Hyatt Place Rooftop Bar Opens Tomorrow

Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

According to General Manager, Trenton Keelan, the original plans for the rooftop at Knoxville’s downtown Hyatt Place  called for a modest space for hotel guests with some arrangement for private events. That changed after the obvious demand for public access. Plans were redrawn for the space to meet codes for a public space – and a pretty spectacular one at that.

Jesse Ryan was brought in from Austin, Texas to set up the operations of the food and beverage program for the rooftop. He’s been in eight different cities in the past year, usually for a couple of weeks. He says he anticipates being in Knoxville at least through the fall, if not longer and he’s excited to get the rooftop bar set in a good direction.

Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

The rooftop has come together quickly, as the decision was just made about six weeks ago to plunge ahead with the plans. As a result, not everything is completed. Jesse tells me they are still working on the lights for the look they are after and plants have yet to be delivered. What they do have is a beautiful bar with very comfortable outdoor furniture, umbrellas and firepits.

The views are fascinating in every direction and change with the passing clouds and advent of the sun. As you can see from the photographs, there’s a view north toward the Sterchi Building with lots of urban angles. The crane for the Regas Building can be seen in the distance.

Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

To the east, House Mountain is in plain view and, more directly east, the view overlooks the transit center, coliseum and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Shifting south, I was able, in a surprise for August, to see Mt. LeConte. It offered the best view I’ve seen of the new hotel construction on Church, as well as views of the heart of south downtown and the Sunsphere.

According to Gerald DuBose, a restaurant general manager for White Lodging Services, the focus will be on, “classic cocktails through a modern lens.” They’ll have draft cocktails and their specialty drinks will utilize, “fresh, seasonal fruits flavors through three seasons.” He also promises, “Whiskeys from around the world, including Japanese whiskeys.

View from the Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

View from the Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

View from the Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

View from the Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

They are currently working through a menu, though they said it will feature, “elevated, light snacks.” Local Lorna Jean’s Popcorn is planned for inclusion and they hope to have cheese boards and beef jerky boards as well as hummus and chips. They plan to include as much locally sourced food as possible.

In addition to a full bar, a small selection of wines from around the world and as much local beer as possible. They will also have common favorite beers. A decision hasn’t been reached about live music, but it is definitely under consideration, with the possibility of local acoustic music or a dj, depending on the crowds attracted.

View from the Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

View from the Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

View from the Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

View from the Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

The bar will open tomorrow at 6:00 PM with the first in a series of specials. The first fifty guests get a free Patron Paloma. On Thursday the first fifty guests get a free Beesknees and they are $5 the rest of the night. Friday features a fun sock fashion contest with prizes and $5 Old Fashions. Saturday is Margarita Madness, with $5 Prickly Pear Margaritas.

Hours and other decisions are still fluid, but late afternoon, around 4:00 PM should be starting time and hours will go late. The non-smoking bar will be open Wednesday through Saturday and will not take reservations, meaning when capacity (a bit over 100) has been reached, no one else will be allowed up until someone leaves. Waiting guests will likely be queued in the lobby.

View from the Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

View from the Rooftop Bar, Hyatt Place, 530 South Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2018

Trenton said, “It is awesome to open this building back up and to do this with the rooftop.” Jesse added, “All these cocktails are classic and we’re giving new life to them, just like  the building. With the comfortable seating, great views, cool breeze and classic cocktails, there looks to be a lot of life on that rooftop in days to come.

Comments

  1. Is it dog friendly?

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says:

      Not to my knowledge, but I didn’t ask.

      • This weekend I saw a couple bring their dog with them up to the rooftop. I can’t say for certain if this is an exception they made for a guest or if it is maybe even determined by breed size, but I definitely saw a puppy on the roof Friday night.

  2. This is awesome. Thanks for the photos and info. See you there soon!

  3. Oslo Cole says:

    So glad they opted to make that space public. It’s way too gorgeous up there for it to be so exclusive.

  4. Impressive! And great photos showing the view.

  5. Rick Dover says:

    Thanks, Alan.
    I’m glad you like it, and I hope everyone does.
    Rick

  6. I have a world class band that would be perfect for the bar! Check out our website!

  7. Love it. Beautiful photographs.

  8. Nicole Lynch says:

    This is awesome! I can’t wait to go try it out, and it reminds me of a lot of the rooftop bars that are becoming more and more popular in Nashville. I third the no-smoking policy; I hope patrons can enjoy the space without smoking being blown in their faces all night. The views are gorgeous as well. Very exciting get for Knoxville!

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says:

      I have learned that it will be non-smoking. I will add that to the article above.

      • Nicole Lynch says:

        That’s great! Thanks for finding that out.

        • Wallace stewart says:

          Great!!!!!!! Now how do we change policy so all the outside patios, decks, gardens etc non smoking? Then Knoxville will truly be 1st class.

          • Mark Shetterly says:

            Do you really need to regulate everyone in sight to sue your own anal retentive desire for control? If people want to smoke Outdoors then let them. Go be a nanny somewhere else.

          • Bob Cargile says:

            I agree with Wallace, and it’s not about an anal retentive desire for control. Smoking is a public health issue, including second hand smoke. The University of TN has finally recognized that and so should municipalities.

  9. So looking forward, thanks for the read

  10. I can’t wait!! And second the no smoking idea, that would make it so much more enjoyable.

  11. Oren Yarbrough says:

    I am really glad that White Lodging is moving forward with public access to the Hyatt Place Rooftop! I was so nervous that this wouldn’t happen due to security reasons and only being able to have one elevator bank inside the structure, but I guess the hotel operators figured a way to make it work! I also want to thank Rick Dover for being dedicated to keeping the rooftop bar in the design and construction of the Hyatt renovation. This could have easily been something left on the chopping block to save money or phase out later on, but now visitors to downtown will get to enjoy a cocktail and an exceptional view from this large and open space.

  12. Beautiful roof top bar. It reminds me of one at Hotel Zamora in St. Petersburg. Hope there is enough shade, it will get hot…Looking forward to trying it out. It is good to hear that there will be additional roof top bars coming..

  13. Wallace Stewart says:

    This space looks wonderful!please,please say the bar area will be a no smoking space so everyone can enjoy without smelling stinky cigarette smoke.

  14. Jeannette says:

    Great photos!

  15. Darrell Cox says:

    Are there any more rooftop bars planned, like maybe where the new hotel is being put into the Conley building, or onto the tops of any more buildings? Also, any news on the hatcher hill project that was supposed to go in next to Mast General or possible construction start on the T on hill ave?

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says:

      Yes, the Embassy Suites plans call for a rooftop bar. Hatcher Hill no longer owns the property beside Mast General. The new owner tells me he is in no hurry and has several options under consideration.

      • Lewis Brewer says:

        This place should be for pleasant conversation only; one does not need “live music” at every venue. Live music will only cause the guest to scream at each other when attempting to enjoy conversation over drinks

        • Lewis, then such places should book musicians whose repertoire is appropriate for the venue…not just stylistically but volume-wise, as well. If the musician’s attitude on this is, “It’s all about me,” they’re in the wrong line of work. Not to forget possibly disturbing the Hyatt’s other guests and neighbors, with management having to then deal with complaints. I’m sensitive to this topic, being a full-time musician working in a tourist area, albeit not in your region. I, too, would not stick around long at a rooftop bar where I’d have talk loudly over the music.

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