"We would like to fill Bearden with music and food and drink. That's what we are trying to do," Kit Rodgers said.
Kit Rodgers and Cullen Kehoe are trying to accomplish those goals with the Troubadour Roadhouse and Performance Hall.
It's a new venue in Bearden tucked in between Kingston Pike and Old Kingston Pike. Its signature food is a secret brisket recipe featuring 17 different spices.
You can get it for lunch or dinner seven days a week and listen to live music at 8:00 seven nights a week.
"It has all of the elements that I like. It has food it has music it has booze. So it's a perfect fit for me," Kit said.
Musicians like Josh Smith from East Tennessee have a platform here.
"There's a lot of talent in this town and there's just not a lot of places for them to show it off," Kit said.
Cullen Kehoe said, "Everybody needs a launching pad. And that's what we want to be here in Knoxville is a launching pad."
It is also a place for touring acts. And perhaps a place where those groups can collaborate.
"I used to live in Nashville and I've always said, you can hear me up on stage saying Nashville holds nothing to Knoxville as far as writers are concerned, there are more per capita better writers here than anywhere else in the country," Cullen said.
Both owners have a history in music and restaurants. The history of the particular building is a good fit.
"Right outside is the original Thunder Road. It connects Bristol to Memphis and it was music highway before I-40 came along so the history of this place is great," Cullen said.
Kit said, "Any number of musicians coming from Bristol to Nashville probably stopped and ate here. They could have slept out back in the bungalows. We just don't know who all stopped through here so I am going to say everyone stopped."
The future of Troubadour Roadhouse and Performance Hall includes musicians like Zack Miles. He is one of the performers in a singer / songwriter contest on Monday nights through the end of August.
Troubadour Roadhouse and Performance Hall is sponsoring a $2,000 Performing Songwriter contest. There are several ways to be entered into the competition;
Show up on Monday nights at Troubadour Roadhouse and play two original songs.
Show up on Tuesday nights for Open Mic.
Or submit a recording of three original songs.
The finals will be in September featuring 24 performers and 24 submissions.
"It benefits the singer / songwriter. It gives them a reason to come out and play an open mic because you have a chance to win a show. You have a chance to win big money six months from now and maybe get started on a demo or get some photography done or whatever you need," Kit said.
Troubadour Roadhouse and Performance Hall is a place for music, food, drink, and opportunities.
"We want to promote the local talent in here. There's not been a lot of venues that were real supportive of the singer/ songwriter, the solo acts and things like that. We have traveling groups coming though in as well, touring groups," Kit said.
Parking has been a challenge for other businesses in that location. But there's a parking garage behind Troubadour Roadhouse that holds about 50 cars and nearby businesses are letting cars park in their lots at night.