KNOXVILLE - Businesses on the Strip are looking forward to a construction-free football season.
“This is what we’ve been waiting for for the last two years,” said Sunspot Manager Stephanie Cunningham.
“The construction being gone has been pretty amazing,” said Brenz Pizza Co. Owner Kevin Bachman.
“It’s kind of a double whammy,” said Joe Smith, who owns The Half Barrel and Tapped. He said he thinks the two-year project turned out nicely. He’s owned businesses on the strip for years, and he’s hoping it will bring in even more business.
“Once people come down and find out that the Strip is re-opened, we’ll probably hopefully see some bigger days,” Smith said.
Across the street at The LiterBoard, they’re getting ready for their first football season on the strip.
“We kind of just turned on the open sign on Thursday and we got pretty slammed,” said Co-owner James Tourville.
Tourville and his co-owners signed a lease in June, renovated all summer, and havenow opened their doors as an “E sports” bar, where you can both watch sports and play them on computers or gaming consoles.
Tourville said they opened up at just the right time.
“When we came to look at places, we were realizing, oh, this is finishing up, this is actually the perfect timing,” Tourville said. “And it looks absolutely great.”
Some students appreciate the finished project too.
“It’s so much better than it was,” said Tom Foti.
“I remembered when I toured here… it was, like, all torn up…now it comes back and it looks great,” said Ryan Richardson.
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