The Lineup Bar
Chapman Highway in South Knoxville has become somewhat of a graveyard for bars since the closure of the Henley Bridge a few years back. In the last six months alone, two bars I have covered in the past have closed their doors. Mayor Burchett has done a solid to local businesses, copying a widely used social media economic stimulus promotion called “Cash Mobs.” If you haven’t heard of these, a cash mob is where the local government sponsors a social media campaign to bring customers to a certain store on a specific day. Well, they don’t do this for bars. It would not make for good press to be publicizing alcohol establishments, I suppose. Despite the fact that venues that sell alcohol are large tax-revenue generators. But hey, who am I to know anything about that stuff? I’m just a bar reviewer, right?
I had been to the Lineup Bar before in 2010, prior to writing this column. I had been driving down Chapman Highway and stopped in to see if they would consider having a comedy show. I talked to the owner briefly and she revealed she paid bands that played for three hours what I expected to be paid for an hour and a half comedy show. We exchanged pleasantries and I departed.
On this occasion, I arrived on a Thursday night, which can be hit or miss with most venues in terms of whether they will be busy or not. The parking lot of the Lineup was virtually full in the front with various domestic trucks and SUVs. I maneuvered around to the back down a steep narrow drive to the additional parking area. I was one of two cars back there in the lot that came out to Jackie Lane. I saw a staircase leading up to the bar but was not sure if it was for employees or customers so I walked back up the steep drive to go in through the front door.
Some folks were gathered playing pool and having a good time in the back of the place. A long bar extended to my immediate left. Along the bar the word “Dueces” was written along with several playing cards strategically placed under the finish. At the end of the bar sat a man and a woman. They seemed to be occasionally conversing as I walked up to the bar and introduced myself to the bartender. Her name was Alex Dela Cruz. She quickly pointed me to the two sitting at the end of the bar when I let her know why I was there.
I walked over and introduced myself and declared my mission. Cindy Durham was her name. Eventually I began asking her for some background about the bar.
The Lineup began three years ago. It had briefly become a Latino establishment before Cindy bought it, but eight years prior it had been ... you guessed it, Deuces. Apparently in order to get the word Deuces off the bar they would have had to replace the entire bartop itself. The bar had an “Indy 500” pinball game and two dart boards, three pool tables. booths just to the right of them, then the stage. The stage was in a different place than when I had previously visited. Cindy told me it was no longer in use due to ASCAP and BMI fees associated with having live entertainment. It did, however, have a wonderful life-size cutout of the “Most Interesting Man in the World” from Dos Equis.
Behind the pool tables was a large traffic light with race car tires stacked around them. I was told by Cindy they were from Bristol Motor Speedway. In the front I noticed a large handwritten menu with lots of inexpensive, typical sports bar options like burgers and wings. Cindy told me they received a 97 on their latest health inspection, so that boded well of the eats.
No glossy cover to the end of this review. The Lineup is what it is: a sports bar in South Knoxville that serves food. They could use your patronage, because we all know the struggle that businesses in South Knoxville are going through, and we all know that no Cash Mob is in their future. If for no other reason, check out The Lineup for the sake of their small business.
6547 Chapman Highway
Knoxville, TN 37920
Smoking Inside: Yes
Hours: 7 Days a week, 2pm until close (based on business)
Web Site: None
Liquor/Beer: Beer only
© 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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