The Biggest Downtown Knoxville Stories of 2018

Interior of The Press Room, 730 North Broadway, Knoxville, March 2018
Interior of The Press Room, 730 North Broadway, Knoxville, March 2018

I really enjoy looking back each year at what worked, what didn’t and what got the most reader reaction on the blog. The themes are often the same: You enjoy reading about businesses opening and closing and any new development coming our way. Sometimes there are surprises in the most read lists, but it doesn’t usually diverge much from the wheelhouse.

It’s also a good time to measure the growth of the blog and and to look back on changes and additions and how they’ve fared. 2017 featured the second full year of KnoxCentric, the WUTK radio outgrowth of the blog, the podcasts of which are available at the Radio Show Podcast tab above. The WVLT series faded as my exciting new series with Jack Neely on Knoxville Weekend continued to grow and expand. Those videos may be found under the video tab above.

Instagram followers (, despite the fact that I sometimes let that go for a spell, have grown from about 1,800 to over 2,400. Facebook ( followers have grown from a bit over 13,000 to over 15,000. Twitter followers grew from about 2,400 to over 3,000. The biggest deal of all, to me, is that Inside of Knoxville, for the first time in its eight year history, got over 1,000,000 page views for the year. That represents about 300,000 people who came to the blog at least once.

3-D View of The T at Riverfront from an aerial perspective looking North

All of this is thanks to you. I appreciate every one of you reading my ramblings even when you think one view expressed or another is wacky. I also appreciate the advertisers who make it possible for you to read this for free. Please support them. And you get bonus points if you tell them you saw their ad here.

The annual caveat on what constitutes the most popular or biggest downtown stories: From a reader’s perspective, if an article elicits a lot of comments, it might seem to be a very popular article. As it turns out, some articles generate a lot of conversation, but not as much readership. Other times, a massive readership is generated for an article, but while many people are interested, there just isn’t that much to say. Here’s a list of the ten articles with the most comments this year:

9.  (tie) Kress Building Purchased, Wild Wing Cafe Back, More Plans Considered (31 Comments)

9. (tie) Rebel Kitchen Coming to the Old City! (31 Comments)

8. Embassy Suite Details – And Three Favorite Local Businesses to Join Them at the Location! (33 Comments)

7. A Major Downtown Restaurant Closes on Gay Street (34 Comments)

5. (tie) The Proposed “T at Riverfront” Grows from Nineteen Stories to Twenty-Six (35 Comments)

5. (tie) The Press Room Set to Open in the DeWine Building (35 Comments)

3. (tie) Evolving Supreme Court Site Development Plans (37 Comments)

3. (tie) Knoxville High Independent Living Opens Its Doors (37 Comments)

2. Nest Closes: What Is Wrong With Retail on the 100 Block of Gay Street? (41 Comments)

1. Nineteen Story Apartment Building Planned for North Waterfront (53 Comments)

Rebel Kitchen, 108 West Jackson, Knoxville, September 2018

As you can see from the list, you are keen to talk about business and development. So, how does that line up with the most read articles? First, an important footnote on the numbers is important: About 272,000 of those 1,000,000 plus page views were directly to the home page. For that reason, the number doesn’t register for the individual article those people viewed, so the article numbers don’t completely reflect total readership which was, no doubt, higher in each case. So let’s get a start on the top twenty-five, though I’ll leave the top ten for tomorrow.

25. The Corner Lounge Is Returning to Its Original Location! (June, 4,626 views)

24. Pearl on Union Opens in Downtown Knoxville (April, 4,786 views)

23. Kefi: Greek Cocktail Restaurant to Open in the Old City (September, 4,804 views)

22. A Market Square Restaurant Closes (November, 4,842 views)

21. Riverwalk at the Bridges (Baptist Hospital Site): The Latest (February, 4,919 views)

Pearl on Union, 513 Union Avenue, Knoxville, April 2018
Pearl on Union, 513 Union Avenue, Knoxville, April 2018

20. Jackie’s Dream Needs to Move – And They Can Use Your Help (October, 5,040 views)

19. The Press Room Set to Open in the DeWine Building (February, 5,043 views)

18. The Proposed “T at Riverfront” Grows from Nineteen Stories to Twenty-Six (July, 5,310 views)

17. Old City Performing Arts Center Announced (April, 5,368 views)

16. Site-Built Tiny Homes Arrive Near Downtown (April, 5,465 views)

Staircase, Old City, Knoxville, August 2018

15. Steamboat Sandwiches is Back At Its Original Location (March, 5,492 views)

14. Production Company, Commercial and Residential Development Announced for South Knoxville (September, 5,494 views)

13. Turning a Dysfunctional Eyesore Into a Critically Functional Work of Art (March, 5,557 views)

12. Rebel Kitchen Coming to the Old City! (February, 5,627 views)

11. Nineteen Story Apartment Building Planned for North Waterfront (April, 5,657 views)

So, there you have it. Take a look at the articles to catch any you might have missed. Tune in tomorrow for the top ten stories of the past year and be sure to subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already and “like” it on Facebook and follow along all the other places.