A recent Knoxville event, Chef’s Table Tour, came with a surprise . . . an unexpected one. After strolling downtown sidewalks listening to bits of history from our guide, we ducked into Clancy’s Tavern & Whisky House ready for good food and a sip of the Irish. But what we saw redefined this downtown corner for us. What was now Clancy’s Tavern had been — at least for all the years we’ve lived here — Clancy’s Optical, a venerable establishment known for quality eye exams and glasses.
Clancy’s Optical stood on the corner of Gay Street and Clinch Avenue for 75 years in a building that has a storied history. Before offering fashionable eye wear, Clancy’s had been the location of a bank, J. C. Bradford’s, The Shamrock, and The Exchange Restaurant. But it’s been Clancy’s Optical as long as we could remember.
In 2014, however, owners Danny Clancy and Josh Turbyville renovated and “repurposed” the old corner building for what it is now — the richly appointed Clancy’s Tavern & Whiskey House.
The classiness greets you at the door. You can’t help but notice the rich browns and artful craftsmanship of coffered ceilings and restored wooden floors. Designed by Art Clancy (family, of course) of Clancy Custom Woodworking, the old-world interior speaks to the elegance of fashionable members-only clubs and taverns known throughout Europe.
It’s a tribute to what’s happening now in downtown Knoxville — a renaissance marked by tasteful renovations and purposeful “repurposings” that are transforming the city into a destination in its own right.
Thanks to new owners with a vision and savvy woodworking crews, the new Clancy’s is Irish done right!
For more “repurposed” locations and things people have posted, check out the DailyPost Weekly Photo Challenge: Repurpose.
For more information:
Clancy’s Tavern & Whiskey House, 602 South Gay Street, Knoxville, TN; 865.219.1266; firstname.lastname@example.org
East TN Tours: http://www.easttntours.com/