When Gray's on Main opens in mid-July, its owners hope to help its customers beat a hassle that sometimes comes with visiting downtown Franklin – parking.
While the restaurant’s patrons will be offered free valet parking, visitors to other establishments near the Town Square may also use the service for $3.
“This is something that downtown Franklin needs,” said Joni Cole, who owns the restaurant with Michael, her husband, and Andy Marshall, a silent partner who owns the building. “You’ll be given a ticket with a phone number, and they’ll pull your car around for you.”
Michael and Joni, both of whom went to high school in Franklin, were formerly restaurateurs in Fairhope, Ala. Before that, Michael, who is doing much of the woodwork for the renovation of the building that has remained vacant for 10 years, was an animator for Disney. Marshall is known for owning the Puckett’s family of restaurants.
The valets will park patrons’ vehicles in the parking garage on Fourth Avenue. The service is scheduled to be available from 6 to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
“But we’ll have the valet guys out there until Gray's closes,” Joni said, which could be as late as 1 a.m. on the weekend.
Nashville-based PMC will provide the valet service, she said.
“They will be part of Gray's, so we will have the same attendants each night,” she said. “That’s the type of hospitality we’re going to provide downtown Franklin.”
Members-Only Private Penthouse
The restaurant will offer two floors for dining service, with an elevated stage for live musical performances on the second floor. There will be space to serve 250 people at any one time on these two floors. The third floor, Joni said, will offer a members-only club, which has room to seat 50.
“It will be very exclusive,” she said. “The space is very intimate.”
The price point for the annual membership dues has not yet been set, she said.
“We’re going to have an open house [for prospective members] to view the space before they make a decision,” Joni said.
She also said the third floor, which will be secured by a locked door with a digital keypad for members to let themselves in, will keep the same hours as the restaurant downstairs and offer the same menu.
The upstairs will be lushly appointed, she said, with leather sofas, club chairs, a private bartender and two balconies that overlook the stage. One balcony seats up to 15 people, she said, and the second seats eight. The club will seat on a first-come, first-served basis. The restaurant downstairs, however, will accept reservations through www.OpenTable.com.
“This is going to be a sanctuary for our members,” Joni said. “It will be a place where you can get away from it all and still be in downtown Franklin.”
Posted on: 6/13/2013