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View from 101 Sky Lounge atop the Historic Central Hotel

Featured Article

An Afternoon in Downtown Sevierville

With all that Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have to offer, it’s easy to overlook downtown Sevierville. Let’s change that.

Article by Jennie Treadway-Miller

Photography by Jennie Treadway-Miller

Originally published in West Knoxville Lifestyle

In 2016, local leaders voted to put more resources towards revitalizing the historical downtown area, and today it shows. We stopped into a few restaurants, shops, and the coolest entertainment space we’ve seen in a long time. If you’re looking for a non-touristy experience in the Great Smoky Mountains, Sevierville will satisfy both your appetite and nostalgic whims.

Court Ave.

No visit to downtown Sevierville is complete without a stop at the Dolly Parton Statue, which has been a fixture in front of the Sevier County Courthouse for more than 30 years. The bronze sculpture was designed and crafted by local artist Jim Gray and is visited by thousands of Dolly and country music fans each year. It’s an ideal starting point for an afternoon walk along Sevierville’s main roads – Bruce St. and Joy St.

Bruce St.

At the heart of historic Sevierville is Bruce St., where you can find easy parking and a short walk to your restaurant of choice. If it’s fine dining you’re after, The Appalachian is a solid bet. The menu boasts regional ingredients and seasonal dishes – so specific to what’s available that the menu is printed daily. We feasted on the Butterbean Hummus, Fried Green Tomatoes, Catfish Shrimp and Grits, and the Dry Aged Kansas City Strip with Grilled Broccolini and Fire-Roasted Carrots with a Jack Straw cocktail. Chef David Rule cut his teeth at Blackberry Farm and the Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend before opening The Walnut Kitchen in Maryville. The Appalachian opened at the start of 2021 and soon attracted national attention in Travel + Leisure, Garden & Gun, and National Geographic Traveler. Open Tuesday through Saturday, we highly recommend you make a reservation.

There are two public art murals worth mentioning here. Across the street from The Appalachian is the “Wings of Wander,” a sweeping monarch butterfly painted by local artist Pinkie Mistry that serves as a nod to Dolly Parton’s “Love is Like a Butterfly.” Adjacent to the restaurant is “Red’s Café,” a diner scene painted by Seth Bishop and Ben Harrison of Smoky Mountain Mural Company. The mural depicts Paul “Red” Clevenger serving a young Dolly Parton a burger, just like he did throughout her childhood. The place was so special to Dolly that she added a Red’s Café burger joint to Dollywood.

If you’re in the mood for a burger, then head over to Graze Burgers, a casual, upbeat bar and restaurant with exposed brick walls, rough-hewn wood tables, and plenty of outdoor seating with umbrellas. The menu is everything you’d want in a summertime meal – burgers, fries, and the milkshakes of your dreams. We devoured The Tennessee Burger with Bacon Jam, Bourbon BBQ, Smoked Gouda, Beer-Battered Onion Rings, House Slaw, Tomatoes, and House Pickles, along with Fried Green Tomatoes with Pimento Cheese, and the Death by Chocolate Shake.

Across from Graze is Jolene’s, a Dolly-inspired boutique that features a broad collection of trinkets, home goods, handbags, earrings, clothing, and tons of Tennessee finds. We especially loved seeing locally made wares from area artists.

Joy St.

For the quintessential summertime meal, go one block south on Court Ave. to its intersection with Joy St. Blink twice and you’ll think you’ve landed up north. Pinchy’s Lobster & Beer was opened in December 2022 by native New Yorker Nick DiBartolomeo (though East Tennessee has been his home for more than 16 years). Pinchy’s is all seafood, from fresh cold-water oysters and snow crab to sushi and tried-and-true Maine-style lobster rolls (which is what we enjoyed). Paired with a cold craft beer and some good conversation around a firepit, Pinchy’s is a perfect place to get together with friends. Bonus: Bring your dog! They love serving Dog Beer (aka turkey broth) to their four-legged patrons.

When you’re finished, go across the street to The Pines to unearth your inner child and tuck into some healthy competition. Formerly The Pines Theatre, where Dolly Parton first played to a paying audience, the space has been reimagined into an indoor entertainment space, complete with duckpin bowling, Snook ball, giant Jenga, foosball, and retro video games. (GenX, we’re looking at you.) There’s even a full shelf of board games for families and friends to set up and enjoy. With a full bar and menu of hand-held eats and treats, The Pines is somewhere you could spend a lot of time making memories and talking about how you used to be the foosball champion in high school.

Before You Leave

Situated in a century-old house at 113 Parkway is Sweet Peas & Ivy, a gift shop for the home and garden. Kathy Miller is going on ten years of being a go-to for vintage-inspired finds for every season.

If you need a pick-me-up for the drive back to Knoxville, check Dutch Bros. on Forks of the River Parkway, a drive-through coffee franchise founded in 1992 by two brothers in Oregon. The company has grown to hundreds of locations, primarily out west. After a hot afternoon, an iced mocha with almond milk hit the spot.

If it’s a cocktail you desire, then add Seasons 101 to your list. Located in the Historic Central Hotel, which has its own appeal, Seasons 101 is the kind of bar where you’re welcome to sit a while and enjoy the carefully selected wine list and curated cocktail menu. We sipped on the Raspberry Lemon Mojito, the Blackberry Jalapeno Margarita, and “The Frankie,” a chocolate and peanut butter Manhattan named after the bar mascot and Frank Sinatra.

  • Wall of Wander
  • Red's Cafe
  • Iced Mocha with Almond Milk from Dutch Bros.
  • The Tennessee Burger with a Death by Chocolate Milkshake from Graze Burgers
  • Fried Green Tomatoes with Pimento Cheese and Bacon Jam at Graze Burgers
  • Jolene's
  • Jolene's
  • Pinchy's Lobster + Beer
  • Lobster Roll
  • View from Pinchy's Lobster + Beer
  • View from 101 Sky Lounge atop the Historic Central Hotel
  • Raspberry Lemon Mojito and "The Franki" at Seasons 101
  • Blackberry Jalapeno Margarita at Seasons 101
  • Dolly Statue at the Court House
  • Sweet Peas & Ivy
  • Duckpin Bowling at The Pines
  • Dry Aged Kansas City Strip with Grilled Broccolini and Fire-Roasted Carrots at The Appalachian
  • Catfish Shrimp and Grits at The Appalachian

With a full bar and menu of hand-held eats and treats, The Pines is somewhere you could spend a lot of time making memories and talking about how you used to be the foosball champion in high school.