One of Williamson County’s most beloved attractions is The Factory at Franklin, the former home of Dortch Stove Works (and subsequently Magic Chef and the Jamison Bedding Company). Built in 1929, the property has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, and while it’s no longer a working factory, it’s currently undergoing a massive renovation to bring new life – and new libations – into the existing space.
We’ve gathered the inside scoop on what visitors can expect to see from the transformation.
The Skylight Bar
Franklin’s bar scene has boomed in recent years with the addition of several noteworthy cocktail lounges and sports bars across town. But, The Factory’s new concept inside its Grand Hall may just rival them all. The centrally-located Skylight bar is perfect for people-watching and mingling, inviting guests to grab a cocktail and snag one of its 35 bar stools or settle in around comfortable seating areas sprinkled throughout the open space. The bar is surrounded by what will soon be a collection of new restaurants.
Eats & Treats
The Factory was already home to beloved eateries (and drinkeries) like Mojo’s Tacos, Five Daughters Bakery, and Honest Coffee Roasters. Still, the new digs will also introduce plenty of new spots to grab a bite. Several locally-loved concepts are already confirmed to move in over the next few months, spanning plenty of cuisine types and price points.
For an upscale experience, Nashville favorite Etch from acclaimed chef Deb Paquette will bring its contemporary American and European-inspired dishes to The Factory. More casual additions include Edley’s Bar-B-Que, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, Otaku Ramen, New Orleans-inspired the White Alligator, and Australian cafe, Two Hands. Be sure to leave room for dessert and goodies to take home, as Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and GREYS Fine Cheese are also moving in.
The Factory has long been a retail hotspot, with many current residents, like Made in TN and Judith Bright, staying put. A local favorite, Fork of the South, will move to a new (and bigger!) home once renovations are complete, and Third Coast Clay will relocate to a new building. We’re excited to get to know newcomer Lemon Gift Shop, a destination for home decor, children’s clothes, and novelty items.
Attractions & More
One of the most exciting additions to The Factory is a new theater, which will be named for one of the project’s major donors, Cal Turner Jr. The 329-seat Turner Theater will become the home base of Franklin’s regional production company Studio TENN, which will bring Broadway-style shows to the mixed-use space.
In addition to the theater, The Factory has long featured hand-carved carousel pieces from resident master carver Ken Means, and the renovation will eventually bring them to life with the installation of a working carousel. The grounds surrounding The Factory and its iconic water tower will also receive a facelift to become a dedicated green space with outdoor seating.
After years of wandering The Factory’s halls with my friends and family, I am thrilled to see the space reinvigorated with so many exciting additions. See you there!