Franklin restaurants have a fine new addition to the already mouth watering slate of choices.
Chef Jason McConnell, well-known throughout south Nashville for his popular eateries Red Pony and SOL, is bringing an additional restaurant to the downtown square. His latest concept, 55 South, is scheduled to open Wednesday, January 20, 2010, and will occupy part of the original building space of sister gourmet Mexican restaurant, SOL. Chef McConnell began renovation on January 4, 2010 to 403 Main Street, transforming the large interior into two unique restaurants.
Named for the highway that spans from Memphis to New Orleans, 55 South will occupy the front half of the space with a Main Street window, adding a new dining experience to downtown Franklin. Reclaimed materials give 55 South its down-home, rustic charm, and Chef McConnell has developed a menu that runs deep into southern comfort, even offering patrons a daily oyster happy hour featuring oysters for 50 cents starting at 3:00 p.m., with a 25 cent increase every hour until 6 p.m. The restaurant features Louisiana favorites such as the crawfish fiesta trio, Delta tamales, fried boudin, and chicken & sausage jambalaya, and southern staples like greens and cornbread, cheese grits and sweet potato fries. Desserts such as the chocolate chip pecan pie and the velvet elvis must not be overlooked, and if you’re searching for something unique, try the crispy blackened alligator. 55 South will offer lunch and dinner service Monday – Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Friday – Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., as well as a traditional New Orleans-style Sunday brunch. 55 South is located at 403 Main St., Franklin, TN, 37064.
“We are ecstatic to introduce 55 South to the Nashville community; personally and professionally, I have always wanted to open a traditionally southern-style restaurant. Operating SOL in such a large space, which occupied almost 2,000 sq. feet more than the majority of downtown restaurants, was a challenge. We are bringing the building back to the true essence and character of downtown Franklin, offering two intimate, quaint, and charming options,” comments McConnell.
SOL aficionados don’t need to fret; Chef McConnell will continue to deliver sophisticated Mexican cuisine, featuring fresh and unique flavors with an element of surprise. Beginning on January 20, 2010, SOL will occupy the Fourth Ave. side of the original space. SOL will continue to serve intriguing cocktails, well-matched wines and craft tequilas, in addition to the distinctive, upscale Mexican flavors, all while remaining familiar and comforting. The fun, laid-back atmosphere will still remain intact, with funky artwork and unique mirrors, offering diners a sense of joy and Hispanic spirit thought the dining room. The smaller, more intimate restaurant will seat up to 65 guests and will re-open, offering dinner Monday – Thursday 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. and Friday – Saturday 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Due to the interior changes, SOL will no longer serve lunch. SOL is located at 108 Fourth Ave., Franklin, TN, 37064.
ABOUT CHEF JASON MCCONNELL
Originally from Rives, TN, Chef Jason McConnell grew up in the kitchen, planning and cooking the family dinner once a week. He also spent the summers traveling the country with his family, who were horse trainers in the Tennessee Walking Horse Industry. Not realizing that his weekly chore and his culinary experiences would soon develop into his passion, McConnell moved to Oxford, MS to attend the University of Mississippi, headed in the direction of law and politics. While studying in Oxford, McConnell worked at the highly-respected City Grocery and Downtown Grill, gaining relevant hands-on training and knowledge in the kitchen.
After graduating with a political science degree, McConnell recognized his culinary talent and interest, and enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. After graduation in 2000, he returned to Tennessee and worked for five years at F. Scott’s, regarded as one of Nashville’s best fine dining restaurants.
McConnell dreamed of owning his own restaurant, and in 2006, he introduced Red Pony, a unique approach to Tennessee’s southern cuisine and a stylish, laid-back atmosphere to historic downtown Franklin. The restaurant fascinated food critics around the state and gained applause from excited diners. Just 14 months later, McConnell and his close-knit team opened SOL, a sophisticated Mexican restaurant, focusing the menu on fresh ingredients from local farmers and purveyors to create authentic gourmet Mexican cuisine. SOL is the first of its kind in Franklin and has been embraced by the culinary community.
For more information, contact: Katherine Provost / Elizabeth Moore Green Olive Media, LLC Phone: 404.815.9327 Fax: 404.815.9328