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Babalu, much-loved Knoxville restaurant, to reopen Thursday after months of renovations

The owners of Maple Hall acquired the restaurant in Spring 2020 and spent months renovating and redesigning the establishment.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A well-loved Knoxville establishment known for Latin-inspired food and handcrafted cocktails will reopen Thursday after it was closed for months while its new owners renovated and redesigned it.

Maple Hall announced that it acquired the restaurant in June, and said that it planned to revamp its menu and renovate the interior, updating the establishment. One of Maple Hall's chefs designed a menu that will feature locally-sourced, fresh fare with a Latin influence.

Several of Babalu's loved items, such as house-made guacamole and a variety of handcrafted margaritas, will also remain according to officials.

The owners worked with R2R Studio and Sheley Development on the renovations, according to a release. The restaurant is located in the historic J.C. Penney building in Knoxville.

“We’re ecstatic to re-launch Babalu in such an iconic space," said Ryan Sheley, a managing partner. "We firmly believe that our vision for the concept will advance and strengthen the already stellar reputation that Babalu shared amongst so many Knoxvillians."

Babalu will have a grand opening to the public on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 11 a.m.