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5 Amazing Outdoor Dining Spots In Murfreesboro And Smyrna
Spring is on the way, and it is the perfect time to start dining in fresh air.
Although there are quite a few spots around Rutherford County to eat outdoors, there's nothing like a locally owned eatery in the downtown to people watch while you enjoy a great meal.
The Alley on Main
223 W. Main St., Murfreesboro
Southern gourmet dining is what you'll find on the menu at The Alley on Main. Shawn and Christy Hackinson focus on made-to-order meals that include Southern favorites such as catfish, chopped sirloin and pork chops, with gourmet selections like sauteed mushrooms, goat cheese Bruschetta and fresh oysters on the half shell.
The Alley boasts a fenced-in courtyard area that includes a large covered deck with a dozen or so wooden picnic-style seating that overlooks a grassy area.
"People like the option of dining downtown where they can come sit outside, the kids can run around in the grass and there's live music, starting April 7, on Fridays and Saturdays," Christy Hackinson said, adding that even dogs are welcome on the deck as long as they are leashed.
On nights where live music is offered, the menu is limited "because we grill outside to order," she said. Along with food, The Alley specializes in fresh fruit drinks. Otherwise, the full menu is served on the deck.
The Boulevard Bar & Grille
2154 Middle Tennessee Blvd., Murfreesboro
Whether it's January or June, The Boulevard Bar & Grille opens the patio for dining, said manager Molly Woodman.
"A lot of it is covered with a canopy, but some of it isn't," Woodman noted, adding that there are 18 tables situated on the patio section.
Sometimes the Boulevard runs specials just for patio diners. You can also reserve any of the tables ahead of time at the restaurant on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays — including the patio — which makes it a popular spot for outdoor parties.
"I think people like how large the patio is, and it's pretty out there. The canopies make it a little nicer, too," Woodman said.
1916 E. Main St., Murfreesboro
Just a little bit beyond Middle Tennessee State University is Jefferson's, a family-friendly sports bar that offers pub grub like burgers, made-to-order wings and tenders, and the popular Philly sandwiches.
But it's the patio that draws a lot of folks in warmer weather. The renovated fraternity house is reminiscent of dining with friends in your own backyard, said manager Trey Randolph.
"It's a really chill spot," Randolph said. "We have two TVs visible from all seats."
There are six tables that accommodate around 24 patrons, with one table situated on the front porch where diners can enjoy watching life pass by on East Main Street. Part of the back patio is covered, too.
Jefferson's also runs daily deals like $2.50 domestic pints and $6 wings on Thursdays, $6 burgers on Mondays, $4 hot dog baskets on Tuesdays, 75 cent traditional and boneless wings on Wednesdays, $6 grilled chicken salads on Fridays, and $6 chicken or steak Philly sandwiches on Saturdays.
Don't forget to bring your dollar bills and help Randolph decorate the restaurant walls.
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Slick Pig BBQ
1920 E. Main St., Murfreesboro
A little farther down East Main is the recently renovated Slick Pig BBQ, a local favorite since 1995.
For years there were just a couple of picnic tables outside. But the renovation of the establishment added a large to-go area called the Pig Parlor, with a few overflow tables as well as an outdoor dining area in August of 2016.
"When we did the renovation we took the opportunity to add a porch space that gives folks the opportunity to enjoy outside dining. The patio area seats about 20," said proprietor Matt Nelson.
If it's nice weather, folks will be out there, Nelson said.
"I think people love to eat outside. Barbecue and outside just go hand in hand. It has a relaxed feel to it and I think our location has always had a hometown feel," Nelson said.
Massimo's LaTavola Ristorante Italiano
114 Front St., Smyrna
"We do beer and wine specials in the summer and also live music," said Massimo Esposito, owner of LaTavola.
Esposito said LaTavola is also a great spot for patrons to enjoy dining when a festival is going on in the Smyrna Depot District. Enjoy wine, authentic Italian cuisine and an evening of people-watching."
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