On several occasions while visiting Off The Wall in in West Knoxville I have noticed a bar in the back of the place called Roger’s Place. Now, don’t think that just because I was at Off the Wall I was getting some type of smoking device. I was there for there what MOST customers go there for: a rock ’n’ roll poster and some incense. ... Yeah. Roger’s Place is located in the back of the shopping center where Off the Wall is located. Also in the same plaza are Rothchild Catering and Express Employment Professionals.
When I arrived at Roger’s Place I was pleased to see windows open to the outside so the patrons could see in, but more importantly, so folks like me can look in to see what’s happening before entering. Note: You don’t understand how many bars I have entered do not have an exterior window at all. Therefore you cannot tell if it’s dead or happening or if it is even open (these same places also rarely have open signs). It took a look inside and could see it was pretty busy. As I entered and quickly surveyed the place, the bar was straight ahead and had room for about 15 people to sit. To the right in the corner was the stage. It was a decent size. I later learned that some of the stuff related to the stage/sound had been acquired when Big Mama’s Karaoke Cafe in Seymour had shut down back in 2011. Big Mama’s closed to become a streaming online Karaoke song service called Karaoke Cloud (www.karaokecloud.com). This made for a rather impressive live entertainment setup. Actual light rig??! Actual stage?? You’d be surprised how many places claim to have live music then just cram it side of the place where tables normally sit on the floor and make the band bring in sound and lights. ... Not Roger’s Place. I had no clue this place was even a music venue, so as a writer I feel that is something that needs to get out there. Also, NO COVER to see live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Awesome again. The band that was on stage was called Hanover Fist and they were enthusiastically yet authentically covering “Mustang Sally” as I walked in the room. Throughout the night they also covered songs by Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company, The Allman Brothers and Ted Nugent.
The decor around the room leaned between music venue and sports bar. I counted two acoustic guitars, two electric guitars, some jerseys, what looks to be the hood of a car from NASCAR all hanging around the room. The room was a large square, so it was easy to see from one end to the other with little obstruction. The room was about half full with a likely capacity approaching 100, with tables that accommodated between 4 and 8 people. The folks there that night varied in age widely from mid-20s to some I will just say were “classic rock” age. Maybe this was because of the classic rock cover band, maybe not. They were all very friendly and far from stand-offish to newcomers like myself.
I learned Roger’s Place had been around since 1976. Roger himself was no longer the purveyor as current owner Chris Patrick was in the process of converting the place from what seemed like a former dive bar into a destination for live music. Chris told me that they had plans to open up a patio sometime in the near future. He told me about several events the bar has on a regular basis including poker on Monday and Tuesday nights and a blues jam session on Wednesday nights.
Pretty impressed with the treatment and overall friendliness of the folks at Roger’s Place. From the owner to the random patron, I felt like a regular right away. How I missed this place in all my time doing these bar reviews is beyond me. So, head out there and check the place out and I am sure you will agree it is a hidden treasure in Knoxville.
Address: 8817 Kingston Pike Suite 100
Hours: Mon - Sat: 11:00 am - 1:00 am Sun: 12:00 pm - 1:00 am
Smoking Indoors: Yes
© 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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