It's a big day for Chef Tim Love and his team as they prepare to open the Old City's newest restaurant, The Lonesome Dove Bistro.
It's taken 19 months of work to renovate the former Patrick Sullivan’s Saloon.
"The most important part was trying to keep the personality of the restaurant and the modernism that we want in the food while keeping in mind all the greatness that this building is,” Love said.
Love is a UT grad - he's bringing the flavors that settled Texas to plates in Knoxville's Old City.
"All these flavors, all these wonderful cultures that built Texas, and we're bringing it here using local ingredients and incorporating that same spirit,” Love said.
City of Knoxville Downtown Coordinator Rick Emmett believes this is a sign good things are happening in the Old City.
"I believe the Old City is on the cusp of a new era. We have a building the Daniel that just recently reopened for condos and we'll have some new restaurants opening soon,” Emmett said.
One challenge facing businesses looking to come to the area - narrow streets and alleys that make it hard for construction and moving supplies in and out. Emmett hopes that doesn't deter the next phase of development.
"I think the residential component of the Old City is going to be the next big step, I think when more folks are living in the area that's going to lead to a lot of daytime life,” Emmett said.
Love has a home in the Old City and is betting on that daytime life continuing to grow. Emmett added that another phase of development in the Old City is the Streetscapes project. It calls for the city to improve roads and sidewalks to make it a gateway into East Knoxville.