Roosters gives folks something to crow about on weeknights

Haley Blackstock, from left, Marshall Mauer and Erin Hill enjoy the laid-back neighborhood-bar vibe of West Knoxville’s Roosters. (photo by Greg Wood/special to knoxville.com)

Haley Blackstock, from left, Marshall Mauer and Erin Hill enjoy the laid-back neighborhood-bar vibe of West Knoxville’s Roosters. (photo by Greg Wood/special to knoxville.com)

Haley Blackstock, from left, Marshall Mauer and Erin Hill enjoy the laid-back neighborhood-bar vibe of West Knoxville’s Roosters. (photo by Greg Wood/special to knoxville.com)

Haley Blackstock, from left, Marshall Mauer and Erin Hill enjoy the laid-back neighborhood-bar vibe of West Knoxville’s Roosters. (photo by Greg Wood/special to knoxville.com)

Roosters

  • Address: 7585 S. Northshore Drive
  • Hours: 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Monday-Saturday; noon-midnight Sunday
  • Phone: 865-691-3938

I go out during the week more than the weekends nowadays. I stumble through the week with a few bar outings, and when the weekend comes I just want to relax.

So instead of watching Monday Night Football at home, I decided to visit Roosters, a West Knoxville neighborhood bar.

Until recently I hadn’t been in about four years. Friends of mine in the Rocky Hill area dragged me out occasionally in the past. We’d head over to kick off the evening strong then wander back.

Now I see Roosters in a new light.

Getting a few inexpensive beers with some bar food has become my favorite way to view a sports game that I’m only marginally interested in. Riding out the tail end of happy hour on a weeknight, shooting a few games of pool and ordering fatty food makes my week go by more smoothly. Fortunately, Roosters provides all three.

And Roosters’ happy hour (which I managed to miss by 12 minutes) features $1 draft beers. It’s good that I missed it or else my Monday night might have been crazy.

My girlfriend and I grabbed a table in the front room so we could watch the football game while eating. The area is open, but intimate. There’s a plethora of TVs that are all the same size, which aired separate events, but as game time approached, they all made their way over to Monday Night Football.

Even with commentary coming through the PA, the room is quiet enough to talk, but loud enough to get you into the game. In the background I could hear the faint sound of Joe Walsh guitar solos seeping in from the other room.

We came specifically to eat dinner, as I’ve noticed that Roosters prides itself on its food. I used to think of it as a bar that had food, but it seems Roosters thinks of itself as at least equal parts restaurant and bar (it opens early in the day to serve food). Upon sampling the cuisine (specifically the Cajun burger and chips with Rotel) I’ve discovered that food is a strong point for Roosters.

The bar is divided into two sections, with a TV room in front and an open game room adjacent. The game room, which has two pool tables, two dart boards, a seating area and a separate bar, allows smoking but fortunately it’s not overbearing. The smoke smell manages to linger just in that half of the building with the TV room remaining mostly smoke-free.

The two rooms divided generations, with the game area’s crowd in their early and mid-20s, and the other room’s crowd ranging from 30-60. The front room’s clientele focused on food and a few beers, whereas the other room tended to get carried away, being louder and rowdier (and occasionally doing Irish Car Bombs). Surprisingly, both rooms had a large crowd, occupying most tables.

Neighborhood bars tend to make a bigger deal out of weeknights. While bigger clubs sometimes struggle to find a decent event on a Monday or Tuesday night, places like Roosters offer up the much-needed, easy-going environment with cheap food and drink.

I’m not suggesting that Roosters isn’t worth going to on a Friday or Saturday night. In fact, most of my past ventures were on the weekend. I’ve driven by once or twice on a Friday night to see a line of people wrapped around the building. It’s just nice to find out Roosters has plenty to offer during the week.

After finishing up our dinner, we shot a few games of pool and played darts, occasionally glancing at the game we had already lost interest in. The dart board ran us the low price of $1 for two games.

While we were playing, employees surrounded us intently discussing rearranging the room. As they explained to us, Roosters is planning on putting in a large, non-smoking porch “as soon as possible” that’s going to expand the size of the venue significantly.

Around halftime we headed out, satisfied with our evening. Roosters has several high points, from the good food and happy hour specials to the intimate-yet-spacious atmosphere. If they had that much to offer on a Monday night, I can see myself heading back soon.

And Roosters regulars as well as cornhole enthusiasts will be pleased to know Roosters’ cornhole tournament begins Saturday, Oct. 16.

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