Cheatham County Exchange

Ms. Cheap: You will be hooked on the catfish at Riverview Restaurant in Ashland City

Catfish is the most popular menu item at the Riverview Restaurant & Marina in Ashland City.

I am a Mississippi girl who grew up knowing that properly prepared fried catfish is a delicacy.

In my formative years, my food-loving family would chow down at catfish places around Sardis Lake, wolfing down scrumptious pieces of perfectly battered catfish, alongside yummy onion-filled hushpuppies and very good coleslaw (which is unusual.)

So, when I moved to Nashville and found great catfish eating in nearby Ashland City, I was hooked (no pun intended).

When our girls were little, my husband and I would regularly go with several other families to Bill’s Catfish on Ashland City Highway for its all-you-can-eat catfish feasts.

But Bill’s is long gone and now all recommendations (including TripAdvisor) lead to Riverview Restaurant & Marina, which not only offers delicious affordable catfish dinners, but also lovely views of the Cumberland River from inside and outside the dining room.

The menu pricing is a little beyond my Ms. Cheap limit, but this is my kind of place. Good food, great view and wonderful service. And honestly, the price is not too bad when you consider the river view, which is really fantastic.

The day we visited Riverview was a blue sky, sunny day but sadly, a little too cool for outdoor eating. But we were seated indoors at a window, which provided a beautiful view of the river and of the Veterans Memorial Bridge.

And I’m looking forward to a return trip, when I can be seated on that deck to enjoy my delicious catfish platter. There is a lot to like about this place.

You particularly gotta love the restaurant’s motto: “the only thing we overlook is the river.”

About Riverview Restaurant and Marina

Location: 110 Old River Rd. in Ashland City

Hours: Open every day except for Monday for lunch and dinner.

Contact: (615) 792-7358 and

*Riverview Restaurant & Marina was established in 1956. It began as a one-room shack and boat dock that sold hot dogs, burgers and cold drinks on the weekends. 

*Overlooking the Cumberland River in Cheatham County across the bridge from downtown Ashland City, it is now a popular riverfront dining destination that can be reached by car or by boat.

*In May 2010, one of the worst floods in Middle Tennessee history destroyed the restaurant building. After more than a year of construction, Riverview Restaurant & Marina reopened on May 25, 2011, and has been going strong ever since. 

*The restaurant has had several owners but Walt and Lori Randolph have been owners since 2000. April Lawrence joined the ownership team in 2018.

*There are a lot of longtime employees including Aron Grebner, who has been on staff for eight years and was a fantastic server.

*The restaurant features indoor and outdoor waterfront seating for about 200 patrons. Riverview has just rebuilt its riverfront deck, offering two deck areas with seating for about 100 guests. When the weather is good, there are almost always lines for lunch and dinner seating.

*The most popular items on the menu are the two-piece fried catfish dinner ($14.99), chicken and rolls and the daily made banana pudding.

*Lawrence said catfish is the No. 1 seller on the menu “by a long shot. I don’t have a total percent since we serve catfish so many ways – broiled, on a po’ boy, etc. but it is definitely our number one seller.” The restaurant serves hundreds of pounds of catfish every week. It is U.S. Farm Raised Catfish and Lawrence says the fish comes to Riverview fresh several times a week.

*The two most-popular side items are the coleslaw and the white beans.

*In addition to the catfish, the menu offers chicken tenders, fried shrimp, burgers, salads and steak.

*There is a children’s menu which offers dinners for $5.99 and includes a drink. Options include one piece of fried fish, chicken nuggets, corn dogs and cheeseburgers for ages 12 and under only.

Mary Hance, who has four decades of journalism experience in the Nashville area, writes a weekly Ms. Cheap column. She also appears on Thursdays on Talk of the Town on NewsChannel5. Reach her at and follow her on Facebook as

Riverview Restaurant & Marina in Ashland City provides a view of the Cumberland River while you are eating. JENNIFER AKES
The Riverview Restaurant & Marina’s sign for hungry customers.

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