Elkmont Exchange Brewery and Eating House Set to Open

Elkmont Exchange, 745 North Broadway, Knoxville, October 2017

Elkmont Exchange, which I introduced here last March, will open to the public Monday, November 6 after a weekend of friends and family events. Executive Chef Ryan Davenport and Brewmaster Alex Violette, native Knoxvillians and previous owner/operators of of Pasteur Street in Vietnam have expanded their team to include Chris Meadows, former Lead Brewer at Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing Company.

Also on the team, Jon Newman, acclaimed charcuterie maker at Flyte in Nashville, will assist Ryan Davenport in the kitchen as Sous Chef and J.T. Dewitt, nationally accomplished restaurateur, most recently with Babalu, will assume the role of General Manager. Finishing the management team, Johnny Miller, well known and respected in craft beer community, has joined as Assistant General Manager.

Elkmont Exchange, 745 North Broadway, Knoxville, October 2017

Elkmont Exchange, 745 North Broadway, Knoxville, October 2017

From the geometrically interesting exterior along the front and side of the restaurant to the many interesting features found throughout, much of what you’ll find has been produced by well-known Knoxville artisans. That fascinating facade, as well as the door handles were fashioned by Kelly Brown of Bower Bird.

Derek White of Bird on the Wire Studios constructed the amazing fire pit, the water feature, the stunning chandelier, planters, shelves, custom drink rails and hooks. Seth Rowlett of Rowlett Design designed and constructed the custom interior tables and you’ll find Bruce McCammish’s Elkmont photography, taken at the site before it was demolished. Additionally, “Elkmont Exchange founders worked closely with local Architectural Designers, MHM and Linear Development, to create an inviting, yet distinguished space.”

Elkmont Exchange, 745 North Broadway, Knoxville, October 2017

Elkmont Exchange, 745 North Broadway, Knoxville, October 2017

Elkmont Exchange, 745 North Broadway, Knoxville, October 2017

You’ll also find a bar like none other in the city. Brett Honeycutt, who is responsible for the build-outs at many of the craft breweries around town, including many of the beautiful bars you enjoy, has gone beyond anything found locally, with a “river” carved into the thick wood of the bar. That cut-out has been filled with river rocks and the cut out and bar top – as well as the hostess counter – has been given a thick, transparent coating highlighting the wood grains, river and stones. It’s worth the trip just to see it.

 

Elkmont Exchange, 745 North Broadway, Knoxville, October 2017

Elkmont Exchange, 745 North Broadway, Knoxville, October 2017

Elkmont Exchange, 745 North Broadway, Knoxville, October 2017

A starting menu is pictured here (click to expand to reading size!) and it will, no doubt, evolve. Reflecting Chef Ryan Davenport’s fine-dining background, he, “has designed the Elkmont Exchange menu to fit the core values of the brand and encourage a sense of adventure.” Both lunch and dinner will be served from the outset and dishes have been constructed with beer pairings in mind. The restaurant will offer a brunch menu later this year.

Elkmont Exchange, 745 North Broadway, Knoxville, October 2017

Elkmont Exchange, 745 North Broadway, Knoxville, October 2017

Of the food:

Featured items, known as “The Exchange,” will highlight Davenport’s fine dining background and will regularly rotate dependent upon the availability of ingredients. Davenport draws his culinary inspiration from the outdoors as well as his worldwide travels. His time spent in Charleston, Nashville and Vietnam are reflected in the menu with items such as Boudin Balls, Hot Chicken, and Vietnamese Pho.

The kitchen will also feature an expansive charcuterie program, with house-cured meats and house-made sausages on display in a curing room visible from the restaurant lounge area. There will also be a variety of plant-based options available for vegan and vegetarian guests. Davenport’s passion lies with the skill set and attention to detail that is seen in fine dining establishments; however, he also believes that the same level of quality can be enjoyed in a more casual atmosphere.

The brewing side of the equation is equally as important, of course, and customers will be able to view the brewing area, equipment and barrels. Alex Violette worked in partnership with Brewmation to, “design and develop a custom, state-of-the-art brewing, brewhouse that gives Elkmont Exchange the capability for automation and fine tuning that is typically only utilized in much larger breweries. This system also functions with higher efficiency than most, due to its mash filter which allows their brewers to make beer with about 15% less barley and up to 30% less water.”

