Summertime in Tennessee carries with it a special kind of nostalgia—spend nights catching lightning bugs with neighborhood friends, Saturdays strolling the farmers market in search of the perfect tomato, afternoons with friends racing to finish a melting ice cream cone, with the familiar smell of sunscreen and bug spray filling the air through it all.
Williamson County locals are surely used to the heat and humidity by now (or are we?), but anyone visiting from outside the south be warned: There are a lot of sweating and sunburns that accompany all the sweetest parts of summer around here. But fear not because we’ve rounded up a collection of six sizzling new businesses to help you beat the heat this summer, from a picturesque ice cream parlor to a tiki-inspired hidden gem.
The pale pink and white-striped awning and timeless design at Sweethaven’s newest location (the former home of Baskin Robbins in downtown Franklin) will transport you to summers of yesteryear, but the cooler of innovative ice cream flavors will bring you right back to the present. Try favorites like the bourbon-spiked espresso “Exhausted Parent” or a classic cotton candy in a waffle cone, or cool off with an old fashioned root beer float while you stroll Main Street.
Part distillery, part coffee shop, and part cocktail bar, Main Street’s newest resident is Stable Reserve. With a deep dive into Franklin’s history driving its story, which particularly shines through the original flooring and name nodding to the building’s former use as a horse stable, Stable Reserve serves up craft coffee in the mornings before switching to cocktails using their own brand of spirits. This one is sure to cool you off from early morning to late at night.
Edley’s BBQ – Berry Farms
One of Nashville’s most beloved BBQ brands is now open in Franklin’s Berry Farms community. Come for the pulled pork and brisket, but be sure to save room for the scratch-made sides—grits casserole made with gouda, ranch-y potato salad, and the best banana pudding in town (I’m somewhat of an expert in this area).
Kokomo Trading Company
You don’t have to go way down in Kokomo to get a slice of the tropics, Westhaven’s Kokomo Trading Company debuted this year just in time for summer. The island-inspired eatery has beachy decor both inside and out, plus menu items like Caribbean patties, St. Lucian short ribs, a fish sandwich, and plenty of frozen drinks to keep you on island time.
For bright and airy ambience with the added bonus of air conditioning, head to Skylight Bar inside The Factory at Franklin. Using materials sourced from the original Dortch Stove Works plant, Skylight Bar resides in the center of the reimagined space, creating the perfect spot for gathering with friends or taking a break between shopping sprees.
Seafood and summer go hand-in-hand, and Cool Springs newcomer Mi Kitchen has you covered with their international tapas-style menu of modernized Asian favorites. Enjoy seafood dishes like hamachi crudo, tuna poke and soft shell katsu, alongside Korean-style chicken, vegetables, dumplings, and bread pudding for dessert.
How are you staying cool around town this summer?