From South Margin Street, you might just see someone pickin’ a guitar on a little old front porch on a little old house. But up those porch steps and through the front door, The Legendary Kimbro’s Pickin’ Parlor welcomes you in with music, fun, and a sense of home.
Owner Will Jordan grew up and still resides in the heart of Franklin. “Franklin is my stomping grounds,” says Will. “I know every neighbor around Kimbro’s personally.”
Ron Kimbro, songwriter and (still) longstanding bartender at Brown’s Diner in Nashville, opened the Franklin juke joint in 2005. A freelance writer and photographer, Will discovered Kimbro’s and was charmed by it. He asked Ron Kimbro for a job as a bartender there. As their friendship grew, Will became an owner in 2007, turning Kimbro’s into a full-time music venue, open seven nights
a week. After a public retirement by Ron Kimbro on stage during a show by The SteelDrivers, Will became the sole owner. The Kimbro’s brand expanded to include their next-door neighbor, Carpe Diem, Franklin’s first record store, and to the Factory at Franklin with the marvelous Mockingbird Theater.
As you walk through the rooms at Kimbro’s, you’ll see that “the DNA is on the walls,” as Will puts it. Iconic musicians have performed at Kimbro’s including Leon Russell, Wynona Judd, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, and Rodney Crowell. Will remembers when Chris Stapleton, former member of The SteelDrivers, would eat meals in the back room before playing to his very first fans on the Kimbro’s stage. Legend even has it that, one night, a show featuring a band called the Coleslaw Brothers turned out to be a surprise John Prine concert of eight or nine of his original songs performed to a room of maybe fifteen people. You just never know who you might find there, and all you have to do is walk through the door.
The city of Franklin is very important to Will Jordan, and he makes it a point to give back to the community. Kimbro’s offers the people of Franklin a place where they belong, featuring a fabulous menu, an extensive list of beers, wine, and spirits, and a back patio complete with tables, chairs, games and a firepit that makes for an ideal place for the whole family to hang out, enjoy some food, and listen to great music into the evening.
You’ll find music for all ages including Ukulele Sprouts – a children’s ukulele class offered on Wednesdays. Kimbro’s works
with charities like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, with Friends of Franklin Parks on projects like the touching Ellie G’s Dream World, as well as with FrankTown Open Hearts, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of Williamson County’s inner-city youth. “It’s more than just a business,” says Will. “It’s about what’s good for the Kimbro’s community and the Franklin community.”
“It’s about what’s good for the Kimbro’s community and the Franklin community."