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Nancy DeGennaro | Murfreesboro Daily News Journal
Published 2:08 p.m. CT Dec. 7, 2020

Many restaurants are still reeling from COVID-19 restrictions and reduced dining room capacities in the wake of the global pandemic.

To warm up their business, some restaurant owners are adding heated outdoor dining to the offerings.

“When it was nicer weather, people who were more concerned about the coronavirus enjoyed using the patio as an alternative. As it’s gotten colder, those people are less apt to come inside and dine,” said Jeff Nebel, owner of The Boulevard Bar and Grille and Two J’s Grille in Murfreesboro.

Josh Bilsky, the manger of Metro Diner in Murfreesboro stands on his heated patio, Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, that is open for dinning.

To hold onto some of the business he’s losing to those who don’t feel comfortable with indoor dining, Nebel is buying additional heating sources for his two restaurants.

The Boulevard will have tall heating towers on his outdoor patio that overlooks East Main Street. At Two J’s, he’s adding space heaters and cranking up the fireplace on the indoor patio.

“I hope it’s a good investment. In the industry, we are trying anything we can to drive customers into our restaurants, whether it’s indoors or outdoors,” Nebel said.

Nevada Matheson with Primrose Table in Murfreesboro said having patio seating has been a tremendous boost to business throughout the year.

But now that cold weather has arrived, Primrose Table installed heaters for those who wish to continue to dine outside.

“We also offer blankets, like a nice wrap, single use of course. Our linen service launders the blankets,” Matheson said. “People have appreciated that extra touch.”

Two J's Grille, 3242 Memorial Blvd. in Murfreesboro, has a gas fireplace inside the enclosed patio.

Here are 12 spots where you can enjoy heated outdoor dining in Murfreesboro:

  • Bar Louie at The Avenue Murfreesboro, 2615 Medical Center Parkway in Murfreesboro, has overhead heaters on the covered, dog-friendly patio. The menu has upscale American bar food with a full bar specializing in craft cocktails.
  • Boulevard Bar & Grille2154 Middle Tennessee Blvd., will have heating towers installed by Dec. 10 on the dog-friendly patio. Expect salads, sandwiches, pizzas, burgers and a fully stocked bar.
  • Burger Republic at Fountains at Gateway, 1500 Medical Center Parkway, has fire tables on the covered, dog-friendly patio. The menu boasts Angus beef, hand-spun milkshakes and craft brews served here.
  • Metro Diner, 711A N. Thompson Lane, has vinyl curtains surrounding the patio to retain warmth from the outdoor heaters. The menu features American-style breakfast, lunch and dinner items with a gourmet twist.
  • Nacho’s Mexican Restaurant, 2962 S Rutherford Blvd., has a heated patio enclosed with vinyl curtains. Enjoy Tex-Mex fare and a full bar.
  • Parthenon Grille962 S. Church St., turns on heater at sundown, or by request, on the dog-friendly patio. This family-owned fine dining restaurant features a wide selection of traditional Greek fare and a full bar.
  • Primrose Table, 1650 Memorial Blvd., has a heated patio for up to 42 guests and single-use blankets are available as well. Chef Jason Matheson focuses on familiar foods with a gourmet flair.
  • Sam’s Sports Bar, 1720 Old Fort Parkway, has heaters on the covered patio. Expect salads, soups, sandwiches, burgers, ribs, wings, pizza and a fully stocked bar.
  • Slim Chickens, 229 N. Thompson Lane, has a dog-friendly patio with large vinyl curtains that help seal in warmth from the heaters. The menu for this fast-casual eatery specializes in chicken dishes, plus Southern sides and gourmet desserts served in jars.
  • Soda Bar at Fountains at Gateway, 1500 Medical Center Parkway, is just a few feet away from a fire pit and fire table by the ice skating rink, as well as a fire pit at the pocket park a few doors down. If it’s too chilly for the craft ice cream and sodas, there’s also hot chocolate and coffee on the menu.
  • Steakhouse Five at Fountains at Gateway, 1500 Medical Center Parkway, has a small covered patio just outside the bar area of the restaurant that is heated for guests. Sip on a craft cocktail while enjoying high-end aged beef, chicken and seafood.
  • Two J’s Grille, 3242 Memorial Blvd., has a fireplace and space heaters for the indoor patio with garage-style doors that open for ventilation. Enjoy hearty pasta dishes, power bowls, signature seafood salad and higher-end cocktails in addition to traditional American burgers, steaks and sandwiches.

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Reach reporter Nancy DeGennaro at and follow her on Twitter @NanDeGennaro. Keep up with restaurant news by joining Good Eats in the ‘Boro (and beyond) on Facebook.