First & Main, Downtown Franklin

A. Marshall Hospitality ghost kitchen brand in Franklin is now opening as a brick-and-mortar restaurant at the heart of Historic Downtown.

The onset of quarantine restrictions last year hit restaurants hard, and A. Marshall Hospitality locales like Americana Taphouse, Deacon’s New South, Puckett’s and Scout’s Pub were in no way exempt; however, they discovered early that so-called ghost kitchens were the answer — online restaurants fulfilling orders out of pre-established, brick-and-mortar spaces.

It became a necessity at the peak of to-go orders for primarily delivery purposes, and it provided a means to recycle supplies and ingredients on-hand according to the Nashville Business Journal’s interview with CEO Andy Marshall back in the Spring.

Enter Burger Dandy, stage-right: A. Marshall Hospitality converted its Americana Taphouse on Main Street into a ghost kitchen for a virtual brand. That digital imprint has now spawned its own full-service storefront at the corner of First and Main Street according to a press release.

“Moving a concept from a virtual kitchen to a brick-and-mortar restaurant is rare and a true testament to the success of Burger Dandy and our loyal, burger-loving customer base,” said Lyle Richardson, chief operating officer at A. Marshall Hospitality.

The restaurant will officially offer its burgers, fries and milkshakes in person beginning in January, complete with a staffed counter, a self-serve kiosk, a conventional dine-in area and a patio for outdoor dining.

The company expressed interest earlier this year in expanding its virtual concepts into physical storefronts, and while Burger Dandy was the first, it was not the only.

It also launched NASHi Noodles in downtown Nashville, which turned Deacon’s New South into a ghost kitchen in like manner. It also developed Fresh 96 Kitchen, which operated out of Scout’s Pub in the southern part of Franklin. In tandem with Burger Dandy, these covered the basic extremities of A. Marshall’s menu offerings.

This also mitigated marketing expenses because the corporation already housed multiple, well trafficked concepts.