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On the first weekend of this monty¬†my wife Nicki and I set out on a last minute¬†quest¬†to Murfreesboro, TN.¬†Thankfully we didn’t set out on foot. We took her car and drove up I-40 E to TN 840, then 1-24 into¬†Murfreesboro. Normally we just go straight up I-40 to Nashville.

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Murfreesboro is the geographic center of the state of Tennessee. With the tall rock walls on either side of the highway, big green rolling hills and pastures, deep valleys, and a castle off in the distance (Castle Gwynn), at times¬†it felt¬†like we weren’t in Tennessee. Well, not the part of Tennessee I’m more familiar with. Memphis and the surrounding area is pretty flat. Nashville and Chattanooga are the closest to mountains I get to see these days. We were back that weekend to watch the Nashville Predators play the San Jose Sharks.¬†Nicki and I try to make it up for at least one game a year. We couldn’t find a hotel at a decent rate in Nashville, or even the surrounding areas we normally stay in, but Nicki found a great hotel (at a good price) in Murfreesboro. We hadn’t been there since my niece Lindsay graduated from MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) a couple years ago and looked forward to seeing the campus again. It’s a pretty quick drive from Murfreesboro to Nashville, and Nicki and I both drive about 45min each way to work during the week so we’re used to driving a lot.

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The campus at MTSU¬†(which is¬†the largest undergraduate university in the state of Tennessee) has visibly grown over the past few years since I¬†first went up to visit Lindsay there, and it’s really changed since Nicki went there! My niece Kristyn is going to school there now, but unfortunately for us she was back home with her folks this weekend. The weather was gorgeous and the trees and flowers were in full bloom. We parked near Nicki’s old dorm and went off to explore¬†the campus. I was really impressed with all the new construction, especially the new student union where we did a bit of shopping. Nicki reminisced about how everything had been while she was a student there. It was great to stretch our legs and spend some time walking and talking.

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We had worked up an appetite, and the Chick-Fil-A we’d had earlier was a distant memory to our stomachs. We had heard from my nieces of a pub/restaurant not too far from campus and the town square, so we headed back to the car and with rumbling starving stomachs did the quick drive to The Green Dragon Public House.

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Knowing where it is now it would be easy for me to find again, but I’m glad we had GPS directions on our iPhones for our first visit. It’s fairly close to the Historic Downtown Murfreesboro district and¬†MTSU¬†campus, but you could easily pass by it. We were greeted by a moving dragon wind-chime as we approached the double front doors. As we passed through the doors we stepped out of Middle Tennessee and straight into Middle Earth.

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Inside the place was small, but immediately had me looking around and exploring the space as we made it to our table. By the front door was a long, large table. The bar wad to the right and as we got to the end of it we¬†passed a smaller section marked “Hobbits Only” (special kids section). Although I almost meet the height requirements to be considered a Hobbit, we sat at a table in the corner. Turns out The Green Dragon is family friendly and that’s a special place for the kids, and according to their website, “Middle Earth garb is welcome and encouraged. This includes elves, hobbits, dwarves, men and women of Gondor and Rohan.

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There was a reading corner with books, games, toys and more.

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And of course there were plenty of J.R.R. Tolkien titles on the shelves, and lots of Tolkien themed photos and art on the walls. We were told some of it had been given to them by customers. The Hobbit was always one of my favorites as a kid. Loved the book and the animated movie, and had the Read-Along book and record.

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Lots of stuff to keep little kids and big kids entertained. We saw tables with checkers and decks of cards, and a couple comfy looking high-back chairs for reading.

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And if you’ve already read these, then you could always play a game of darts down at the end of the hallway past the bar.

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We timed it well and missed most of the lunch crowd and got there before the dinner rush started. Our back corner table gave us a great vantage point for checking out the decor and people watching.

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The atmosphere was very warm and cozy, and I could see how this could be a fun hangout for the locals. We were told they are working on putting in their own small brewery in their warehouse space. For a small space, they do have quite a selection of beers, ciders, ales, meads, and wine.

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Since I’m not I beer drinker I decided to stick with my usual- half sweet/half un-sweet iced tea to drink. For lunch Nicki had a ¬†roast beef with gravy sandwich and chips. I had the half French Dip sandwich and a bowl of the soup of the day- “Meal In A Bowl”. The food was quite tasty, and I enjoyed the soup a lot more than I thought I would and almost wished I had just gotten a bigger bowl of the soup. Would love to try some of their other soups.¬†You can see more of the soups on their blog here.

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The staff was great and we had a great time. Look forward to going back the next time we’re up in Murfreesboro. I don’t know if everyone would appreciate this place, but we did and have plenty of friends who now want to check it out. I could see how this location would be a frequent hangout if we lived in Middle Tennessee, or Middle Earth. If you like pubs, beer, unique soups, and Tolkien then this place is one you need to take the¬†journey to.

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The Green Dragon Public House

Cozy tavern with a Middle Earth theme, food, craft beers, cask ales & frequent live acoustic music.
From their website:
Welcome to the Green Dragon! We are a family pub serving great craft beer and delicious hearty sandwiches and soups. Our place is very small, with seating for about 30-35 people. Our concept was born from my desire to have a place where our community could come together to share current events and wind down after work. We are not a sports bar or really a typical bar at all. The Green Dragon in Tolkien‚Äôs Bywater near Hobbiton was a place where the little folk could relax after their daily ‚Äúlabors‚ÄĚ. Our pub is set as an homage to the literary works of Tolkien, whose works I‚Äôve enjoyed throughout my life. Children are always welcome in our pub and have their own hobbit bar. We have a corner built for the kids too, and darts to play for adults. I‚Äôve been a homebrewer for 20 years and always wanted to serve ‚Äúthe best brown ale in the Shire‚ÄĚ. Phase 2 of our business is to install a small brew system in our attached warehouse space to facilitate this. So come on in, and be part of the Green Dragon family!
714 W Main St, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
(615) 801-7171
11AM-9pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
Closed Sunday and Monday