Kern’s Food Hall Update

Kern Food Hall, Feb 2024
Kern’s Food Hall, Feb 2024

 In 2021, we got wind of a grand project coming to Chapman Hwy. Urban Guy reported that the former Kern’s Bakery was purchased and would become Kern’s Food Hall. As with most projects, this one has evolved and has taken at least twice as long as we hoped. We revisited in May of 2023 and told you the projected vendors on board. Some of that has changed, and some remains. Some get even more exciting. I will first tell you I am rooting for their success. This project preserves some of Knoxville’s history and brings in modern conveniences amongst it all.

Kern’s Food Hall, Skylight, Feb 2024

I took another tour this week and was pleasantly surprised to see the progress and momentum. In the hour I visited, the back of the parking lot was paved, and countless employees worked to make the dreams a reality. Tim Martin and Alex Domingez gave us the grand tour again and shared their growing excitement as the pieces finally come together.

Kern’s Food Hall, Feb 2024
Kern’s Food Hall, Feb 2024
Kern’s Food Hall, Feb 2024

Walking in, I was struck by the natural light in a space that could easily have been closed off and only lit by LED and fluorescent lighting. They have done a great job of utilizing the windows and skylights in a way that allows for sunshine to illuminate the space. Great light fixtures are installed for evenings and rainy days and harmonize with the natural wood and beam finishes.

Kern’s Food Hall, Feb 2024
Kern’s Food Hall, Feb 2024
Kern’s Food Hall, Feb 2024
Kern’s Food Hall, Feb 2024

All the food stalls are framed and built out. While no finishings have been completed, you can see significant progress on each one. The space for Monday Night Brewing is big and beautiful, while cozy and sophisticated. Space is set aside for performances and lovely chandeliers hang throughout. Monday Night Brewing will manage this indoor space and patio, as well as the main and patio bars in the food hall. I was pleased to see that they are utilizing the original wood from the old bakery in many spaces, such as the bars and some walls.

Kern’s Food Hall, Inside Monday Night Brewing, Feb 2024
Kern’s Food Hall, Inside Monday Night Brewing, Feb 2024
Kern Food Hall, Archer Paper Goods, Feb 2024

The retail space is framed, walled, and just waiting for the finishing touches. Archer Paper Goods has gone a different route with its aesthetics, making the whole interior white. It works beautifully with the natural light from the original windows in the space.

Kern’s Food Hall, Tenant Freezer/Refrigeration Feb 2024
Kern’s Food Hall, Tenant Dry Goods Storage, Feb 2024

A nail salon has been added to the master plan and will be a welcome amenity for the residents within walking distance of the food hall. Once F45 Workout installs bathrooms and a changing room they will be set to open. The rooftop bars are ready for railing and provide the perfect view of the entertaining and concert/big screen space below. I enjoyed stepping out onto the outdoor patio space and seeing the view from the second floor. The four silos are hidden now behind cinderblock, but in due time, Alex and Tim have plans to utilize that space as well while keeping the silos and using them as a showpiece. But for now, the word is “mum” on that project.

Kern’s Food Hall, Patio View, Feb 2024
Kern’s Food Hall, Feb 2024
Kern’s Food Hall, Patio View with landscaping to be installed, Feb 2024

The group also added a podcast studio and a space for small business owners to showcase and sell their goods on a short-term basis. A dog park with grooming services was also an addition I hadn’t expected but was excited to hear about. There are still plans to have a speakeasy to open this summer and a breakfast spot to open in the summer (Eggspectation).

Kern’s Food Hall, potential podcast studio, Feb 2024
Kern’s Food Hall, speakeasy space, Feb 2024

One significant development that people have been discussing is that the entrance to Kern’s will be moving to the traffic light on Chapman Hwy, the current space of Burger Boys. This means that the beloved burger joint will be closing. I met Andre Bryant (Burger Boys owner) this week, and he couldn’t be more supportive of the project and excited about his next chapter since selling the property to Kerns.

As mentioned, some vendors remain, and some have moved on for various reasons.

Here is the most updated list of vendors and services.


 Archer Paper Goods

 Flourish Flowers

 Jessica Wang Jewelry

 Mae Lee’s Boutique

 Mellow Boutique




 Sniff and Howl Dog Park and Grooming

 Vol Nails Salon

Kern’s Food Hall, Feb 2024
Kern’s Food Hall, Feb 2024

Food and Drink:

 Ava Italian

 Awaken Coffee

 Amaryllis Taqueria 

 Clean Smoke BBQ


 Hey Bear Cafe

 Irvey’s Ice Cream

 Kandilige Spicy Food

 Mrytle’s Bakehouse

 Ooh Lala Indian Cuisine

 T.Ralph’s Burgers

 Won Kitchen

 Zukku Sushi

 Hemmingway’s Cuban Kitchen

Kern’s Food Hall, reclaimed wood bar, Feb 2024

There is still lots of work to be done, but they are kicking it into high gear to reach the mid-April opening they hope for. The food hall and market will not be fully completed at opening, but that is an intentional decision. Most, if not all, food stalls will be functioning, and the bar/brewery will be good to go. However, the speakeasy, breakfast restaurant and a couple of other areas will continue to develop into this year. If you want to see the progress for yourself, click the links in the first paragraph and follow the photos to see how much has changed.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the excitement and optimism of Alex Domiguez and Tim Martin. They have championed this project from day one and are in it for the long haul. 

Kern’s Food Hall, Feb 2024