Friday (Business and Other) Updates and Random Reminders

Future Home of Alchemy Lounge and Cigar Bar, 119 South Central Street, Knoxville, February 2022
East Tennessee Bucketeers, Veteran’s Day Parade, Knoxville, November 2018

Tonight the traffic stops and the city pops. This is the first of two weekends this month and four between now and the end of the year that the city will experiment with making the 400 block of Gay Street pedestrian-only. From 7:00 pm to 4:00 am tonight and tomorrow night (and Nov. 17-18, Dec. 8-9. and Dec. 15-16) downtown residents and visitors can enjoy a car-free block just to the east of Market Square. Get out and enjoy it and let me know what you think about it. If this goes well, I think we might expect it to be expanded. Shop, dance, make funny faces, but get out there and enjoy!

Before that happens, you can come downtown this morning and enjoy the Veteran’s Day Parade starting at 10:40. The rain should be ebbing by then, but these men and women endure a whole lot more than a little rain, so come  out and support them. There is always a poignant moment or more seeing the young faces of recruits and the old faces of those who have already given their time.

Through the day you can also enjoy Film Fest Knox which runs through Sunday with films showing at the Regal Cinemas on lovely Gay Street. Maybe come to the parade, catch movies and enjoy the 400 block all in one day!

Future Home of Alchemy Lounge and Cigar Bar, 119 South Central Street, Knoxville, February 2022

Business Bits

I’m not a cigar smoker, but I’m ridiculously excited about the upcoming opening of Alchemy in the Old City. Incredibly, I first brought the story to readers almost two years ago about downtown’s new cigar and whiskey bar. I suspect some of you thought the idea had died on the vine, but not so. Expect an opening (and lots of pictures here) in the next few weeks, most likely by early December at the least. Why am I excited? Because it is a completely different sort of business and it is gorgeous inside. All that’s missing is the liquor license and that is coming soon. Can’t wait to share the pictures and enjoy a whiskey drink in a cool new space.

Late November into December could see the advent of a couple of additional cuisines in downtown as Lilu (French), which I wrote about over two years ago gets very close to being ready to open the doors. That’s another one that Urban Woman and I salivate just thinking about. I’ve been told that we might expect the Indian restaurant on the 100 block of Gay Street to open in a similar time frame. This one seems a bit more fuzzy to me, but that’s what I was told by a reliable source. It will not be Aroma Express as I reported over two years ago. Partnerships changed and the new concept I was told would be “like Chipotle, with Indian food.” Sounds good to me.

It’s striking that each of these projects took one side or the other of two years to complete. The variables in each case were quite different, but a reality of opening even the simplest business is that it will take longer and cost more money than anticipated. It’s a rule of the universe. The rest of us get impatient, but it just takes time (and money). I’ve heard from so many people who have opened a business or developed a building that they are glad they didn’t know how difficult it would be before they started or they might never have taken it on.

Hamilton, Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville, February 2023

Upcoming Events that Caught My Eye

The Tennessee Theatre has to be one of the most beloved institutions in our city. Many of us have very long lists of favorite concert, Broadway musicals, movies and more that were made incredibly more special for having been hosted in that beautiful space. But they do a lot more behind the scenes. They would like to share that with you on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (Giving Tuesday). Here’s what they’ve got going inside the theatre that day:

Thankful for Theatre/Giving Tuesday Event

  • On Tuesday, 11/28, 5p – 7p, Open-house highlighting Education/Outreach programming
  • Donors, grant funders, sponsors, elected officials, educators, potential sponsors, and the general public invited
  • Tables set up in the lobby highlighting information about Youth Arts Alliance tickets, Summer Camp, Dr. Broadway, Tours/Open Houses, Educator Resources, Pass the Mic, and Marquee Awards
  • Video about all of our ed/outreach programming
  • Sample dance masterclass on the stage (about 30 minutes)
  • Performances/testimonials from kids that have been in the program
  • Share you memories/how Theatre has impacted you to display this afterwards and/or in future years
  • Trivia/bingo game
  • Fall refreshments

The Tennessean Hotel is also hosting some holiday events in coming weeks. Some of it is a continuation of their Maker Space Events and then there are their popular holiday teas. Check it out:

ELF Classic Cinema Event at Maker Exchange

  • Saturday, Dec. 9, 2 pm Families looking to spread holiday cheer join for an afternoon of Elf fun in Maker Exchange on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 2 pm. The Film & Food experience at The Tennessean Hotel welcomes guests to enjoy the holiday classic while selecting from themed offerings like chocolate spaghetti or movie snack grazing boards. Admission $13.67 per person. Reserved seats are limited and advanced reservations should be secured. Tickets available through Eventbrite

The Tennessean Hotel Holiday Teas

  • Dec. 2, 9 and 16, 1 pm Seatings  A local favorite – The Tennessean Holiday Teas welcome guests to celebrate the season on Saturday afternoons in December with signature tea selections along with tier courses of scones, tea sandwiches, and holiday-themed desserts. Advance reservations required. Tickets available through Eventbrite