Breaking News from 36 Market Square: And more business bits

36 Market Square

The word I’m getting is that we will definitely not be getting a vet at 36 Market Square as was previously discussed. While this may be disappointing news to downtown residents, I have interesting news for prospective downtown dwellers: How would you like to have an apartment in the most beautiful building on the most beautiful square in our city?

It appears (very reliably) that work will begin soon to develop one and two bedroom apartments in the building. While the bottom floor will be occupied by Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, each of the top three floors will include three units (for a total of nine apartments). Each will run somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 square feet and some will feature excellent views of Market Square while others will have window views of the TVA fountains, plaza and towers.

If you want to be at the epicenter of everything that is happening, you couldn’t do any better than this. It will be interesting to learn the cost of the units as they are completed. No word, yet, on a projected completion date. There are realty signs in the windows, so I assume one might call.

400 Block of South Gay, Knoxville, May 2012

Yee Haw Closing Shop on the 400 block

There are other notable business developments, particularly on the 400 block of South Gay. The last few weeks have seen an opening and a closure on that block, with Sky Bar opening and Yee Haw closing. Yee Haw had been a fixture for years and will  be missed by many. Business was good, but co-owner Kevin Bradley has decided to take his talents to California.

Sky Bar, 400 Block of Gay Street, Knoxville, May 2012

Sky Bar, 400 Block of Gay Street, Knoxville, May 2012

As for Sky Bar, it is beautiful inside, but I’ve only seen it empty or virtually so. Here’s hoping good things for a new business that seems to have gotten off to a slow start. Maybe I’ve just not been around when they’ve been hopping.

Also on the 400 block is Suttree’s High Gravity Tavern about which I’ve written before. Co-owner Matt Pacetti tells me they are hoping for an opening next week. The bar is in place as is the furniture and based on the reaction I got when I first wrote the story, I think there is a large group waiting to pounce.



Finally, just in case you haven’t heard the news, Harry’s is closing on the 100 Block. I don’t know any more than what was reported in the News Sentinel,  but from that it appears that an inadequate amount of business led to the demise. It’s pretty disappointing to me because it was such a tip of the hat to Harold’s and a cool tie to the city’s past. According to the News Sentinel article, there is a possibility that the bread portion of the business might be revived. Those of us who have eaten their bread (sold at Just Ripe, for example) would love to see this happen.

So, there’s a beginning for you to ponder. Several new businesses are slated to open in the next few weeks and I’ll have some information on those at a later time.



  1. Had lunch at Harrys today. Excellent, but $50 for 3 sandwiches, 3 sodas and a plate of cookies is pricey. I don’t think Harrys and Harolds were in the same orbit. Loved both but different venues. Harolds was OLD as in old school as TThurman states. Harrys was up town and gourmet and that comes with a price. I’ve paid the price and enjoyed the food but today’s 35 minute wait for 3 sandwiches was the last time. Ben & Amy from Harrys have talent and now they have more experience which will lead them to success. I wish them well and they’ll do fine.

  2. Oh man, I would absolutely love to live on Market Square. But I bet it will be way out of my price range, unfortunately.

    We’re really sad that Harry’s is leaving us, but as others have already said, they definitely had some problems. But I do hope they can continue their bread business. I love Harry’s bread!

  3. tthurman says:

    Oh great, comment spam!

    800 sq feet, man that seems small, and what about parking! It certainly would be a cool area to live in, but I can see downsides to it as well. I’m sure you would get a nice dose of entertainment at all sorts of various times of the day and night, regardless of whether you wanted it or not.

    I never made it to Harry’s, but heard similar comments that Art mentions, these from long time Harold’s customers. Price was often mentioned, but again, I had no personal experience. I can’t help but think that a lot of what made Harold’s special just can’t be replaced. I recall eating lunch down there, which was almost always a Reuben, but others showed up for daily specials, spaghetti, etc., things I would never think of getting or even seeing there. For others it was the familiar faces, or the retro decor, which let’s face it, was only retro because it had been there forever. It was a place where regulars felt at home!

    • 800 sq ft is a good size for a 1 bedroom apartment. And the residents can a monthly pass to one of the nearby garages, no problem. Having your own dedicated parking spot is too wasteful of space for urban living.

  4. As downtown Knoxville continues to progress, much of the success will continue to be the small, unique businesses that make up the character of the area, and that UrbanGuy describes so well. It is always heartbreaking to see one close for any reason, but it is an inevitable part of life and business. Although the breakup of YeeHaw was not a reflection of business success, or lack of (I understand), one is still left feeling empty.

    Other times, even though one patronizes a business, everything is not as it should be, and one privately wishes they could offer advice or suggestions to the owners. After each of my 3 visits to Harry’s, I longed to make a couple of suggestions on service, atmosphere, and prices. Maybe I should have.

    In the case of SkyBar, perhaps some early comments can alleviate heartache later on. The name implies something open and airy, yet, in my opinion, the interior is anything but, and is absolutely discouraging to customers. The feng shui of the space arrangement is really off and the decor/lighting is not comfortable; it reminds me of a college bar/hookup joint, but even those require customers. Also, don’t plant an intimidating looking bouncer at the door glaring hatefully at people as they walk up on the sidewalk daring them to peek inside. An empty bar is not going to be discerning. Sorry for the downer, SkyBar.

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