Thursday, May 12, 2011

Let's Talk Business

Before I get into today's business business, let me take a small moment to thank those of you who voted for me in the Metropulse Best of Knoxville reader's poll for best blog. I did not win, but I was given a shout-out for honorable mention and I really appreciate your support. Who knows what next year might bring? Congratulations to Mamapundit for her victory in the category. Check out her blog. I'll do a bit of a write up about the reader party sometime down the line.

Business or business related happenings continue at such a pace that I'm not sure anyone can really keep up. I'm going to post a few odds and ends that I've noticed in the Uptown area today and I'll do a couple of posts after that on Jackson Avenue where so much is happening it can't be contained in one post.

The Daylight Building has been covered probably more in this space than in any other and the culmination of all these months appears to be nigh at hand. There are currently three spaces awaiting openings.
Just Ripe - Not open yet, but getting there.
The first to open should be Just Ripe. The shelves are largely stocked, the coolers are in place. Staff is hired and when I passed there today they were having a large, serious meeting which has to be a good sign. I'd heard a soft opening might happen today (May 12), but then I heard it might be delayed. It should happen any day now, if for no other reason than the fact that the goods (chips, drinks, canned goods, grains, granola) that are already on the shelf are aging. One concern they have is that people understand when they visit for the first time they will not be seeing a finished product, but a developing one.
Union Avenue Books
It appears the second to open will be for Re-runs. Scheduled originally for May 24, as far as I know they are still on. The third to open will be Union Avenue Books. Jack Neely gives a detailed accounting of what has been going on with them. The amazing Flossie McNabb will still be the driving force, but she has new partners after her original partners backed out. The soft opening is set for June 1, with a grand opening scheduled for June 18.

New Fizz Sign Looks Great
Other developments I may or may not have mentioned in the Uptown area, there will be an Italian restaurant opening on Market Square in the spot previously occupied by Abode. It will be called Bella Luna. The restaurant taking the place of the Market Square kitchen will be affiliated with the St. Oliver, which is supposed to re-open very soon. The restaurant will serve all three meals and will serve alcohol, which was not acceptable to the previous tenant. Again, Jack Neely wrote a nice farewell to the Market Square Kitchen in which he points out it was the only place on Market Square which had not "changed much since the Carter Administration." You might also notice that Fizz on the Square has a new sign and it makes their presence feel much more permanent. Nice job, guys.

Across Union Avenue the Arnstein Building continues to be gutted. I have a source: an anonymous commenter on this blog. How's that for reliable? If it turns out to be true, remember you heard it here: When I blogged about this a week or so ago someone left the comment that Ruby Tuesdays would move "one of their newly acquired concepts in the Arnstein Building, the Tex-Mex one I believe." True? Not true? I don't know. And how do you feel about that? A chain? More Mexican/Spanish styled food to go with our other twenty-eleven restaurants with that theme? Can anyone do Vietnamese or Thai down here? I'm just wondering.
Sidewalk outside Coffee and Chocolate and Rala

Inside the Miller's Building
The sidewalk outside Re-runs (until they move) and Coffee and Chocolate is finally looking better. Metal gratings to cover the drainage have not been secured and the construction has halted on down the block next to Gay Street where a major renovation is underway inside the old Miller's building (KUB), soon to be the home of Regions Bank, who will move from across the street.

Finally, on down Union to State Street, I noticed that huge parking lot in which our current recycling center is located, is for sale by the county. It may be that it has been for sale for years and I've just never noticed the sign. Still, whether new or not, the fact that it has not been sold suggests to me a softness in the faith of local developers regarding the Marble Alley Project since that spot would be very valuable if the project ever went through. I have also heard that a new floor will be added to the State Street Garage just across the street from that lot.

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6 Comments:

At May 12, 2011 at 9:27 AM , Anonymous Art Wagner said...

I thought that the DouglasJ beauty school was destined for the Kress Building (formerly J's MegaMart)? That's the next building to the north on Gay. Wasn't the Miller's Building tenant to be Regions Bank?

 
At May 12, 2011 at 9:57 AM , Blogger Katie said...

I second Art on the Aveda Institute in the Kress and Regions in Millers.

Ruby Tuesday's TexMex? Say it ain't so! I was hoping for something else. A Rouxbarb spin off maybe or something similar.

 
At May 12, 2011 at 10:05 AM , Anonymous Aaron T said...

Yes Art is right, the Millers bldg revamp is the new Regions (the old one is moving in July). I'd like to see more about the bar opening up next to J's Mega Mart if you can do some digging. All I know is it's owned by Raffik Hannah who owns Mirage, Hannahs and New Amsterdam.

 
At May 12, 2011 at 10:46 AM , Blogger Andrea said...

Ugh, I am so over chains. If I want to eat at a chain restaurant I'll go to Turkey Creek.

 
At May 12, 2011 at 11:05 AM , Blogger Knoxville Urban Guy said...

Hey guys,

Of course, you are right. The pictures are from the Miller's Building which will be the new home for the Regions Bank. I'll try to do a correction, later. Thanks for catching it, Art. That's what happens when a blogger blogs too fast, too late and has readers who are smarter than he is! :-)

As for the chain possibility (remember it was an anonymous comment), I generally like our chain-free vibe, as well, but remember that Nama and Blue Coast Burrito are parts of chains and I don't feel any great ill effects of having them downtown. As for Turkey Creek: I can't imagine what it would take for me to go there.

Aaron T, you know more about the address next to J's than I do. Do I feel a guest blog post coming on? :-)

 
At May 12, 2011 at 2:21 PM , Blogger Cassandra said...

Have you already mentioned the Jackson Ave market on the main floor of JFG or did I miss this?

And I second Andrea's comment.

 

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