and options for snacks. A different acoustic musician and food truck will be on-site each Saturday and Sunday. Performances on Saturday are from 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM and on Sundays from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Performers and food trucks are posted on visitclarksvilletn.com/events or the Beachaven Facebook page.
“As Clarksville continues to provide more and more options for a well-rounded visitor experience, and as travel opens back up throughout Tennessee and the nation, we expect to have a strong 2021-22 tourism season,” said Harrington. “We’ve seen over the past year, especially, how vital tourism is to our local, state and national economies. We hope everyone who is looking for a convenient and affordable getaway will consider Clarksville, and especially explore these new businesses and activities.”
About Clarksville, TN
Clarksville, Tennessee is a mid-size city 40 miles northwest of Nashville along I-24 at the TN/KY border. The city's 2021 estimated population is just over 161,000 with the total population of Montgomery County at 216,000. The city was established in 1794 at the confluence of the Cumberland and Red Rivers and maintains a beautifully preserved downtown district with restaurants and breweries, art galleries and public art, attractions, entertainment, parks and trails, and shops.