Whether you’re looking for date night ambiance, award-worthy wings, or just a local place to have a brew – Town Square Social welcomes you.
Lebanon’s latest and coolest restaurant and bar, nested downtown next to The Arcade, is the brain-child of longtime friends-turned-business partners, Kyle Shaffer and Cody McCray.
Both men have a lengthy resume in the restaurant business. Shaffer, a graduate of Lebanon High School, spent 13 years with Corner Pub, while McCray, a graduate of Friendship Christian School, worked at Nashville’s historic Broadway honkytonk, Tootsies.
On their Sundays off, the guys would talk about someday opening their own place. Then they noticed the spot on the Lebanon Public Square.
In recent years, the Square has been more visible and vibrant than ever – thanks to the many businesses, including
“We saw the building and knew it was what we wanted. We wanted to keep the original design and not take away from the history of it. When it came together and the menu came together, we finally found our stride,” explained McCray.
Renovating the space took more than a year. The guys were careful to keep it true to its roots with exposed brick and hardwood floors which created a vibe that is both classic and cool.
They restored the front façade of the building to the original storefront and took part in the Main Street Façade Grant from the state of Tennessee.
Town Square Social officially opened for business on September 28, 2018. They said things are going very well in their first four months.
“We are selling a lot of food and a lot of drinks. The community has supported us. We couldn’t be happier, honestly,” said Shaffer.
Three of their most popular menu items are the burger, wings and fish and chips.
“Our wings are a best seller. People love them,” Shaffer added. “They are smoked, low and slow for six hours.
Most places fry their wings and are done in 15 minutes. Ours takes a long time to taste the way they do.”
Prior to smoking, the wings marinate for about 12 hours. Shaffer manages the restaurant during the day and McCray takes over at night.
“I hear a lot of comments about the food. ‘Those are the best wings I’ve ever had,’ is something I hear multiple times,” Shaffer said. “Shawn Smith (owner of The Jewelers in Lebanon) heard someone say their only complaint was it was so much food they needed a to-go box!”
McCray said one of the best reviews he’s gotten came from a producer out of Nashville.
“He was passing through town and someone told him to check out (our restaurant) on the Square. He liked it so much that he brought his girlfriend back on their fourth date here instead of someplace in Nashville,” McCray recalled. “I thought it was really cool.”
The gentleman is now in talks with Town Square Social to shoot a music video in their location.
Both men take pride in their work – and are very hands-on in managing the restaurant, working the floor and checking on guests.
“If there is an issue, (our guests) can reach out to us and we will do our best to make it right,” McCray said. Their latest addition is a drink menu.
“We have 10 cocktails that we have come up with. Those menus are getting printed right now. When you don’t have a menu, people are more apt to order a drink like Jack Daniels – because they recognize the name. Having a drink menu is a way to get those other great liquors and wines out there,” McCray explained. “We are looking to do off-site catering eventually.”
There is also some mystery surrounding the top loft space in the building. McCray and Shaffer teased that it could be used for live music and event space; however, remained mum for the
As Shaffer put it: “We are still working out some kinks.”