Photo courtesy Angeli Chandler/Old Marshall Jail
There is a mountain town where you can find mermaids, the local jail serves burgers to passersby, and an island is home to artists. It sounds fantastical, but it’s just up the road in Marshall. This gem of Madison County has been revived in recent years into a bustling destination.
115 N. Main St.
Statewide laudations have followed this modern chophouse, housed in a vintage gas station, since Chef Brian Sonoskus opened the diner in 2017 (in fact, we wrote about the eatery in our Dining Off the Beaten Path story back in 2018). Make outdoor dinner reservations and dine on one of Sonoskus’ twists on the classics, like Southern Fried Chicken Saltimbocca.
The Sweet Monkey
133 S. Main St. #105
With COVID, the Sweet Monkey pivoted (didn’t we all?) to prioritize to-go, take-and-bake, and catering, but they’re back to serving on-site, too. Grab some homemade baked goods like a garlic and rosemary savory twist or fluffy croissant, a bottle of wine, and prosciutto from the deli, and head to the river.
7 N. Main St.
We always like to start off our day with a good cup of coffee, which is exactly what you’ll get at Zuma. Serving Counter Culture Coffee, this local favorite also serves as a centerpiece of the community in non-COVID times, when musicians gather to play tunes on Thursday nights. For now, you’ll have to settle for that good cup of joe and a snack, like a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel or reuben.
Old Marshall Jail Hotel & Bar
33 Bailey’s Branch Rd.
The city’s newcomer was a project years in the making. Potter Josh Copus and wife Emily spent years reviving the century-old Old Marshall Jail and turning it into a modern hotel and bar. The restaurant and bar recently opened, and their patio is the perfect place to sit a spell, drink in hand.
14th Annual Mermaid Parade
Marshall’s Blannahasset Island is home to mermaids galore each August. This year’s event takes place on Sat. Aug. 21. Dress up as your favorite sea nymph, bring your water gun, and watch as the parade of merpeople traipses through town.
Third Thursdays Marshall
On the third Thursdays of every month, the businesses of downtown Marshall rally for a celebration that includes art openings, open studios, live music, and other happenings, as well as special eats and drinks from local restaurants.