I accused Matt Pacetti and wife Anne Ford of being a downtown power-couple and they laughed. It’s undeniable, however, that their reach has steadily grown over the time I’ve written about downtown. Urban Woman and I first met them separately: She was our favorite face at Bliss Home and he was my go-to guy at Downtown Wine. It was only when I learned they were opening Suttree’s in 2012, that I realized they were a couple.
Suttree’s has been a smash success on Gay Street, and about a year ago they doubled the size of their kitchen to make room for one person to man the kitchen, allowing bartenders to do their primary job. It has also also allowed them to expand their menu, which now includes poached eggs, Kimchi, ramen bowls (by popular demand) and Chinese steam buns. They also have smoked beef brisket from Sweet P’s, smoked pulled pork from Bull’s BBQ.
They’re entering possibly their most fun venture to date. The adjacent space to Suttree’s at 411 S. Gay Street was occupied by Morelock’s Music when Suttree’s opened. Soon it was taken over by Josh Sidman and renamed The Parlor. I wrote about its closure last June, and since then the space has remained empty. Not for much longer, however.
Anne and Matt immediately eyed the new space and wanted to do something that had not been done downtown, but they weren’t sure exactly what. The answer came as they were floating on a raft drinking beer (isn’t that when so many answers come?) with friends Dave Grigsby and Cozmo Holloway. Among the ideas batted around was a combination of a bar and an arcade. It’s actually a trend around the country and there’s at least one elsewhere in the city, though this will be the first of its kind downtown.
And so Harrogate’s Lounge at Suttree’s was born, over beer on the Tennessee River. Gene Harrogate would be proud. Suttree’s will expand to include the space which will be accessible directly from the street or through a planned arched opening between the two. A sliding door will allow the two to remain connected or more separate depending on what’s going on in each part. Sometimes referred to as a “barcade,” the room will include a small bar with a few taps (maybe one for wine, I’m told) and patrons will be welcome to flow between the two sides with food and beverages. But it will also be open to families – at least in early hours each day. After a specified time at night it will become 21 and up.
The front of the space will include darts as well as a wide range of arcade games – both vintage and current. Further inside patrons will find popular countertop touch games, a claw machine (they are plotting what will be inside) and perhaps – Anne, particularly, is hoping – skee ball. In the back of the room space will be reserved for four mid-sized pool tables.
In addition to being a fun addition to downtown activities and an additional diversion for their patrons, they imagine it being useful for families. Dad can watch games on television while the children run through a roll or two of quarters. Though the hours will be the same for both sides, they may open a bit earlier on the weekends to allow access to the games. It will also be available for parties – whether for a holiday office party or a children’s party.
The goal is to have it open and cranking by Thanksgiving, with the hope that it will be a popular holiday hangout for the people who flood downtown during that time of year. So we have bowling to look forward to later, but we have arcade fun of all sorts to look forward to much sooner. Congratulate Anne and Matt on their new venture as they continue to add a little bit more “cool factor” to our little city.