Interior of The Press Room, 730 North Broadway, Knoxville, March 2018
It was just over a month ago that I introduced The Press Room, Knoxville’s newest event space. Check back to that article for more detail about the building and the business. At the very least you should go back and look at the “before,” pictures to truly appreciate what you are seeing here. Built in 1925 and serving as a car dealership and a bowling alley, new owners Lori and Jim Klonaris (also owners of Cafe Four) have converted it into a multi-use space to augment their Spaces in the City event and catering business.
This past Friday, the venue was opened to the public for a ribbon cutting and reception to formally present the space. Mayor Rogero and others from city government were on hand, along with the new owners. As Jim Klonaris pointed out, the effort took in an entire community of designers, architects, builders, family and more to complete. Representatives of Sanders Pace Architecture, Brownlee Construction and others involved were also on hand.
But the space was the star of the event. I realize it’s a bit redundant to even say, because you are looking at the photographs, but this is an incredibly beautiful space. From the outside in, Sanders Pace’ work exemplifies their clean, modern look, but honors the building and its rich history.
The Press Room is really a series of flexible spaces. The large space, called The Assembly, designed for seated events ranging up to six-hundred, is the most breath-taking of the rooms. The cement floor was kept, but polished and while the hundreds of lights suspended above the floor are dazzling, it’s the lights combined with the reflection on the beautiful floor that really makes it feel magical. At an evening event, particularly, it’s hard to imagine a prettier space for a wedding and/or reception or other event.
At the mezzanine level above the main floor is another space, dubbed the 1923 loft offers a more intimate spot for smaller events, like board meetings – or it could work for a small rehearsal dinner. A warming kitchen is located below the mezzanine which allows for quick food service to the main floor during events.
The Printer’s Lounge features a fully stocked bar available for events, either as a stand-alone space or as a support for an event in a larger space. The bar is connected on each end to an outdoor space – to the rear is a small outdoor supplemental space and to the front is a beautiful 400 square foot patio elevated above street-level and easily large enough for many weddings or other events.
Beyond the public event spaces, the building also features bride and groom suites for preparing for a wedding to make the facility capable of hosting a wedding from rehearsal and rehearsal dinner through a wedding and reception.
The building also serves a function for the larger Spaces in the City catering business, with a full commercial kitchen located in the basement employing a full-time chef and capable of supporting events in the building or off-site catering jobs. The ripple effect will be felt at Cafe Four whose kitchen will no longer need to support both the restaurant and the catering business.
I’ll let the photographs tell the rest of the story, but this really is a beautiful addition to our growing number of event spaces – many of which stay booked as much as a year in advance. It’s another really cool urban option to consider. If you are interested in using the space, contact them via their website.