Distillery resumes tastings in Lynchburg

Master Distiller Jeff Arnett walks visitors through recognizing a whiskey’s color at a recent tasting. Tastings resumed at the distillery on July 27 but with limited capacity. {Photo Courtesy of Jack Daniel’s Distillery}

On Monday, via their corporate website, Jack Daniel’s Distillery’s Visitor’s Center announced that they planned to resume the Jack Daniel tasting experience effective immediately … but with some social distancing measures. The tasting experience is available seven days a week and will be limited to 10 individuals per tasting. Masks are required.

Miss Mary Bobo’s is now open from Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests will dine at smaller tables and reservations are required. But you’ll still get amazing southern food with a side of local history.

The Visitor’s Center re-opened on July 1 for self-guided access. The White Rabbit Bottle Shop is also now open Thursday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The lower level of Lyncburg Hardware & General Store is also re-opened with limited capacity and all customers are required to wear masks.

On March 16, Jack Daniel closed all tours due to COVID-19 concerns. Tours remain unavailable. For more information, call 888-551-5225 or visit their website by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Jack re-opens Visitors Center but no tours yet

According to Jack Daniel’s officials, the Visitor Center, White Rabbit Bottle Shop, and Lynchburg Hardware and General Store have “soft” opened but the distillery isn’t yet offering tours or tastings. Miss Mary Bobo’s will also remain closed for now. {Photo Provided}

You may or may not have noticed this week that the Lynchburg Hardware and General Store on the square has re-opened with social distancing in mind. Signs are posted stating that folks should stand “two barrels apart” and that the maximum capacity for shoppers inside at one time is 20 people.

According to distillery officials, Jack Daniel’s plans to “soft open” some facilities but will not re-open to tours and tastings just yet. The Jack Daniel Visitor Center, White Rabbit Bottle Shop, and Lynchburg Hardware and General Store are all open to the public. Miss Mary Bobo’s Restaurant will remained closed until tours resume.

“Clearly, the health and safety of our employees and visitors is our primary concern.  There are a number of steps that have been taken to ensure a safe visit for our friends including limiting the number of people in the facilities at one time, increased sanitation efforts to meet and exceed safety guidelines, and other activities,” one official told us. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

7 Things To Do This Weekend

Saturday is the first day of summer and so it is with great excitement that The Lynchburg Times relaunches one of its favorite weekly features, Seven Things. We’ve searched hundreds of websites and social media page so you don’t have to. These are our seven favorite things happening in middle Tennessee this weekend. Enjoy and remember to maintain social distancing

1 | Adopt a Beehive at Tims Ford State Park — Did you know that Tims Ford State Park in Franklin County sells its own locally-produced honey? It’s true. Park officials recently installed two honeybee hives and locals can adopt either a single bee, a colony, or the complete hive. Learn more by clicking here.

2 | Dirty Dancing and Footloose at the Montana — Thursday is the last day to see a pair of iconic 80’s films at the local drive in. Dirty Dancing will begin at 8:30 p.m. on June 18 and Footloose will follow at 10:25 p.m. The Montana Drive In is located at 10251 Tullahoma Highway. To read our complete coverage on this event, click here.

3 | Free Screening of My Friend Karl — Did you know that Tullahoma boasts it’s very own documentary film maker? Tullahoma High School student and filmmaker Colin Shuran recently finished his first, feature-length documentary – a film title, My Friend Karl – and you can watch it for free, under the stars on Friday, June 19 around dusk at the South Jackson Civic Center. The film tells the story an unlikely friendship through the lens of mental illness, homelessness, and advocacy. It’s a great teaching film for all ages.

4 | DJ Dusty at the Hard Dock Cafe — Oh, hello grandmother? We’re not sure where this catch phrase came from exactly but if you are from around here you know exactly who it belongs to. He’s a Lynchburg Elementary School teacher, a Jack Daniel’s tour guide, and a one-of-a-kind personality. He also happens to be a fabulous DJ who will keep you smiling and dancing all night. He’ll be at the Hard Dock Cafe at Tims Ford Marina beginning at 6 PM on Saturday.

5 | Hike to Horsepound Falls — Saturday marks the first day of summer and the perfect day for a hike. South Cumberland State Park officials plan an organized hike to Horsepound Falls on Saturday, June 20. You’ll experience two falls, a creek, and maybe if you are lucky the tailend of the spring wildflowers. Read our complete coverage by clicking here.

6 | Watrace Summer Concert Series — Live music outside by the historic railroad tracks? Yes please. On Saturday, June 19 head into this charming, historic railroad town for the Wartrace MusicFest Summer Concert series. It happens every third Saturday at 6 p.m. and features live music, shopping, craft beer and pizza from the Iron Pizzeria. Saturday’s line up includes Goodbye June, Kiss Kiss Bang, The Blue Trees, The Cold Stares, Sweet Fever, and Fred Reilly.

