Crowds are hoppin' under this cool Tin Roof

Chase Milam, Korey Hull and Tyler Powell enjoy the live band at Tin Roof on Cumberland Avenue.

Chase Milam, Korey Hull and Tyler Powell enjoy the live band at Tin Roof on Cumberland Avenue.

Chase Milam, Korey Hull and Tyler Powell enjoy the live band at Tin Roof on Cumberland Avenue.

Chase Milam, Korey Hull and Tyler Powell enjoy the live band at Tin Roof on Cumberland Avenue.

Tin Roof

  • Address: 1915 Cumberland Ave.
  • Phone: 865-247-4355
  • Hours: 11 a.m.-3 a.m. daily
  • Online: www.tinroofbars.com/home/knoxville
Grant Ruth, Diana Henderson, Steven Stansburg and Courtney Gilmore, from left, enjoy an evening at the newly opened Tin Roof.

Grant Ruth, Diana Henderson, Steven Stansburg and Courtney Gilmore, from left, enjoy an evening at the newly opened Tin Roof.

The band Homemade Wine entertains the crowd at Tin Roof, a new live-music spot on the Cumberland Avenue Strip.

The band Homemade Wine entertains the crowd at Tin Roof, a new live-music spot on the Cumberland Avenue Strip.

It seems that everywhere I go and everyone I talk to lately is spreading the good word about Tin Roof, the latest bar to open its doors in Knoxville.

The now-defunct O'Charley's on the Strip was home to quite a few my favorite memories of my first year at the University of Tennessee. It was never really about the quality of the food or some kind of outrageous drink special, but something about the location and atmosphere were highly conducive to having a good time.

Now a small-chain bar and grill known as the Tin Roof has taken up residence in what was once one of the hottest spots on the Strip. I decided to check out the new bar during its opening weekend. After waiting in lengthy lines on both a Friday and Saturday night, I decided to come back during the week.

Luckily, the crowd died down a little. But to my surprise, the Tin Roof was still packed compared to other bars in the area.

The Tin Roof bears little resemblance to the O'Charley's of old, making way for a much more open and relaxing environment. There are two large bars located on either side of the huge open space that surrounds the stage. Tables are set up around the outer areas of the stage, while a few booths and bar seating provide extra seating further away.

While the Tin Roof still makes for a great place to catch your favorite game, it seemed to be lacking in the amount of TVs offered by most sports bars of similar sizes.

Maybe it was just the illusion caused by the large amount of open space throughout the bar, but the entire place seemed designed more as a local hangout and music hall than the typical sports bar.

The Tin Roof has one of the largest outdoor patios on the Strip. One is covered, for those looking to just sit outside, and one is uncovered, for those looking to get their nicotine fix. Being a 21-and-older bar, I was surprised that no one could smoke outside except for those in the much smaller uncovered area of the patio.

The drinks at the Tin Roof are fairly average, happy hour excluded. Any day of the week you can find $2.50 16-ounce PBRs and $3.50 '2x4s' (a 24-ounce can of your favorite cheap domestic).

Happy hour at the Tin Roof features some significantly better prices, with domestic $4 pitchers and $1.50 pints. Imports run a bit higher at $7 per pitcher and $3 for a pint. Happy hour runs 2-7 p.m. each day of the week, except UT game days.

The Tin Roof also serves a fairly decent selection of food. I didn't get the chance to try anything, but just glancing over the menu gave me the feeling you've probably seen it all before. Quesadillas, burgers and other sports-bar staples filled the menu, with most falling into the $8 range.

Overall, I was extremely impressed with the Tin Roof. It seemed to offer something new and exciting that the UT Strip badly needs. While the crowd may be overwhelming during the weekend, the Tin Roof makes for the perfect weekday pick-me-up.

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