Ford's Garage interior.
Ford's Garage

The company believes there's room for as many as 11 restaurants in the state. 

Ford's Garage Looks to Grow in Tennessee

Ford’s Garage, a budding burger-and-craft-beer franchise inspired by Henry Ford himself, has set its sights on Tennessee for its next wave of expansion. Company plans call for opening as many as five restaurants in Nashville, and 2-3 restaurants across each of the Memphis and Knoxville metro areas.

Each vintage garage- and prohibition era-themed restaurant will occupy approximately 7,500 square feet of real estate and employ about 100 people.

"After two years of lockdowns and restrictions, consumers are back to going out with family and friends, and they’re looking for entertainment. They’re looking for some great food and great energy in a restaurant that is comfortable, unpretentious and unique to the casual dining space,” says Ford’s Garage president Steve Shlemon “As it turns out, the Ford Motor Company’s rich history as one of America’s most important manufacturing companies also translates to a pretty cool dining experience. We’re excited to be bringing the Ford’s Garage experience to Tennessee.”

When the Florida-based chain first debuted near Henry Ford’s winter home in Fort Myers, it had no association with Ford Motor Company, other than its name. But when the auto manufacturer learned of its existence, it embraced the idea of collaborating on a licensing agreement and enabled Ford’s Garage to use the company’s iconic blue-oval logo and other brand imagery.

In the years since, the burgeoning brand has expanded to include 20 restaurants – all of which are owned and operated by franchisees – across Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Texas.

Each restaurant is sculpted to look like a 1920s service station and is filled to the brim with Ford memorabilia, including vintage vehicles, fixtures, and gas pumps, as well as a Model T or Model A car suspended above the center bar. Playing further into the theme, servers are dressed similar to mechanics, blue shop towels are used as napkins, and the bathroom sinks are made from tires and fuel pump nozzles. Even the bars inside the restaurants are decidedly vintage, mixing prohibition-style elements like brick, richly colored woods, and a copper bar top that’s hammered by hand.

Aside from all the nostalgia, Ford’s Garage is a good old fashioned burger and beer joint, too.

Burgers are the main draw, black angus beef (and a vegetarian option) coupled with all-natural aged cheeses, fresh toppings, and sauces on artisan buns branded with the Ford’s Garage logo. The restaurants also specialize in popular American comfort food options like homemade meatloaf, chicken wings and tenders, onion rings, and macaroni and cheese. Lighter fare such as fresh salads, grilled chicken, and various seafood options are also available.

The bars highlight over 100 types of beer including 40 on draft, with an emphasis on local microbreweries, which vary from one location to another. The restaurants also serve wine, cocktails and nonalcoholic options.

“With our Ford-inspired design cues and first-rate service and food, Ford’s Garage will offer something for everyone, from toddlers to grandparents,” Shlemon adds. “Ford’s Garage is a fun place to visit, eat and take pictures.”

According to Vice President of Business Development & Franchise Relations Scott Estes, 

Ford’s Garage has proven itself a turnkey operation that will be a popular dining out choice in any neighborhood. “We look forward to welcoming new franchise partners to the family and serving up our burgers with a side of automotive history,” he said.

Including a franchise fee of $70,000, the total investment to open a Ford’s Garage restaurant ranges from $1,461,800 to $6,353,000.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by WTWH Media LLC.