7 | Acoustic Jam at Tims Ford State Park — Some nights you’re a picker and other nights you’re a grinner. On Saturday, June 20 you can be either at the All Acoustic Open Jam Night hosted by David Watson Music. The music starts at 5: 30 p.m. at the state park’s Recreation Building and it’s open to musicians of all levels and abilities. To learn more, click here.

Heirloom Eating: The Steele House continues local family’s restaurant legacy

The southern Biscuit and Gravy Platter is a popular Steele House breakfast choice. It features a homemade biscuit, gravy, eggs cooked your way, plus your choice of bacon, sausage, or home-style taters. {Lynchburg Times Photo}

Running a restaurant and serving food to a community she loves is literally in her blood. That’s what Donna Sullenger, co-owner of one of Moore County’s newest restaurants, says about her latest endeavor, The Steele House, a restaurant located just off historic Highway 55 in Lynchburg.

In fact, her great grandfather on her mother’s side, Buster Bill Steele, inspired the eatery’s name. He and his wife, Beatrice, founded Bea’s Restaurant, a Chattanooga tradition 70 years strong. Opened in the 1950’s, the restaurant has been owned by the same family for four generations.

Sullenger says she’s been blessed with fabulous recipes from both sides of her family as well as friends who feel like family. Collecting those recipes and photos of loved one in their southern kitchens has been part of the process of opening, she says.

Donna Sullenger
Donna Sullenger poses with pictures of family members that have inspired Steele House recipes. {Lynchburg Times Photo}

“When we had a family gathering, it was always around a meal,” Sullenger says.

It’s that sense of tradition and family that Sullenger’s baked right into her menu with items like Nanny’s Chicken Casserole, Papa’s German Chocolate Cake, and Pendergraff’s Peach Cobbler.

The Steele House serves breakfast and lunch Wednesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Breakfast offers southern favorites like biscuits and gravy, pancakes, as well as omelets. The JJ’s Smoked Bologna Biscuit is a kitschy favorite.

The lunch menu changes daily and features a meat and three vegetables. To us, it’s the dessert menu that really shines featuring southern-style banana pudding, Brown’s Banana Cake, Nanny’s Chocolate cake, and others on a revolving menu.

Sullenger, who once catered Little Richard’s Thanksgiving dinner, says catering, fresh-smoked meats, and live music are all in the works.

They are currently open for both dine in and take out Wednesday through Saturday. They also offer picnic-style outdoor seating. They feature their daily menu on their Facebook page. Click here to give them a like and see it daily. Or you can reach them by phone at 931-759-4145. Their address is 65 Farm Bureau Street. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Wartrace gets new fresh produce market

Locally-made baked goods like these all-butter tea cakes adorned with pansies by Heaven Hill Farm will be available this weekend at Wartrace’s new fresh produce market. {Photo Provided}

WARTRACE — It’s the home of the annual Wartrace Strawberry Festival and now this charming southern, middle Tennessee hamlet’s got a new, fresh produce market.

Officials in Wartrace announced this week that Wartrace Produce will open in the historic district this weekend and will offer local strawberries, homegrown veggies, strawberry-themed baked goods, flowers, and other local items. The market will be located at 103 Main Street in Wartrace beginning on Saturday, May 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Many of the local shops at The Shoppes at 31 Main and the Iron Horse Pizzeria will also be open. They will all be following all CDC guidelines. Personal masks are encouraged but not required. For more information, visit the Wartrace TN Events and Recreation Facebook page by clicking here.

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

State parks will re-open on Friday

Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors but continue to do you part and stay apart. That’s the message from the state’s public parks system after Governor Bill Lee announced on Monday that he’ll allow his Stay at Home order to expire on April 30.

As such, the Tennessee State Park system will re-open this Friday, April 24 with several caveats. One, parks will open for day use only from 7 a.m. to sunset. Overnight accommodations will remain closed until after May 1. Two, visitors will be encouraged to still maintain the CDC recommended six feet of social distance between groups. Gathering areas such as pavilions and playgrounds will remain closed, and three, prepare for very limited or no bathroom access.

“We are eager to serve once again but we urge Tennesseans to continue to practice physical distancing when visiting parks,” Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Jim Bryson said. “We have implemented policies designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we will monitor all aspects of the issue to ensure safety among visitors and our staff.”

The parks system also recommends that you limit visits to those parks closest to home. For Moore County residents, that would be Tims Ford in Winchester, Old Stone Fort in Manchester, and South Cumberland in Grundy County.

State officials say they won’t hesitate to re-close the park should visitors choose not to practice appropriate social distancing. If the park you plan to visit is crowded when you arrive, state officials recommend leaving and coming back another time.

“We urge the public to help us keep our state parks open by doing their part to stay apart, by maintaining proper social distancing and personal hygiene,” the state parks system said in a press release.

For information on which parks will re-open and which will remain closed visit the Tennessee State Parks COVID-19 Closures webpage. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}