Izzy’s - Serving Up Great Food, Live Music and a Local Following

Who opens a restaurant in 2020? Three seasoned food industry professionals who wanted to work and serve their community great food that would make people feel better in a pandemic.

Jo Pezely, her husband Brad Bittermann and longtime friend Harland Hoel moved from Las Vegas to Franklin to pursue careers in the Nashville area. When the pandemic began because of the industry they all worked in, their jobs were lost, and they decided to open Izzy’s, Feel Good Food.

Jo is a firm believer, “Out of chaos comes creation.” With chefs and servers out of work elsewhere, Izzy’s brought a group of highly talented people together and opened their doors in October of 2020.

The team at Izzy’s must be doing something right as they were chosen Best Bar, Best Lunch and Best Dinner by the Downtown Franklin Association. It was an honor for the owners who have kept their heads above water during a challenging few years.

While staffing at other restaurants has been a challenge, Izzy’s is fully staffed with long term servers. It speaks to the family atmosphere that Jo, Brad and Harland have created at the restaurant, and in serving their community. While Brad has now taken a corporate job, Jo and Harland are daily fixtures at the restaurant. Even Harland’s son, Harland Jr. who resides in Las Vegas, makes sure to visit often.

Franklin city servants, local banks and businesses have all been loyal supporters. During the recent holiday’s Izzy’s expanded their business into the catering world.

“This has been huge for us, and we had some large catering orders with pleased customers. We are hoping to grow this area of the business in 2023,” says Jo.

The restaurant is named after Jo and Brad’s daughter Izzy. It is a family affair with their son Varick, or Bubba as he is affectionately called, helping create the kid’s menu called “Bubba’s Bites.”

At Izzy’s the menu is chef driven. “We have paired down our menu to items people love to eat. Dishes our own family enjoys eating,” says Jo. “We are a peanut free kitchen, and we have dishes and desserts that are gluten free. The chef has an area and fryer exclusively for gluten free dishes.

There is something for everyone at Izzy’s. A great lunch crowd and then in the evening, live music.

“We love to showcase local talent. Students from the high schools come in the first time nervous and then become rock stars as they gain confidence. Many of the artists have followings and fill the house with family and friends,” says Jo.

What are some of the favorite menu items the owners and staff get rave reviews about?

“The House Burger is by far our most popular item and the Mushroom and Brie Burger is another favorite,” Jo excitedly shares.

However, if you are looking for something different that other restaurants do not offer? Jo says, “The Lobster Roll on a New England Bun is outstanding, absolutely delicious.”

For starters you cannot go wrong with the Spinach and Artichoke dip says Jo. While cauliflower bites have become popular at many restaurants, Izzy’s are unique as they are curried with a dusting of cinnamon.

Izzy’s offers a full service bar with a happy hour from 3:30 till 5:30 p.m. Appetizers are 10% off with drink specials and seasonal cocktails. They even offer mocktails for the non-drinker.

Offering indoor and outdoor dining, the seating outdoors is open year-round. Guests can also listen to the live music while eating in the outdoor area. The owners stress that they are a dog friendly restaurant so bring your furry friends.

While many focus on the restaurants in downtown Historic Franklin, Jo invites you to come on down Columbia Avenue to experience great food by other local, family-owned business owners. She has even started her own #comedowncolumbia hashtag to encourage people to visit.

Weekends are made for brunch and at Izzy’s patrons enjoy Breakfast Burgers and Tacos, with other great items on the menu too.

Izzy’s is located at 901 Columbia Avenue in Franklin. Reservations are recommended, call 615-716-2861 to save a table.

Closed on Monday’s and Tuesday, Izzy’s opens at 11 a.m. on Wednesday and closes at 8:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. till 9 p.m. and Sunday’s from 10:30 till 3 p.m. Live Music is Wednesday and Thursday 5:30—8:30 PM and Friday and Saturday 5-9 PM and Saturday and Sunday 11:30-2:30.

Learn more, visit the website and plan your meal at www.izzysfranklin.com

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