DANDRIDGE, Tenn. — Imagine eating dinner and sipping moonshine with an incredible view of Douglas Lake and the Smoky Mountains.
"We're just trying to bring an aspect to the town of Dandridge that you can't get right now," said Darrell Miller
That's what Miller is working on outside Dandridge on Highway 139.
The 15th generation moonshine distiller and owner of Bootleggers Distillery in Hartford has big plans for this plot of land
"A distillery, restaurant, maybe a little beach area for people to come up," said Miller.
Maybe even a hotel, but he'll need a bigger sewer line for that, which can only be done if his land is annexed into the City of Dandridge.
"It wouldn't just help us, it would help everybody in the downtown area, all the local businesses," said Miller. "Of course, the more tourists you get the more business you get.
His plans come with some backlash, with people saying a moonshine distillery will bring pollution, noise and "drunkards" to the area.
"Everyone here is very concerned about the impact on our neighborhoods," said Sigrid Yancey of Dandridge. "The surrounding areas are residential, with retirees and younger families with children. Not the place to put a honky-tonk!"
No one opposed to the distillery came to speak out against it at Tuesday's council meeting.
Zoning makes it legal for Miller to build his distillery right now, so it's coming whether neighbors are ready or not.
"I think it's all positive," said Rick Fletcher of Dandridge. "I think that hopefully it will spur other businesses to come to Dandridge as well."
The city council voted unanimously to send this annexation request to the planning commission.
A positive recommendation from them would be a good sign for Miller.
"We're wanting to use it for the best use we can possibly find," he said.
It'll be about a three month process. Until then, Miller will keep planning.