Weekly Photo Challenge: Clancy’s — repurposed and classy!

Look closely, and you'll see the handsome coffered ceiling and classy bar at Clancy's.

Look closely, and you’ll see the handsome coffered ceiling and classy bar at Clancy’s.

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.

The way it was: Clancy's Optical. (Photo from Google Images.)

The way it was: Clancy’s Optical. (Photo from Google Images.)

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.

Members of Chef's Table Tour file into Clancy's, ready to be surprised!

Members of Chef’s Table Tour file into Clancy’s, ready to be surprised!

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 richness of handcrafted ceilings by Art Clancy at Clancy's Tavern in Knoxville

The richness of handcrafted ceilings by Art Clancy at Clancy’s Tavern in Knoxville

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.

Clancy's Tavern & Whiskey House, Knoxville, TN

Clancy’s Tavern & Whiskey House, Knoxville, TN

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; clancystavernknoxville@gmail.com

East TN Tourshttp://www.easttntours.com/



About Oh, the Places We See

Met at University of Tennessee, been married for 47 years, and still passionate about travel whether we're volunteering with Habitat Global Village, combining work at Discovery with pleasure, or just seeing the world. Hope you'll join us as we try to see it all while we can!
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9 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Clancy’s — repurposed and classy!

  1. Mei-Mei says:

    Love that ceiling!

  2. Only proper that folks who had operated an eye glasses store would have the 20/20 vision to turn it into a fashionable pub.:) Seriously, I really like it when people re-purpose classy old buildings instead of tearing them down. –Curt

    • Yours is the best analogy. Wish I’d thought of that 20/20 vision when I wrote the piece! Come on down to Knoxville — you and Peggy would love seeing (with whatever vision you have) all that’s happening to turn our little city into a modern, viable destination. –Rusha

  3. prior.. says:

    looks like a they did a great job remodeling and the ending photo -with the person in silhouette is my fav of the post.

  4. Pingback: Repurpose: Floating Platform | What's (in) the picture?

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