Thursday, May 26, 2011

Breaking News, Bad News and Old City Business Bits

Breaking News: The Oliver Hotel (they are no longer Saints) is open for business. The first customers checked in yesterday. Dann Black, the assistant general manager was kind enough to show me around. He asked that I not take pictures until they have photographs on the website, but he was very gracious as he showed me the rooms and talked about the renovation and decoration of the rooms and lobby. The entrance is beautiful, with a gorgeous chandelier and beautiful chairs framed by the new doors. Art is on the way. The rooms range widely in size and shape, but all have been completely re-done with larger bathrooms complete with hand-laid tile floors inlaid with the new emblem. The restaurant is still six months away from opening, but nine rooms are ready and all twenty-eight should be set to go soon and many are already booked. Prices range from $109 to $319, though they may change a bit, yet. Go by and check it out.
Pieces being broken from the bridge.
Bad News: Another worker was killed on the Henley Street Bridge project. Work has been halted and the green-way is closed in that area. April 13 I wrote "The work must be very dangerous. The side railing is being removed first and each piece is knocked off onto a barge below. There are people working the machinery, people guiding the machine operators from the bridge and people on the barge below where the pieces fall. The large pieces must weigh hundreds of pounds. Of course, one person has died already and it is easy to see how a moment of inattentiveness on any one's part could result in a disaster."
Barge where the pieces fall (notice the person standing beside the crane).
It apparently happened very much like that. I have no way of knowing if the construction company is attending to safety as ardently as they should, but hopefully changes will be forthcoming, if not.

Old City Business Bits:
Jig and Reel, Old City
There are a few more business developments in the Old City worth noting. Manhattan's went out of business a few months ago, leaving a prime location available and it will be filled by a Scottish pub called Jig and Reel. Progress toward an opening appears to be slow moving. This will give us a British pub, Irish pub and Scottish pub in the Old City. I'm not sure what that means, but it's interesting.

Bliss, Old City

Interior of Bliss, Old City
Not so with Bliss, Old City or Old City Entertainment Venue (It seems to want to be both.) at 118 S. Central. The bar seems to be operational and quite attractive, describing itself as an event location and a wine bar. The confounding thing to me is that anyone would name a downtown business "Bliss," given the success and long-time standing of Bliss and Bliss Home on Market Square. It seems the predictable confusion would not be beneficial. I wonder what the owner of the Bliss stores on Market Square think about it. All that said, it looks like a very nice place and locations for events are surprisingly limited downtown.

Organized Play, 131 S. Central
Finally, Organized Play is open on the same stretch of Central. I believe it moved from Cumberland on the other end of downtown. It appears to be a gathering spot for the Dungeons and Dragons crowd and features comics (this is a big week for Green Lantern according to their website). It seems to fit the personality of the Old City - and I mean that in a good way. It's just a little edgier, a little more eccentric than uptown.

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At May 26, 2011 at 6:29 AM , Blogger Melissa said...

Organized Play is a cool store... the Dungeons and Dragons/ Magic the Gathering thing is not my scene, but they also have a good selection of card and board games.

At May 26, 2011 at 2:57 PM , Blogger tthurman said...

I heard the news about the worker accident soon after it happened, but since it was early on, info was little to none. I recalled your post from earlier in the year, and knew it wouldn't be long until it was mentioned yet again.

I'm in the bridge area enough to keep up on progress. This appears to me to be at best a daunting job, even in the best possible circumstances. I'm certainly far from an expert, but it almost seems that it would have been better to bring it all down and rebuild from scratch.

At May 26, 2011 at 3:55 PM , Anonymous KnoxvilleUrbanGuy said...

Hey Melissa and tthurman:
I didn't realize they had a variety of board games. I need to explore more. That's a good thing to have downtown. As for the bridge, I've heard others question whether it should have been replaced. I don't know enough to speculate, but it seems two people dying early in the process should tell us that *something* needs to change.

At August 18, 2011 at 9:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure there was a lawsuit between the two. They are now just Old City Entertainment Venue, no longer Bliss.

At August 18, 2011 at 9:35 PM , Blogger Knoxville Urban Guy said...

That is VERY interesting. I hadn't heard it, but I wouldn't doubt it. Thanks for the info.


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