“The Brookside” Event Space Opens at 1221 North Central Street

The Brookside, 1221 N. Central Street, Knoxville, January 2020

Daniel and Whitney Schuh have opened The Brookside at 1221 North Central Street and have begun hosting events. The couple owns a significant portion of both sides of the street on the primary block in Happy Holler. In 2007, they purchased the buildings that include Relix (which they own and operate), Central Flats and Taps, Chop Shop Hair Studio, and Raven Records and Rarities.

While operating Relix and hosting numerous weddings and other events there, the couple realized that it simply didn’t work for events that drew crowds over a certain size. In April 2017 they purchased three parcels across the street that included Club XYZ and the parking lot behind it, a tire shop, and an additional parking lot. With the approval of the city, the three parcels became one, an alley was removed, and a small strip along Oklahoma was included, creating one parcel zoned for its intended uses as an event space, with a restaurant planned for later.

The Brookside, 1221 N. Central Street, Knoxville, January 2020

Photo of 1221 N. Central Street Prior to Renovation, Knoxville, Summer 2019 (Photo provided by Daniel Schuh)

Photo of 1221 N. Central Street Prior to Renovation, Knoxville, Summer 2019 (Photo provided by Daniel Schuh)

Photo of 1221 N. Central Street During Renovation, Knoxville, Summer 2019 (Photo provided by Daniel Schuh)

Daniel is originally from Charleston and first came to Knoxville to obtain his degree in architecture. He graduated in 1998 and returned to Charleston, later feeling the pull of Knoxville and moving here permanently in 2003. After working briefly for another architect, he began working on his own in 2004. He and Whitney began accumulating property and children (they now have four), and he said working for himself allows for more time with his children.

His focus early in his career was historic reconstruction and restoration, which he still loves. He purchased machinery to replicate old moldings and other architectural features, and that capacity continues to serve him well as he makes his own molding for his current projects, including The Brookside. He says it slows down projects, but he can save money and have nicer finishes than would otherwise be possible.

Photo of 1221 N. Central Street During Renovation, Knoxville, Summer 2019 (Photo provided by Daniel Schuh)

Photo of 1221 N. Central Street During Renovation, Knoxville, Summer 2019 (Photo provided by Daniel Schuh)

Photo of 1221 N. Central Street During Renovation, Knoxville, Summer 2019 (Photo provided by Daniel Schuh)

Photo of 1221 N. Central Street During Renovation, Knoxville, Summer 2019 (Photo provided by Daniel Schuh)

The name of the new event space comes as a tip of the hat to the history of the area, which from the late 1800s until past the mid-point of the 1900s was home to Brookside Mills. In the early 1900s, Brookside was Knoxville’s largest employer. The building housing the new space was, Daniel believes, home to Carmichael furniture and served as their showroom. Oklahoma Avenue was formerly named Brookside Avenue.

Daniel said they’ve learned a lot about the business of hosting weddings at Relix and what makes for a successful event. They wanted to use that knowledge to inform the new and much larger space. The first move was to, literally, raise the roof. The cement block building, which was covered with faux rock, had eight-foot ceilings. Crews lifted the roof to make fourteen-foot ceilings and replaced the walls. It proved less expensive than demolishing the old roof and building upward and, as an added bonus, sent less waste to the landfill.

The Brookside, 1221 N. Central Street, Knoxville, January 2020

The Brookside, 1221 N. Central Street, Knoxville, January 2020

The Brookside, 1221 N. Central Street, Knoxville, January 2020

The new space includes a basement, for a total of about 13,000 square feet. The main event hall has 5,000 square feet and a 425-person capacity, while the smaller “lounge” space downstairs has a capacity of 325. The smaller downstairs space may be reserved independently, but the twin spaces are perfect for the trend toward weddings and receptions being held at one location.

Setup for a Recent Event, The Brookside, 1221 North Central Street, Knoxville (Photo provided by Daniel Schuh)

A long list of amenities is available, including tables, chiavari chairs, and linens. Both floors are wired for sound, and lights and speakers are installed in the ceilings. The space works for a range of events, from corporate events to parties of any sort. An expo kitchen is located on the main floor to accommodate caterers, and a prep kitchen is located on the lower level. A bridal suite has been constructed, as well as a groom’s area, making it possible to stage and host weddings from beginning to end.

The couple expects the venue to evolve as they add staff and services. They have a list of approved vendors for floral, catering, photography, and deejays. They personally attend many of the events to ensure that everything is perfect. Whitney said they “try to make the process easy.” She adds that because they are so invested in Happy Holler, they “take a lot of pride in the area.”

Owners Daniel and Whitney Schuh, The Brookside, 1221 N. Central Street, Knoxville, January 2020

There are approximately seventy parking spaces around the building, with an additional seventy across the street behind Angel Ministries, in addition to street parking. They’ve also extended the front patio to more closely engage the street along Central and have plans for a sheltered outdoor space facing Oklahoma.

A Grand Opening and Open House is planned for January 9, next Thursday, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The event will include “live music, heavy hors d’oeuvres, & drinks from the bar as you experience a mock wedding reception.” Relix will also be open across the street. Give them a “like” on their FB Page and follow them on Instagram.

Comments

  1. What a beautiful space! I am impressed by the dedication and vision that the Schuhs have brought to an area they believe in. I hope they are wildly successful, so that they can continue to enhance the neighborhood, and what it brings to the whole of Knoxville.

