Congratulations Happy Holler

Original Freezo, Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Original Freezo, Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

As the Knoxville News Sentinel reported yesterday, Happy Holler has been named to the historic registry. Apparently, the Metropolitan Planning Commission nominated the district and the designation is awarded to cultural resources or areas which merit preservation for historical reasons.

Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Happy Holler does have a rich history, some of it quite scruffy. Known as a great place for libational relief during prohibition, it also became quite known for violence, great music and general all-around quirkiness. It could be considered the city’s crazy uncle. We love him, sometimes he’s messy, but he’s ours. They probably have more scruffy in them than anywhere else in the city.

Angelic Ministries, Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Angelic Ministries, Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Chop Shop, Central Flats and Taps, Raven Records, Happy Holler,

Chop Shop, Central Flats and Taps, Raven Records, Happy Holler,

A number of businesses have settled in along the main block for some time now: Relix Theater, Chop Shop, Central Flats and Taps, White Orchid Bridal and Raven Records along the north side and Friend’s Antique Market and Taoist Tai Chi Society have spots. Also on that side of the road and, I believe, the oldest business currently in operation on the block, the Time Warp Tea Room may be the only biker tea room in the region – or the world? Club XYZ next door has been around for a number of years as well.

Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Move just off the main block and you’ll find many other quirky businesses as well as more recent arrivals. The Original Freezo has been in operation since 1942 and sits just to the west of the main block. Toots Little Honky Tonk is just around the corner. I’ve written about Retrospect which is on the next block and new renovation work is in process in the space next to that.

Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Of course if you go farther afield, you find a host of businesses which are arguably in or not in actual Happy Holler all the way down to Broadway. Three Rivers Market, Magpies, Holly’s Corner, Hops and Hollers and more line the corridor that is seeing an increased pace of development. In some ways it may be in for a struggle to retain its funky soul while absorbing more economic activity.

New Renovations, Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

New Renovations, Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Relix Theater, Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Relix Theater, Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

But for now, it’s a time to celebrate a very cool recognition and to thank everyone responsible for this scruffy little area. If you don’t make it out there often or haven’t been in a long time, it may be time to make a spot for it in your plans. It’s worth a look.

Toots Little Honky Tonk, Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Toots Little Honky Tonk, Happy Holler, Knoxville, Summer 2014

Comments

  1. Sandra C Waters says:

    My family lived on Baxter from the 1930’s until my mother and aunt sold the house in the 1990s and moved to Blount County. I grew up there and attended Mynders School, Holy Ghost School before living in Blount County. Remember Lindsay’s Service Station, Sears, Western Auto, Cas Walkers, Weeks Drug Store, so many memories, and now they are all different.

  2. I was born an raised there as well my mother worked there for 20 years Paul Harvey used to come by as well he talked about Happy Holler own his radio broadcast. Toots little honkey tonk is a nice place to stop in if you want to hear true storys about Happy Holler it got its name because it was in a flood zone an when it would rain real hard local people would go down to swim long before the buildings and honkey tonk bars ill always have fond memories of my old stomping grounds I even wrote a song about the holler it was called, If I had a dollar come by Toots one day an ill sing it for you its quite catchy.

    • Anita Armes says:

      My younger years were spent in Happy Holler, lived directly across the street from the Freezo in the early 60’s. I remember a boarding house next door to us across the alley, there was always a fight going on there! Also, the coal truck delivering coal. We would walk down to Cas Walkers for groceries, and the little Merita Bread Store, with wooden floors and a screen door. I used to love going across the street to the Freezo, my mom and aunts worked there!! Then of course we would walk to Zayres, those wonderful stairs when you went in! Such awesome memories, I am so glad they are bringing it back to life!

  3. Toots Little Honky Tonk opened June 15th 2001 and let me tell you it has grown in Happy Holler. Happy to see this and more of it to come 🙂

  4. Anytime I have out of town visitors, I take them to Freezo’s. It is one of my favorite place in Knoxville.

  5. I’ve been watching the renovation next to Retrospect for months now. It seems to have stalled. Does anyone know what is going on there?

    • WILLIE BAINS ZIMMER says:

      I lived at 251 E Anderson Ave. 1947 – 1969 My parents lived there until about 1979. The Holler has changed greatly since then.

  6. Ronnie Kitts says:

    I used to work at Cas Walkers in the 60″s and used to work at Merita bakery 80s

  7. Love the holler. That broken bit of concrete has become quite the shrine since I took this: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ujxp90l4je1drxl/2012-03-01%2018.36.33.jpg

    I thought I had an older pic of it even possibly before it was busted up and definitely before the L-O-V-E was painted, but I can’t find it.

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says:

      Thanks for the photograph. It’s the quirkiness that makes the area fun. At the same time, it’s hard to imagine little pieces like this one surviving much longer as property values increase. That corner is getting much more valuable all the time, I would guess.

Speak Your Mind

*