Clarksville institution Nau’s Enfield Drug, including its currently shuttered soda fountain and diner, will close for good in March 2023. However, owner Laura Labay said she is open to moving to another location.
The old-school diner at Nau’s was known for great burgers and classic milkshakes. The diner portion closed in January 2019 due to staffing issues, and reopened in February 2020 but then struggled to stay open regularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Labay told KXAN that despite the financial troubles of the pandemic, the demise of Nau’s was ultimately due to the lease not being renewed, as the building’s owners decided to sell it.
Although it is unknown who purchased the building, it would make sense that local hospitality group McGuire Moorman Lambert (MML) might’ve taken over the property. Across the street are strongholds Jeffrey’s and Josephine House, the company has been rapidly expanding throughout Clarksville, and is prone to taking over existing iconic restaurants (see: Sweetish Hill Bakery into Swedish Hill, Ski Shores, Hut’s Hamburgers into Sammie’s, Cafe Josie into Pecan Square Cafe).
However, Larry McGuire wrote to the Chronicle that they hoped to buy the building but lost out on the bid.
The pharmacy and diner opened at 1115 West Lynn Street in 1951. Pharmacist Lambert Labay took over the business in 1971, and his daughter Laura Labay took over for him in 2016. Relive the magic of the diner through this photo series from 2015.
Update, Friday, September 30, 10:13 a.m.: This article, originally published on September 29, has been updated to reflect that McGuire Moorman Hospitality tried to, but didn’t buy the Nau’s property.