KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — If you haven't paid a visit to downtown Knoxville since the pandemic started, you may not recognize some of the new tenants that moved in.
Downtown Knoxville executive director Michele Hummel says 21 new businesses opened in 2020 just in the downtown area. Compare that to 21 in 2019 when there wasn't a pandemic, and things look pretty impressive for new business owners willing to take that risk.
Here are the businesses that opened downtown in 2020:
- Yoga 865
- CJ's Tacos
- The Nail Room
- Nature's Crossing Health and Beauty (closing February 28)
- Vow'd Weddings
- HenHoc Butcher
- Honeymouth Leather
- Old City Sports Bar
- Able Trade
- Ham 'N Goodys
- Wildflour Too
- Knox Brew Hub
- Knox Box Karaoke
- Tall Man Toys & Comics
- Knoxville Fine Violins
- KoPita Meat
- Myrtle's Chicken and Beer
- ACF Jewelry
- Five Thirty Lounge at the Hyatt Place
- Ethan Long, DDS
- Marble City Dentistry and Facial Esthetics
- Mahalo Coffee Roasters
Thirteen of those businesses opened between September 2020 and the end of December 2020.
But wait, there's more!
Hummel said 12 more businesses have opened or announced their plans to open in 2021.
The following downtown businesses opened this year:
- Wicked Chicken
- The Vault
- Ethan Long, DDS (started taking appointments)
- Marble City Dentistry and Facial Esthetics (started taking appointments)
- Two Bikes
The following businesses announced they'll be opening later this year:
Four more businesses will soon be announcing their plans to open. All we know now is that two fall under the 'restaurant/bar' category, one is considered 'retail/services,' and the third is listed as 'other.'
Hummel said outdoor downtown activities and attractions like the Christmas lights got people out to explore new businesses.
She said existing businesses following COVID-19 protocols and people supporting local businesses helped new places flourish.