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Hotel Living

The Harpeth Tells Our History's Story

Article by Maria Dinoia

Photography by Courtesy of The Harpeth

Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle

"We wanted to create something that Franklin felt proud of.” - Justin Foster, General Manager 

"We've been told by more locals than we can count that we have the best Manhattan in town."

When you first walk in to The Harpeth, Franklin's newest downtown attraction, you feel like you're walking in to a southern home. Hotel manager Justin Foster, says, "It's designed to feel that way. When you come in from outside you kinda think of somebody’s kitchen in modern homes. It flows in to the living room, in to your outdoor space, into your dining room. It flows well. And even some of the guest rooms have like a mudroom as you walk in."

The city's historic rebuild that broke ground back in October 2017 took almost a full two years to complete. There are 119 thoughtfully designed guest rooms, off a grand 6-foot wide hallway, with ample space and lush amenities (including floating headboards and in-room Keurigs) but it's the public areas that will keep the locals coming back. Justin says, “It’s a different style hotel than Franklin and Cool Springs has seen in the past. And we wanted to create something that Franklin felt proud of.”

It's certainly welcoming. There are many spaces for people to just hang out and enjoy the hotel's vibe. 1799 Kitchen and Cocktails is the restaurant (resembling the inside of a whiskey barrel) that adds contemporary American cuisine to the culinary scene in Franklin. Handcrafted cocktails, fortified wines and local craft beers are all on the menu. And whiskey - well, it wouldn't be the south if it didn't have an incredible selection of handpicked bourbons, ryes and American whiskeys. 

And then there's McGavock’s Coffee Bar & Provisions. It's exudes a good, casual vibe. One wall is made of reclaimed wood from an old Tennessee tobacco farm. They offer upscale, European-style coffee, a selection of specialty bites and wines by the glass, local craft beers and a small selection of liquors with a strong focus on French and Italian vermouths, aperitifs and craft cocktails. You can even take a little piece of Tennessee home with you from their assortment of local and regional wares produced by local artisans, including wine made by Kathie Lee Gifford. 

Justin, who has been with the hotel for a year, says, "We are a luxury hotel with 1,000 stories. We’re all about creating stories." And there is a story everywhere you look. The artwork that adorns the walls is locally inspired or done by local artists. The chevron pattern from the way the tile is laid to the lighting pays tribute to civil war soldiers. The chandeliers in the ballrooms resemble petticoats. Carpet in the meeting rooms resembles women’s lace. Some of the lighting looks like barn lanterns. Widow of the South plays through the speakers in the restrooms. Landmark Books outfitted all of the books in the library. They were handpicked so each one had something to do with Franklin, the South and/or the Civil War. And the list goes on. "A lot of thought went in to the design," adds Justin. 

If you haven't made your way down to Second Avenue yet, you are missing out. 

The Harpeth 

130 Second Avenue North





  • McGavock's