I’m going to end a busy week with a few bits about business. Nothing stays still in the city, of course, and in recent days I’ve documented the closure of Bella Luna and the re-opening and re-imagining of two other restaurants: Blue Coast and Icon. But those aren’t the only changes. The others have been pointed out to me by readers and I really appreciate that. Most days I’m compelled to be out of the downtown area and I miss a good many things, so it’s always helpful to learn things from you guys.
Someone asked recently what was going on with Sky Bar. Most downtown people know it has not had the most successful launch. The upstairs has often sat empty while two doors away, Suttree’s is always packed. Sky has a downstairs area that looks pretty cool, but isn’t obvious from the street. Katie, one of my longest-term readers pointed out that it has changed from “Sky Bar” to “Sky Box,” and in the process re-made itself into a sports bar. They’ve also added a short menu.
The change seems to have worked. I passed there last Sunday afternoon and took the shots you are seeing here. There appeared to be about twenty people inside, which may seem small, but that’s about eighteen more than I’d ever seen before. Huge televisions played several games at once and everyone appeared to be having a good time. The door to the downstairs was closed, which seems like a shame. Here’ hoping they’ve found their niche.
Another small change involves a business opening, but one about which I will be able to offer very little. Again, this business was reported to me by a couple of readers. Located at 706 Walnut Street, it’s in the suite beside Pop Culture. Pop Culture, incidentally has closed their store-front for the winter, but is providing product to several places nearby, just in case you need a fix.
The reason I won’t have much to report is that I will likely be unable to get to the new business while it is open. I went by there today, but was too late. Yassin’s Falafel House brings a welcome ethnic flavor to the neighborhood. Apparently experimenting a bit with a soft opening, the hours for now are limited to lunch time, Monday through Friday. I’m hoping the hours are expanded or Saturday is included in the future. In the meantime, those of you who are so lucky as to be able to sample a falafel for the rest of us might give us a report.
Finally, it has to be mentioned that yesterday marked the official end to a nasty, protracted struggle downtown. The city of Knoxville finally has control of the McClung Warehouses and can begin consideration of what happens next with that property. Word is they will begin accepting proposals as soon as possible, with the hope that some sort of development will come next year. It’s unclear if the buildings can be saved after exposure to the devastating fire and years of neglect. At least an improvement of this eyesore on a very important downtown street is now a possibility.
It’s been a good week. Urban Brother visited the last couple of days and he’s wearing me out with all the great music he’s dragging me to. These photographs are from the excellent show at Preservation Pub last night with Jodie Manross, Russell Tanenbaum and Laith Keilany. They never cease to amaze and get better. Catch them if you have the chance.
I hope everyone has a great weekend. Check the calendar from last Sunday for your to-do list downtown. And here’s an invitation: Join me as I take the paranormal investigation tour tonight at 7:00. Email me if you are interested (email@example.com). There are a few slots left. If not then, I’ll hope to see you around town at the Farmers’ Market or elsewhere.