Yaum, Landing House, 1147 Sevier Avenue, Knoxville, July 2017
Activity on the south side of the river continues to grow rapidly as the number of new businesses proliferates. The latest is Landing House at 1147 Sevier Avenue in an area that has become one of the hottest on that side of the river. With Suttree Landing Park nearby and a growing collection of businesses, the spot looks likely to continue to grow rapidly.
Co-owners Zach and Hao Land have been on board from the beginning, but the third partner, Daniel Crowder pulled out of the project and was replaced by Anne Ford, who many of you know from Suttree’s, and Garry Ferraris. Anne knew Zach from his time at Le Parigo downtown. He’d worked at La Costa on Market Square and at the west location of Le Parigo before moving to the downtown location. Hao had been a long-time manager at Preservation Pub.
Zach and Hao are residents of south Knoxville, living just a short distance from the restaurant. In fact, she told me they originally spotted it and considered buying it as a larger home for their expanding family. She moved here in 2002 from Chattanooga, while Zach is originally from Seymour. The two love south Knoxville’s access to both the city and the urban wilderness.
In an illustration of the difficulty of opening a restaurant, I first wrote about plans for this location in September of 2015. Changes in investors, a dust-up over the originally planned name and the inevitable construction and code issues slowed progress tremendously. Nearly two years later, Zach and Hao are happy to finally be open for business in the nearly 100 year old home.
Ian Shordon has joined as executive chef. He’d most recently worked at Lonesome Dove, but he’s also worked with Thomas Keller at Bouchon Bakery and Suzanne Goin at Lucques. His focus has been Italian and French cuisine, but he’s worked with Hao expanding on her Cambodian family recipes to produce southern Asian food with a slight French influence, particularly with the desserts. It’s a modern take on traditional foods.
The two floor structure has simple finishes that gives the building a comfortable feel. The main seating area is upstairs via the original stairwell and has seating for around 40. With downstairs, bar and outdoor seating, the restaurant is set for approximately 100 people.
Suttree Landing Park is located immediately behind the restaurant and you’ll find a parking lot there. A few spaces are also available to the rear of the restaurant property via a small side street to the right of the restaurant (as you face it).
The menu includes only ten items, but offers options for a variety of ways they might be prepared. The yaum and spring rolls pictured here are beautifully presented and the roll I sampled was very possibly one of the best I’ve ever had. Ian says the menu will likely expand in the near future.
A variety of craft beers are offered and after the restaurant is established, the group plans to apply for a liquor license in order to serve wine and cocktails. Robert Richards (who you might remember holding down the bass in the Black Lillies and other bands) was working the bar and suggested that light lagers and tart beers match well with the food being served. For now they will provide dinner only, but lunch service is likely to be added, particularly as Regal moves into its new building, which they think will impact their business.
Brett Honeycutt did the construction and Rob Truka did the carpentry and designed the bar which features six different kinds of hardwood. With the different wood tones and chevron design, it’s definitely something to notice when you visit. You’ll likely encounter Hao and Anne operating the front of the house while Ian and Zach will hold down the behind-the-scenes operation.
The restaurant is open for business and initial hours will be 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM, Tuesday through Thursday, 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM Friday and Saturday and from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM Sundays. They will close on Mondays. Check out their Facebook Page for more details and updates and give them a “like,” while you’re at it. And I’ll meet you at the restaurant!
Programming notes: Join me this weekend for Knoxcentric on WUTK, 90.3 FM at 10:00 AM Sunday morning when my guests will be Zack Roskop of KABA and Knox Brew Tours and a representative from Blackberry Farm who will discuss their new can release. So, it’s beer on Sunday morning. Join us. (Streamed here.)