A new place to party
Call it what you will - the bubble, the tent, the big white building - by any name, the structure stands out. Built by Melinda Breedlove in 2014, the facility between S. High and S. Chancery St. is a fabric building from Clear Span Fabric Structures and was once home to Tressie's School of Gymnastics, among other things.
After Melinda passed away on Feb. 27, 2020, the property was left to her family. Her son, Mike Breedlove is now owner of the building along with his wife, Elaine. The couple has been hard at work to introduce to the community Heritage Event Center.
With the building's unique structure, Heritage Event Center is an excellent place for events of all kinds and its versatility is a major selling point. The nearly 6,000 sq. ft. space reaches a height of 30 feet in its center with no support beams in the middle, providing a large, clear area that pretty much anything could be held in.
"After Tressie's passing, the space has held a few other little things, but it's really sat empty for the past three years. I've just always thought it's such a neat building and it's right here in downtown, a great location. I just thought, why not try to do something with it? I just want to make in available to rent for special events like quinceaneras, baby showers, Christmas parties, pretty much anything that someone might need a large building to accommodate," Mike said.
The rental price of the building includes use of provided tables and chairs. The facility can hold up to 300 people and provides an excellent space for bounce houses, Nerf gun battles, basketball goals, DJs, movie screens and pretty much anything else a renter might want to bring into the space.
"The town really doesn't have that many spaces like this. I'm hoping we can do things like concerts in here and other events. From downtown, you can pretty much walk here. We don't really have any specific things in mind for the center, it's just an event building that people can use for whatever they want," Mike said.
Mike and his family are born-and-raised Warren countians. Mike also owns Auto World used car lot in Morrison. He sees Heritage Event Center as a way to return life to the building that his mother introduced to the area.
"Right now it's being used on Monday and Tuesday nights for Legacy Gymnastics practices. Our little girl is on the team so it made sense to let them come over and use it. I'm excited to see the first party and to see everyone here having fun. My mom always loved to entertain so I just wanted to keep that going," Mike said.
Whether people ever really knew what the building was, most Warren countians are at least aware of it because of its unusual appearance. Now the Breedloves are hoping that familiarity and curiosity will attract some customers who want to take advantage of all the space can offer. "We're hoping we can start booking some events soon. We've had people showing some interest. We thought about naming it just The Tent," Elaine said.
"That's what everybody called it, 'the tent building,' but I wasn't sure I wanted it called that. But I knew if we didn't want it called that, we're going to have to come up with a name, so that's where Heritage Event Center came from," Mike said.
Jocelyn Jimenez is manager of Heritage Event Center and can be reached at (931) 743-0155. The center can also be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food truck making its mark
You might have noticed a new food truck that's been showing up in the Garden City Plaza parking lot since December and it's definitely worth a visit. Helen's on the Go is a mobile extension of Helen's Restaurant which has been serving the Upper Cumberland from its base in Gainesboro, Tenn. since 1987. A desire to bring some of Helen's Restaurant's favorite menu items to a larger community led to the addition of two food trucks, known as Helen's on the Go.
Helen, the founder of the restaurant, sold it to her daughter, Carol Pippen in 1999. Gregory Robinson, former general manager of our local Applebee's, saw an opportunity to help grow the restaurant along with Carol and came on board with Helen's.
"I was working there for a few months and we decided we were going to build another restaurant. But then the market started going crazy and it was just too much. So, we decided we'd have a food truck built," Gregory said.
The truck was built in Georgia about six months ago and is manned by Gregory along with Amanda Martinez and Jamie Widner. "Amanda and I both live here in McMinnville and Jamie lives in Gainesboro. Our goal is to get this thing up and going and hopefully one day have a restaurant here. We've been here about two months now and we do really well in McMinnville. We've had a lot of great support and everyone's been so nice," Gregory said.
Helen's offers a varied menu, including fried pickles, corndogs, walking tacos, cheeseburgers, chicken, loaded buffalo chicken fries, rib-eye steak sandwiches and fried pork chop sandwiches. Gregory is particularly proud of their fish. "Our fish is what we're known for. Our restaurant has sold the most fish in the state of Tennessee. We sell a lot of it here in the truck too. We probably go through about 25 cases of fish in a week here," Gregory said.
I took the opportunity to try some of their offerings myself and can say I certainly understand why their fish has earned acclaim. In addition to delicious fish, I sampled a generous portion of chicken and some of the best fries I've had in a while.
Helen's on the Go can be found at Garden City Plaza on Thursday and Friday from 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. The truck travels to Carthage on Wednesdays and Cookeville and Smithville every other Tuesday.
Helen's also offers catering for events like weddings and other gatherings. More information can be found at the Helen's on the Go Facebook page or at helensrestaurantgainesboro.com. They can be contacted at (615) 318-7336.
Until next time,
same biz time,
same biz page
I've been getting some great feedback on Business Pulse lately and some of the businesses I've featured have been telling me they've been getting new customers based on people seeing them on this page. That's always nice to hear.
If you've got a business you'd like featured or if you have any business tips to pass along, please let me know at email@example.com or (931) 473-2191.
Thanks for reading!