Public TV showcasing new business

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

SHELBYVILLE - What's ostensibly a malt shop here for bobby-soxers after a movie at the Capri Theater is really a front for bluegrass and, as many Marshall County residents know, it's coming to Lewisburg's public square.

And yet, 50's & Fiddles, the restaurant and music venue, is also appearing in living rooms throughout Middle Tennessee on Thursday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. if the TVs are tuned in to the public television station at Nashville.

So far, it looks like it will be the little restaurant chain that could chug east and west on the back roads of Bedford and Marshall counties. 50's & Fiddles has been open nearly two years next to the movie house in Shelbyville. This spring, its second location is opening in Lewisburg.

Makin' music at 50's & Fiddles are, from left Don and Ron Stacey, Timmy Blankenship, Carol Stacey and Larry Grose. TV Channel 8 camera man Matt Emigh is at right.

It's made it to color TV screens because a musician who's played at 50's and Fiddles and a patron of the East Depot Street business contacted Ken Simington, the executive producer of Tennessee Crossroads, a program that's in its 23rd year - a regular fixture for the lineup on Channel 8 Nashville.

Host Joe Elmore introduces the story by Gretchen Bates, co-produced with Ed Jones. Matt Emigh is the videographer of the six-minute story. It leads the broadcast to be posted on YouTube later this month.

"Stories come to us from different directions," Simington said. "It's a bonus that they are twins," the executive producer said of Ron and Don Stacey, the business partners who've made the venue sing.

"We are trying, pushing for May 1" to open the shop on Lewisburg's public square, Ron Stacey said Tuesday morning.

But that's just for "the front part," Ron Stacey said. "It will just be the ice cream. We won't have the meat and three part done by then. We're pushing for May 1, but I don't know if it will be that soon."

As for the music venue's opening: "We don't know; maybe within the year or maybe by the next summer," Ron Stacey said.

Well aware that thousands of people come to Lewisburg in October for the Goats Music and More Festival, Ron Stacey said, "On the opening day, we'll probably have a '50s band in the front part."

As business partners, Don and Ron Stacey have also become the most recent entrepreneurs who've won approval from the Lewisburg City Council for a five-year, one-percent business loan from a fund the city created with money that was first loaned to a local factory by the federal government. The money has become a revolving loan fund with loans capped at $20,000. The Stacey brothers were authorized to borrow that much money.

News of that development for 50's & Fiddles was first reported here in January. Now, Lewisburg residents who haven't been to Shelbyville to try the venue can see it on TV at 7 p.m. Thursday and Sunday at 10 p.m. on Channel 8 TV Nashville.