Potluck Now Open at Pretentious Glass

Potluck Cafe at Pretentious Glass, 133 South Central Street, Knoxville, May 2024
Potluck Cafe at Pretentious Glass, 133 South Central Street, Knoxville, May 2024

It’s been quite a journey for Melanie LaFoy in a relatively short time. She opened Potluck Cafe on Broadway just last year and was forced to close that location around the end of April this year. She planned to host pop-ups, continued her catering and to-go services, and become the primary food vendor at Seven Springs Retreat Center in Maryville. She also began the quest for a regular (and hopefully permanent) location. She has found it as she started serving her delicious foods out of Pretentious Glass (133 South Central, Hong’s Kitchen recently stopped service there) this past weekend. I spoke with Melanie to learn more about her plans at the new location.

She started off by making clear the new location was a spot she’d been interested in before. “I’d previously tried to get into Pretentious, but I lost out to Seoul Brothers, but it was friendly.” The same week she learned her lease would not be renewed on Broadway, she was offered the job at the retreat center and she also learned that Hong’s Kitchen had left Pretentious. Big week.

Potluck Cafe at Pretentious Glass, 133 South Central Street, Knoxville, May 2024

She immediately contacted Matt who agreed they would give it a try. In a very short time she’d gone from a predictable situation into two brand-new ventures. I asked her why she would jump in if it didn’t work for Hong’s Kitchen. She said the small kitchen space was an issue for them and won’t be for her (she’s been cooking in smaller) and they had a hard time letting people know they were there. Her plans include a whole new thing. She’s serving brunch at Pretentious; something they’ve never offered. Food will also be served at night.

The only thing that gave her pause was not knowing Matthew, the owner of Pretentious. “I can’t find anyone in town that has a bad thing to say about that guy . . . I like that he’s an artist and the vibe is right. They also do music. I’ll do music at brunch on Sundays.” Melanie is a musician and she and her band will likely make appearances. “I’m excited to have music. For the rest of May it’s just going to be brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Starting probably mid-June I’ll do dinner and snacks.” She said she may have some of the brunch dishes or the lunch specials she’d offered at the former location.

Potluck Cafe at Pretentious Glass, 133 South Central Street, Knoxville, May 2024

You can expect a lot of the same dishes you enjoyed at Potluck’s former location. She’ll have coffee in addition to the beverages you’ve come to expect at Pretentious. “I think they’re going to brew a couple of brunch beers for me, like a beermosa and they have a bloody Mary beer already. Wednesday night supper clubs will continue, except now my capacity is seventy-six instead of sixteen. The special events are going to be way bigger than they were before.” She added, “I’ve worked really hard to get a following in the vegan community. I won the award for best vegan breakfast. Once a month I may have a completely vegan breakfast.”

She’s excited to be a part of the Old City with the foot traffic it offers and thinks the new location will be great. “I worked at Sweet P’s and Good Golly. I know all the people on this block.” She’ll be ordering her ingredients through Red Panda which will be much more convenient. “I’m excited about Big Ears, Farmers Market, and being in the middle of the action. I’ll be able to have live music. I can have a song-writer workshops, I can have more meet-ups and social events because I have the space and an alcohol offering.

If you missed it this past weekend, be sure to drop in next Saturday or Sunday and check it out.