Benchmark Sports Pub and Eatery, located at 5000 Hughes Crossing in Berry Farms, opens on Sunday/ Photo by Brooke Wanser.
By BROOKE WANSER
When Jamie Grissom and his wife moved to Franklin in 2008, they fell in love with the history of the location, the downtown, and the people.
“It’s where southern hospitality truly is exhibited,” Grissom, 44, said of Franklin.
Grissom and his wife, also named Jamie, were born and raised in Memphis, moving to Franklin for his job with an insurance company, but, “my dream was always to be an entrepreneur and own our own business,” he said.
In 2013, the opportunity presented itself when Benchmark, a sports bar and grill, became available in downtown Nashville.
At the time, Grissom said, downtown wasn’t what it is today, with a more dangerous reputation. “It wasn’t cool to go downtown because of that,” he said. “We just kind of took a leap of faith.”
The Grissoms purchased the rights to the bar’s name, switched up the menu, and didn’t look back.
Now, they are expanding the Benchmark brand to Berry Farms with the opening of their new restaurant on Sunday.
Grissom said the location was ideal: “We wanted something kind of in our backyard, because we live in Franklin, and we want to build a business in Franklin,” he said.
The Grissoms had heard a lot about the expanding Berry Farms subdivision, and drove through the neighborhood late in 2016, before even the Publix had opened.
“We’re like wow, this area could really be something in the next five to ten years,” he said.
The new Benchmark, Grissom pointed out, deviates from the Nashville location. “This is more upscale, it’s more family-oriented,” he said.
Of the Nashville location, Grissom said, “It’s more downtown tourist, honky-tonk live music.” It has also become a rallying point for Green Bay Packers fans.
Grissom and his wife have a fifth and a first-grader, so it was paramount to build a restaurant that was friendly to both children and adults.
USB outlets along the bar and at booths allow for kids to plug tablets in; the menu is also more family-friendly, with options for kids along with standard bar fare.
But, Grissom promised an extended, “amazing” happy hour.
Along with a long bar and a room to the side that can fit groups, the restaurant has patio seating overlooking the Berry Farms Town Center and silo.
Grissom also said he hoped to create an open-air concept by installing garage doors to the patio for when the weather turns nice.
The Grissoms are most excited to become a more integral part and give back to their community.
“We value service,” he said. “We want to create the experience we want to have when we go out.”
Location: 5000 Hughes Crossing
Opening: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17