[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n Monday, August 24, Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant will open the doors to its new downtown Chattanooga restaurant, located on the Tennessee Aquarium Plaza. Billed as a “soft launch” to help train associates from August 24 through August 31, the eatery will be quietly slinging biscuits and barbecue as it gears up for its public grand opening on Tuesday, September 1.
[pullquote]”When possible, Puckett’s always supports our local purveyors and farmers. We’re looking forward to establishing relationships with those people in the immediate area.” — Andy Marshall, Owner[/pullquote]A Tennessee landmark with decades-old roots stretching back to the 1950s, Puckett’s has built its name on hosting live, local musical acts and serving Southern staples like classic meat-and-three items and its famous slow-smoked BBQ. With three locations in Middle Tennessee, the Chattanooga restaurant marks Puckett’s first expansion to a new market. “Puckett’s first priority is putting roots in the community, and that community is an important factor at each location. We’ve already seen Chattanooga’s response to that, and hope to continue to help drive the energy downtown,” said Max Stephenson, general manager of Puckett’s Chattanooga. “We think locals will enjoy our emphasis on an intimate and laid-back atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re in your own home when eating a meal or listening to the music.”
Puckett’s menus boasts of its Tennessee heritage, with “their own special spin” on breakfast, lunch and dinner items. Morning favorites include sweet potato pancakes topped with pulled pork and a downhome take on the eggs Benedict; lunch highlights range from a fried green tomato B.L.T. to heavy helpings of meat-and-three classics; and popular dinner dishes include grits topped with blackened sautéed shrimp, Cajun fried chicken over a bed of hot waffles or grilled salmon brushed with a moonshine glaze. “We take our pride in authentic, home-cooked dishes and our barbecue. The secret to that is the 18-hour process, one that includes slow ‘n’ low cooking over cherry wood and a wrap that mimics the sous vide tradition,” said Andy Marshall, owner. “And when possible, Puckett’s always supports our local purveyors and farmers. We’re looking forward to establishing relationships with those people in the immediate area.”
Puckett’s will also host local musicians on Fridays and Saturdays beginning at 9 p.m., with plans to extend the live music into weeknights in the near future. At its Nashville and Franklin locations, hundreds of the most talented artists have performed at Puckett’s over the years, from Alan Jackson and Luke Bryan to Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum. Many times, the restaurant sees songwriters rise from its stage to the national arena–artists like Chris Janson, who performed songs like his “Buy Me a Boat” single at Puckett’s before topping the charts. “At Puckett’s, music is just as much ingrained in our culture as the cooking,” said Claire Marshall Crowell, director of operations. “That’s really where we’ve built our name, and you can’t separate the music from the menu. We’ve seen that Chattanooga is a rising star in the music industry, and we can’t wait to tap into that.”
Those interested in playing on the Puckett’s stage can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.