It's true: Merv's has finally reopened after an extensive renovation. The distinct red-wall-proclaimed "Best Burger in Tennessee" purveyor is back in business.
Flood damage in July of last year forced the eatery to close while owner Stacy Morris recouped and spruced up the space. Though it took nearly six months, she's happy to have the restaurant up and running again, she said.
"It's so nice here now, and I'm not even done getting things fixed up," she said. "I just had to get the doors open, and the response has been great."
Morris has worked at Merv's for nearly three decades, starting when her father bought the business in the mid-1980s. She purchased the joint from him in the 1990s and has run the place ever since.
Merv's has always been "the place" to get a burger for many people in the area, Morris said.
"It's just good food. We have such a loyal following, really, and I couldn't believe the support," she said. "We've been really busy and people have just been coming back in."
Those visitors are sure to have noticed a few changes amid the walls still flanked by arcade games like Pot O' Silver and Buck Hunter. Morris removed the bar, added more seating and lightened the place up to make it a family-friendly eating place, she said. The restaurant has been smoke-free since 2007.
But one thing's for sure, the food hasn't changed a bit. Not since Merv's opened its doors decades ago.
"The meat is fresh and hand-pattied every order; never frozen," Morris said. "It may take a little longer to get a Merv burger, but that's because it's made to order, just how you like it."