Mulligan's scores with sports-bar crowd, fans of live music

matt ward/special to knoxville.com
Ladies get down to "The Blair Experience" on a Saturday night at Mulligan's.

matt ward/special to knoxville.com Ladies get down to "The Blair Experience" on a Saturday night at Mulligan's.

Mulligan's Restaurant & Pizzeria

Our rating:

Cedar Bluff - Knoxville

Italian, Mediterranean, Pizza

Venue

8923 Linksvue Drive

865-769-3786

More Details »

In West Knoxville, you have a lot of nice things. Well, nice from the material perspective. Don't get me wrong; much of the area has wonderful streams, lakes, bike paths and hiking trails. However, when many people think of West Knoxville, they think of a different type of people. They think of high-end shoppers and folks who pull their river yachts up to the boat ramp outside a private dinner club. Allow me to indulge the skeptical reader and say that I have a bias. I didn't grow up with any money. So when wealth is spread over a particular area, it makes me less interested in that area. There's nothing wrong with success and achievements, it just isn't where I came from, so I am naturally skeptical.

In West Knoxville there is the Gettysvue Polo, Golf & Country Club. That's right folks, right here in East Tennessee you can see rich white people playing polo. Actually, no you can't, unless you possess a membership to this exclusive facility.

Situated just outside the east end of Gettysvue is Mulligan's Restaurant, Pizzeria and Lounge. I had often seen the place listed in the Knoxville.com calendar, so I decided to check this place out (hence my discovery of a polo club).

Mulligan's is located close to where South Peters Road meets Ebenezer, not far from Westland Drive. It is pretty much all by itself, with the closest drinking establishment being a few miles away. The restaurant was started in 2006 by Patti and Don Anderson in a former Fresh Market location. For the last four years, Mulligan's has had live entertainment nearly five nights a week.

I walked in the door and to my left was a large banner that read "The Blair Experience" next to a gentleman playing bass guitar while a very animated frontman (let's just assume he is 'Blair') belted out "Caribbean Queen" like he wrote the song. The band rocked. I usually dislike cover bands, but these guys nailed every note, both vocally and musically, of each song they covered. At one point they got to jamming and "Caribbean Queen" became Parliament's "We Want the Funk." People were clearly enjoying themselves, dancing and shouting as the band jammed from song to song.

I glanced around for a moment and noticed it was also very much a sports bar. All around the restaurant and bar areas were large flat-screen TVs, including a 10-foot-wide HD projection screen in the main eating area. There it is, it's settled. Why would you go anywhere else for a Tennessee game if you were an avid fan. You have a restaurant that serves not only pizza, but dishes ranging from fettuccine alfredo to salmon picatta. You have a choice of beers and cocktails as well. Let's be honest though, the 120-inch HD projection screen kinda does it for me. It was playing in the background while the band was on and I couldn't help but notice the enormous football players looming bigger than life in my peripherals. Freaked me out a bit honestly.

Pretty amazing artwork surrounded this huge TV screen. Mostly cityscapes of Knoxville. Then further to the left was a so-so Elvis and pretty bad Jerry Garcia painting.

The stage is at the right as you enter the front door. The bar was straight beyond that. To the left of the bar was an exit to a patio area that seemed built where a bank drive thru had once stood. Even in the cold weather they had a few folks out there smoking as they could not do so inside. (Yes, I will finally start telling which places are smoking or nonsmoking. Thanks to reader Bill Clevenger for the suggestion; it's a good one.)

Check out Mulligan's if you live in the vicinity or if you would like to grab some dinner and watch the big game. Check out their New Year's Eve party on Dec. 31 when Dream on Alice will play.

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