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Izzy's Feel Good Food

The sign says, “This is the Life” and hangs over the bar at Izzy’s, a new eatery on 901 Columbia Avenue in Franklin. The owners see this as their unofficial mantra - enjoy life to the fullest. Izzy’s opened for “feel good food” on October 8th.

You’d think people starting a new business, especially a restaurant, during a global pandemic would think twice, not so owners, husband and wife team of Brad Bittermann and Jo Pezely with co-partners, Tara Garland, (Executive Chef) and Harland Hoel (Manager). The timing was right in their lives to fulfill a life-long dream to open their own restaurant. Izzy’s is named after Bittermann and Pezely’s 13-year old daughter.

Bittermann and Pezely met in Las Vegas while working at the MGM Grand. They each have over 20 years’ experience in restaurants, bars, and hotels. Married 14 years, they have a daughter and a son. They moved to Nashville in 2018 when Bittermann was offered the job of Food & Beverage Director at downtown Nashville's Omni. Now they call Franklin home with the kids attending Williamson County schools.

Bitterman persuaded Hoel (whom he knew in Vegas) to come be General Manager of Barlines at the Omni. Garland worked as Assistant General Manager at Barlines. She’d studied culinary arts at the University of Tennessee. When the Omni shut down in March because of COVID, their new venture, Izzy’s came to fruition.

Open 7-days a week, available for reservations for special events, with seating for 62 inside and 48 on the outside patio, Bittermann says he wants patrons to feel Izzy’s is an extension of their living room. A room where family eat, drink, entertain, and music abounds.
Izzy’s décor has modern touches of exposed brickwork and wooden boards, but also a comfortable, fun, and family-friendly feel created though warm lighting, an open kitchen area, and a small stage for live performances.

After doing his research, Bittermann felt there was a need for a neighborhood eatery serving people with good food in a relaxed atmosphere. A place where people could come watch football on a Sunday or Monday night and have one of the 12 beers on tap with some tasty hoisin marinated chicken wings, as well as getting a quick bite to eat after soccer practice. The kids’ menu, “Bubba Bites”
(named for Bittermann’s and Pelezy’s 9-year old son Varick, whose nickname is Bubba) has perennial favorites like grilled cheese and chicken tenders.

Eating out as a family, Bittermann and Pezely look for satisfying food and value for money. They wanted to have this for their own establishment with a range of prices, from inexpensive Bubba Bites to pricier dishes, such as miso salmon.
In deciding the menu, the four business partners wrote down foods they loved to eat. Dishes that have fresh, quality ingredients, and different flavors, like the vegan roasted curried cauliflower appetizer. The unexpected flavors of curry and cinnamon are not overpowering, and delicious.

Best sellers are the house burger with caramelized onions and Russian dressing, and grilled chicken sandwich with avocado mash and chipotle aioli. Gluten free options are available. Pezely explains all their handhelds can be put on a gluten free bun. They have a fryer designated strictly for gluten free items. Be sure to save room for the divine lemon-thyme ricotta donuts, or an
awesome vegan and gluten free brownie.

Izzy’s staff maintain COVID protocols, such as wearing masks, and curbside pickups are available.

What exciting things are to come? Bittermann, a sommelier, says a wine and liquor license is in the works. Follow Izzy’s Feel Good Food – Franklin on Facebook or on Instagram at @izzysfranklin.

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