  2. and i have never been drunk in my life charles ellis, or even high for that matter. so please dont attack someone for posting their opinion. i said i would welcome any feedback with people who disagreed with my opinion, but not someone who doesnt know me attacking me with a false allegation. and alan, i really have a problem with that guy charles ellis doing that!

    • Charles Ellis says

      My sincere apologies. Sarcasm often comes across as mean matured when typed out as opposed to spoken word. I truly meant no offense. Hope you have a wonderful day.

  3. Excited to see this project completed. Does anybody have updates on Randy Burleson’s restaurant in Happy Holler on the corner of Central and Anderson? It seems that the construction has been complete for months.

  4. cindy bradley says

    Great Job !! Love the vision of people that make areas better !

  5. I have been watching this corner develop for a while now and I am glad that a portion of it is now open for business. Did you get an idea of how long before the restaurant is open? I was also curious to know if Daniel and Whitney plan on keeping Relix open as an event space across the street now that they have Brookside open? You would think the two might compete with each other and Relix could better serve the neighborhood in some other capacity moving forward. Knowing that they also own XYZ, it might be interesting to consider moving the bar across the street into Relix temporarily and then doing a wholesale renovation of the existing bar space (I know a decent number of weddings at Relix have groups go to XYZ for after-parties so this would be great to add to the full-service experience). Knoxville needs an elevated space near downtown for LGBTQ people to gather and feel like they could take someone to for a date or after-work drinks. Nashville has something like this with the Tribe & Play setup and I would like to see the same happen here in one of Knoxville’s better established Gayborhoods. Nonetheless, the work you guys have done up to this point is very nice and definitely welcomed. Thank You!

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says

      Not sure on the timing of the restaurant, but I hope to bring word on that when I get it. They do plan to keep Relix open as an event space as it serves a different clientele and is a smaller size and price. I know the couple would love to elevate the space that is the XYZ club and would love to have a great, more contemporary, presentation for the bar, as well as upgrade facilities, etc.

  6. I think this space is the last thing we need on Central. The building will sit empty for most of the week. Happy Holler would greatly benefit from mixed retail and restaurant space that encourages foot traffic.

    Also, while there may be “parking” in Happy Holler, it’s a shame to think it will be monopolized by a single space on a busy weekend night. Think about all the other businesses, current and potential, who could use those spaces for their own needs. It seems very short-sighted to allow The Brookside to not have its own parking.

  7. Having looked high and low for an event space large enough to accommodate a large wedding last year, I applaud what this young couple has done. New brides-to-be, rejoice!

  8. Wallace Ashe says

    Earl’s Furniture was also at that location in the 70’s – 80’s.

  9. Rick Dover says

    Daniel and Whitney are creative, energetic people whose commitment Knoxville is simply wonderful. Kudos for all they do!

  10. and also, i used to get my hair cut in that building. it used to be called the knoxville institute of hair design, and i think just knoxville barber college before that. lots of family used to get their hair cut there, but that was in the 60s 70s and 80s, i think the last time i went there was in the late 80s but i really cant remember. they cut hair really well.

  11. while i admire any kind of development, or anyone trying to make an area better, this is just not what i had envisioned for the devlopment of central st. and i think these kind of small buildings are ruining what could be a grand vision for central. what i envision are unique skyscrapers lined all the way up and down central, including condos, offices, bars and restaurants coming down to street level with residences above. and i don mean unique buildings with vision for the future. and i know i am going to get a lot of flack wanting it to be developed with skyscrapers, but it is just my opinion, just as i see a proposed future ballpark in the old city, which i actually think would ruin the charm of the area. we all have our opinions remember. i know that when i walk central, i just imagine a grander vision of what it could look like. but i guess there are not too many with the bucks to come into that area and develop it into something more than what others are trying to do, but as i said, i will give the people credit for trying. and by the way, i have lived in that area in many places in my life, in many neighborhoods, so i am not an outsider on this. i remember years ago, when first tennessee bank was on the corner of broadway and central, and when you passed by that area, it kind of resembled new york city in a way, because of the angle of the street and it reminded me of the flatiron building in nyc, and i always thought it was kind of unique looking. even though the building was no skyscraper by any means, i used to imagine what central and broadway could be lined with skyscrapers. i just have a greater vision i guess. i guess we just have a skyscraper bias around the city here, because it has taken 40 or 50 years just to get the two tallest buildings we have downtown, and they are not reall skyscrapers. anyway, so i am sorry for such a long post, just ranting and raving i guess. so im ready to start gettin the flack, so bring it on. but alan, i really do appreciate you covering all of the developments, please dont think i dont appreciate it, but i just have a different hope of what would be built there and along broadway and as far as that matters along magnolia and downtown also. so bring it on folks.

    • Charles Ellis says

      Go home Darrell, you’re drunk.

      • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says

        I’m going to call a five yard penalty on that one. No personal foul and ejection, due to intent to be funny. Still a penalty. Be nice, people.

      • The Reverend says

        hahahahahahaahhah. I love you Charles. Also, Darrel isn’t wrong, a mo’better grand vision is admirable.

      • are you serious charles ellis? you have the gall to attack someone with a personal insult who is just posting their opinion on here? how about you stay home, because you have no class and stay off here then. and thank you reverend.

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