Fin Two Opens in the Old City

Fin Two, 122 South Central Street, Knoxville, October 2019

Downtown Knoxville now has a Japanese Ale House. Raymond Yip announced plans for the restaurant last December (follow that link for a detailed look at his background and plans). As with so many commercial endeavors, and certainly restaurants, there were delays that prevented him from opening as rapidly as he’d hoped.

The design for the restaurant was completed by Design Innovation Architects, who did an excellent job of maximizing an oddly shaped space. The design allowed for the bar, which faces Willow Street, to intersect with the restaurant that opens onto Central Street. Jimmy Diluzo did the design work for logos and menus. All food and beverages are available on each side.

Fin Two, 122 South Central Street, Knoxville, October 2019

Fin Two, 122 South Central Street, Knoxville, October 2019

The restaurant experimented with a soft opening the last weekend in September and officially opened this past weekend. Serving both lunch and dinner, it fills a void for lunch service in the Old City. Lunch will be offered as counter service, with the idea of being a quick way to pick up something to eat during the work day. It will be dine in or take out. (Update: Lunch service will not begin until next week!)

The restaurant will be closed between lunch and dinner each day for an hour-and-a-half to allow the kitchen staff to prepare for the next meal. It’s also worth noting that the restaurant will be open exceptionally late hours on the weekend, offering food at another under-served time in the city.

Fin Two, 122 South Central Street, Knoxville, October 2019

Fin Two, 122 South Central Street, Knoxville, October 2019

Fin Two, 122 South Central Street, Knoxville, October 2019

Raymond promises the authentic Japanese food he enjoyed while growing up. He was making dumplings by the time he was four and he promises to bring those family recipes to life in the new spot. You’ll also find fun Japanese bar foods like yakitori and ramen. Early reviews are very good.

The interior construction is simple yet very attractive with clean, modern lines. Raymond led the build-out himself and is very pleased with the results. The space is as functional as it is attractive. Seating will be at tables, booths, the counter, and the bar, with total capacity at 105.

(Photo Provided via Fin Two FB account)

(Photo Provided via Fin Two FB account)

Currently serving only beer, the bar will be fully stocked as soon as the liquor license arrives. Plans include having two wines and three cocktails on tap in addition to the beer. Saki will also be on tap.

The restaurant is now open for regular hours, which include Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. On Fridays hours will extend to 2:00 a.m. Saturday hours are noon to 2:00 a.m., and the restaurant is closed on Sunday. They will take reservations. Be sure to follow them on Facebook for updates. (Update: Lunch service will not begin until next week.)

Comments

  1. Congratulations and welcome to the Old City Raymond! We are excited to have you as our neighbor and are here to support you any way possible. My wife Lori and I opened KEFi (just around the corner) almost 1 year ago and we hope you find as much success as we have. Thanks for investing your time and talents into this great downtown Knoxville community. We appreciate your vision and commitment in bringing authentic Japanese food to the area.

  2. How impressive. I have inhabited one way or another Maplehurst Court by the bridge since 1981😎 how I have loved this location I call home and it’s affordable (my building) but don’t tell-😍 this new spot on Central looks classy like places I love in Asheville- a few of those bars down there, I wish would relocate to Cumberland Avenue and Clinton Hwy and let the Old City return more to the way it was in 1994- boutiquish💕

    • This is the most confusing comment I’ve ever read. I still like it.

      • Congratulations and welco.e to the Old City Raymond! We are excited to have you as our neighbor and are here to support you any way possible. My wife Lori and I opened KEFi (just around the corner) almost 1 year ago and we hope you find as much success as we have. Thanks for investing your time and talents into this great downtown Knoxville community. We appreciate your vision and commitment in bringing authentic Japanese food to the area.

  3. Downtown Dweller says

    Stopped by today for lunch around 11:45, but they weren’t open! Do you know when lunch hours will start?

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says

      Raymond told me this afternoon that due to staffing issues, the restaurant will begin lunch service next week.

  4. Sue Groves says

    Publix and Kroger deliver groceries, which I love! Downtown is very livable and walkable….so glad to call it my community!

  5. Why no website? Seems to be a trend. It’d be nice to see the menu.

  6. I got to try out the food on Friday night with some of my friends and it was really delicious. Our table faced the kitchen so I was able to watch everyone working and I was quite impressed with how well everything was flowing since it was also First Friday and a UT Game weekend.

  7. Will they have dim sum? I ask because the article mentions dumplings. I know this is a Cantonese dish, primarily, but am curious to know if there’s a Japanese variation.

  8. darrell cox says

    im glad they finally built something there, but i wish someone had more of a greater vision architecurally speaking, but i kind of like the top of the building as i look up. i really dont like the kind of buildings around the downtown. most, if not all are so boring looking. of course it is great that something new is going in there, but i wonder how long it will last. i realize there is a need for parking, but i wish someone would build something in the empty lot across from there. the empty lots look awful, but i guess thats what has to be for parking. tim hill decided not to build his condos on gay st. so i wonder if it is going to be almost another hundred years before anything goes in there. it looks awful. and by the way since we do need more residents downtown, can you fill me in as to whether or not the stockyard lofts down the street from finn two are still planned or not? it is my understanding that they were to have started more than 1 and almost 2 years ago. a couple of days ago, i noticed a couple of bulldozers at the lot, but i dont know if that means anything or not.

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says

      Stockyard Lofts is still planned and should start construction soon, to the best of my understanding.

      • MC Jephcott says

        They need a real grocery store if they seriously want to make downtown a livable option.

        • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says

          I’ve found downtown Knoxville to be a delightfully livable option for the entire decade I’ve lived here. From my home to three different grocery stores in five minutes in a car. They let us keep our cars. 🙂

        • I think the thousands of people living downtown would disagree with your characterization of their neighborhood as unlivable. Their presence also directly rebuts your claim.

          Downtown is closer to several “real” grocery stores than many parts of Strawberry Plains, Lyons Bend, South Knox, Seymour, Carter, Gibbs, Halls, Powell, Hardin Valley, Farragut, etc. I don’t hear anyone decrying these areas as unlivable. Why is downtown judged by a different standard?

          • Tyler Stooksbury says

            I think there is a middle ground here. I wouldn’t call downtown unlivable. Its more of a slight annoyance to have to leave downtown to get some basic grocery items. A full on grocery store might not be realistic but something smaller, that can meet most peoples grocery needs is needed.

            We have plenty of space for it and plenty of people to support it. I just needs the right location and then it could serve affordable lunches to the downtown working crowd and then serve as a primary shopping option to residents.

    • Why are there so many complaints that are completely unrelated to the opening of this restaurant and this article? Get over yourselves and go enjoy Knoxville instead of sitting at your computer, coming up with empty complaints. Your complaints are what is wrong with Knoxville. Get a life, and go eat some sushi and ramen. P.S. there is a plethora of free parking, literally a 1-2 minute walk away from that building under the overpass.

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