Three Things You Need to Know

Here are three things happening in and around the city that I’d like to pass along for your mid-week consideration. One’s online, one is returning to live action after a one-year hiatus for obvious reasons, and the other is a request for help for a friend.

Made For Knoxville

The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center has launched their “Made for Knoxville” website and campaign. If you want to hear the stories of many of Knoxville’s “solo-preneurs, makers, growth stage tech companies, investors and established institutions,” this is the place to do it.

In recent years, Knoxville has emphasized its wealth of makers and entrepreneurs, and they represent a wide range of creative people in the city. This website represents the first effort to bring together a large, representative group of the city’s creative class and give them an opportunity to tell their stories.

Some local entrepreneurs have been wildly successful, finding fame and/or fortune. Others fly below the radar, but have carved out a creative space where they can make a living or simply enhance their daily lives and enrich their city while pursuing their unique vision. On the website you’ll find many original videos, profiles of dozens of local entrepreneurs (many of whom have been featured here) and original articles by Jack Neely discussing Knoxville’s history of inventiveness.

Not only can you read other’s stories, you can submit your own for possible inclusion. Here’s a sample video from my friend Dale Mackey. Check out the website, but be aware: you may get sucked in for hours!


Bike Boat Brew and Bark

The event that will soon return is Bike Boat Brew & Bark, set for Saturday, June 5, at Knoxville Adventure Collective (recently profiled here). If, as stated above, Knoxville is all about makers and entrepreneurs, it is also about enjoying the great outdoors, enjoying great craft beer, and often doing one or both in the company of our favorite canine companions.

In previous years, the event has drawn thousands of people to our urban riverside to enjoy a wide range of activities and this year offers something for everyone to enjoy. From the website:

The day will be filled with a water activities through Knoxville Adventure Collective such as SUP and Kayak Open Sessions with instructors, a Riverwalk Tour with Historian Jack Neely, Guided Brewery Slow Rides to Knoxville Adventure Center, Activities by Young-Williams Animal Center including a pet photo contest, puppacinnos and chill zone. Carol Evans with Legacy Parks will lead a Guided Hike to Morningside Park, Alan Sims will lead a tour – A Walk Through Knoxville: Past, Present, and Future through downtown, and there will be a Guided Urban Bike Ride with Bike Walk Knoxville.  In addition, special activities will take place at the Women’s Basketball Hall of FameJames White’s FortBlount MansionVolunteer Princess, the Tennessee Riverboat, and Vol Landing Marina!  If you’re hungry, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse will be offering $10 burgers and steak sandwiches!

The point of all of this is to show how much the city has to offer and how much of it is easily accessible from downtown. Whether you love biking, hiking, craft beer, history or river sports, there will be something for you, your family, and your puppy. Some of the activities, such as tours of James White Fort, Blount Mansion, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and activities for the four-legged participants, do not require registration.


Other activities, designed to show how comfortable it is to bike from downtown to area breweries, how accessible the river and river sports are from downtown, hikes through natural areas, history walks and more are free, but do require registration, as participation is limited. River cruises on the Tennessee River Boat and Volunteer Princess are paid events and require a ticket.

My focus for the day will be on an “urban hike.” In other words, I’ll do what I do most days of the week – walk around the downtown area and ponder what’s going on. I’d love to have you join me, but group size is limited, so you’ll need to sign up here. We’ll start at 10:00 from the Adventure Collective and spend about two hours looking at the oldest of Knoxville sites like James White Fort and Blount Mansion, talking about the business making the city interesting and fun today, and cast an eye toward developments coming down the pike which will shape the city’s future.

In other words, we’ll talk about the things that have populated this website for the last eleven years. You’ll have a chance to ask questions and suggest new topics for investigation for future articles. I’d love to meet you and hear what you have to say. We’ll learn together while enjoying a walk around the city. I’ll deliver you safely back to the Adventure Collective, or you can peel off at any time to explore more on your own. Sign up today to make sure you secure a spot!

Broadway Market, 900 East Hill Avenue, Knoxville, December 2019

Chef Don Devore of Broadway Market

Finally, a brief note regarding Chef Don Devore, whom many of you know from your stops at Broadway Market. As is the case with many small business owners, Don and his wife Lauren are the business. If they go down, the business goes down. And that is what has happened.

After keeping the business afloat during the pandemic, and just as they looked forward to better times, Don became ill. A trip to the emergency room was followed by another and then by admission to Fort Sanders Hospital. Emergency surgery saved his life, but he’ll have to return in coming weeks for a second surgery.

The impact is obvious: He can’t currently operate the business, and the couple is anticipating massive medical bills. Not one to normally ask for help, but generally the one giving it and hustling to make his own way, Don could use your help, nonetheless. A Go Fund Me site has been set up and it’s our turn to show some love for a guy who has helped feed our city for decades. Please consider making a donation here.