This year has been a tough one for many restaurants in the Greater Nashville area, but many, such as 1892 in Leiper’s Fork, have learned to adapt to a new normal as businesses in the area have reopened.
For owners Dylan Morrison and Jordan Johnson-
Morrison, adapting at 1892 has meant shifting back to their roots and keeping operations small as they welcome diners back to the historic house-turned-restaurant, situated in the heart of Leiper’s Fork.
The couple opened the space in 2017 after both had spent years in the restaurant industry learning and creating an idea of what a space of their own would look like.
“I was working in kitchens a lot, just trying to move and adjust where I felt my career was,” Morrison said. “I started to take it more seriously, slowly but surely. Once I met Jordan, it really propelled that in a big way because then, it became a sense of family. It was a natural blend and a desire for us to have a place of our own.”
The eatery is named for the year the house in which the restaurant operates was built, a nod to the Morrisons’ commitment to being a part of the fabric of Leiper’s Fork.
“Luckily, we have this beautiful little pocket that is Leiper’s Fork, the preservation that’s out here,” he said. “That’s something we really like to hold close to our core beliefs.”
After being forced to furlough staff when restaurants closed in March, Morrison said he has been able to bring a small sector of the staff back, and while plans to add a new bar and seating area to the eatery have been put on hold for now, he said he is working to create a unique dining experience for the smaller number of diners that 1892 can now accommodate in one room of the house.
“We’ve had great success in being able to keep it so small and intimate,” he said. “We’re just thankful to have this room right here.”
While 1892’s menu changes throughout the year based on Morrison’s inspiration and on what produce is in season, diners can often find popular dishes, such as the spicy, ricotta-stuffed squash; smoked salmon toast with whipped goat cheese, capers and red onion; and buttermilk dill salad with apples and Boston Bibb lettuce.
“I like doing some of the nicer things out here so people feel they don’t have to drive all the way into town to get something nice like this,” he said. “People are all about finding ways to get away that are not high-density these days.”
1892 also incorporates fresh produce grown from a private, 1.5-acre farm that the Morrisons operate.
Morrison said he believes it is important to work with local farmers not only to help keep the menu fresh, but to keep the spirit of the eatery tied to the community.
“It’s a great way to root and to anchor into the mission of what we’re doing,” Morrison said. “You embrace that positivity and that exchange from the local farmer, and there’s an excitement in building that relationship. We’re trying to have a close-knit circle and keep it that way.”
4150 Old Hillsboro Road, Franklin
Hours: Wed.-Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., closed Mon.-Tue.
1892 turns to farm-to-table roots in pandemic
1892 in Leiper’s Fork is named for the year the house in which it operates was built. The historic home sits on Old Hillsboro Road, right in the middle of the small community. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)