We all know and love our many wonderful Nashville neighborhoods – the Gulch, Green Hills, the Nations, Hillsboro Village and more. But Leiper’s Fork, our neighbor just to the south, also has a charm all its own.
While Leiper’s Fork is not technically a part of Nashville, many of Music City’s entertainers, celebrities and songwriters call it home, making it an extension of our humble city. Lying along the Natchez Trace Parkway, this historic village was originally inhabited by Native American tribes such as Cherokee, Chickasaw and Shawnee. Today it is now known for its charismatic country stores and rolling hills that make it such a staple in the Nashville community.
The second you set foot in Leiper’s Fork, you can’t help but feel the small town vibe and historic charm of this quaint antique village. Lined along the street are a series of galleries and shops that offer one-of-a-kind pieces ranging from exquisite artwork to lovely knickknacks that make any home feel complete.
One can’t think of Leiper’s Fork without the association of Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant, who opened its doors in Leiper’s Fork the 1950s, and has grown into one of Nashville’s most well known and beloved establishments. Beginning as a country store that offered everything from gas to groceries, Puckett’s became a one-stop shop in the town where customers could also find a good ole fashioned southern meal. It has long been a staple in the Leiper’s Fork community.
While a place like Puckett’s has made a name for itself in the town for more than 50 years, many other shops have planted their roots in the Fork and also become a part of the town’s history.
Take Serenite Maison for example, a building that dates back to a 1914 men’s meeting hall, but is now a European antique store that features furniture and textiles from all over the globe. Owner Alex Cirimelli says she “fell in love with the town” and opened Serenite Maison 12 years ago after spending 18 years as a picker across the United States. “It’s an emotional pull,” she said of how she chooses her pieces. “There’s definitely an energy, a soul to each piece.” Visitors can feel that soul as they explore the shop that is home to an assortment of beautiful and unique items.
But perhaps the most special element to Serenite Maison is the “only in Nashville” style picking corner, which Cirimelli describes as “the gift that keeps on giving.” Started in 2000 by former building owner Marty Hunt, the instruments featured in the front corner of this shop are owned by residents and collectors in the town, including Cirimelli and Hunt, who encourage visitors to come in and make amazing music with these incredible instruments.
“There are thousands of dollars worth of instruments that are sitting on the wall for people to play,” Hunt said, adding that people are blown away when they see these vintage pieces at their finger tips, such as a 1944 D28 Martin. While anyone can come in and play, some of Nashville’s biggest names have been spotted in the picking corner (Keith Urban and Michael McDonald are just two of the stars that have made an appearance).
If you’re looking for incredible works by local artists, look no further than Leiper’s Creek Gallery and Copper Fox Gallery. Lisa Fox, owner of Leiper’s Creek Gallery for 14 years, says the shop is a mix of fine art and sculpture, adding that many of the artists featured have been with her since the beginning and are regionally exclusive to Leiper’s Creek. Her husband owns Copper Fox, a place she says is “high craft, artisan goods.” “They compliment each other,” she said of the two galleries. “We love to tell the stories of the artists there.”
If you’re looking for a unique way to spend a weekend afternoon exploring the beauty of Nashville’s surrounding areas, Leiper’s Fork is the perfect day trip – and the drive down Old Hillsboro Road is just as scenic as the town itself. It’s a hidden gem that takes you back in time, yet still keeps alive the music and spirit of Nashville that we all love so much.