Elkmont Exchange, 745 North Broadway, Knoxville, October 2017

Elkmont Exchange, 745 North Broadway, Knoxville, October 2017

From the outset six styles of beer will be available to customers, with more styles coming this winter. While you’ll find your traditional styles, you’ll also find experimental beers as time passes, “many of which will feature regional fruits, herbs, and spices.” You’ll find growlers for carry out from the outset and cans will be available soon. Current plans only include brewing for inhouse sales. Initial styles available include Light Lager, IPA, Pale Ale and Brown Ale. “Violette and Meadows also collaborated with Balter Beerworks and Abridged Brewing Company for limited release beers to celebrate the newest addition to the Knoxville craft beer community.”

Plans for the brew side of the business also include, “creating an extensive barrel aging program on a scale that Knoxville has never before seen . . . Along with standard whiskey and wine barrels, Elkmont Exchange will also utilize two 43 barrel (1,333 gallon) French Oak foeders to age certain beers for anywhere from one to eighteen months.”

Elkmont Exchange, 745 North Broadway, Knoxville, October 2017

Elkmont Exchange, 745 North Broadway, Knoxville, October 2017

It’s an exciting new opening both for craft beer enthusiasts, as well as Knoxville’s growing foodie community. The restaurant also joins a number of other businesses announced or opened for what is becoming a vibrant area of the city. Hours of operation will run from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM, seven days a week. You can find them on Facebook and on their webpage, as well as Instagram and Twitter. Walk-ins are fine, but reservations are accepted and should be available through the Nowait app, soon.

“Inspired by the outdoors, Elkmont Exchange encourages guests to come together as a community, celebrate East Tennessee, and join in on their passions. They believe beer, food, and experience belong together.”

Comments

  1. Over the weekend I randomly checked out a documentary from the Lawson McGhee Library called ‘Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life’. Seeing the many ways that natural forms have been used in architecture and interior design was inspiring, and makes me appreciate what this group is doing all the more. Thank you, team!

  2. Jeannie Pilkenton says:

    Great lookin’ bar counter! We actually have a person in our office who just built is desk for his office like that and it is so cool!

  3. Jeremy Wann - GEO HAIR LAB says:

    So exciting! Thanks again for all your work Alan! We are blessed to have you to experience our city!

  4. Another great renovation of a vacant building made possible in part because of the City’s Commercial Façade Improvement Program. Can’t wait to go there!

  5. Great atmosphere, great people and gonna be awesome food and drinks!!! A much needed addition to the Knoxville market!

  6. That neighborhood seems to be developing its own distinct identity apart from downtown. It’s only 3 or 4 blocks from Makers Donuts and Crafty Bastard to Schultz Brau, the permanent food truck park, and this new restaurant. A nice compact neighborhood. Before long the suburbanites will be complaining about the parking over there! Ha. The real sign of success.

    The neighborhood still needs a name though. And a road diet for Broadway.

  7. Frugal Foodie says:

    That looks great! Nice to see that it’s affordable too.

  8. Chris Eaker says:

    The facade is definitely striking. Funny that they highlight Davenport’s “fine dining experience” and then mention boudin balls, hot chicken, and pho. These are basically street foods — delicious, but not fine dining. I am looking forward to trying them though. I hope their beer is good.

  9. Cindy Hassil says:

    Love it! Looking forward to visiting in person. Thanks for always keeping us “in the know,” Urban Guy!

  10. Oren Yarbrough says:

    Wow! The team assembled for this restaurant is basically the food and drink equivalent to rock stars. I can’t wait to try the menu and see what amazing work was accomplished to bring this place to life. This restaurant is a shining example of why I am excited for the growth in this part of Knoxville. Thanks Alan for this article.

  11. I am so excited about this restaurant! Alan thank you for digging in so deep, we have ridden bikes by there a dozen times, peeking and poking and asking questions. You didn’t cover those outside barrel tanks that are actually booths for dinner (so we were told) and the cool LED outside lights. Downloading the app and getting ready for something great…

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