Halls Crossroads and Powell, both located in North Knoxville, have a rich history of being close-knit communities. Locally known as just “Halls”, the community was started at the crossroads of Emory Road and Maynardville Highway. Thomas Hall decided to build a blacksmith shop and an inn after being awarded the land for his service in the Revolutionary War, and Halls has been growing ever since. The Powell community is unique in that it was settled two years before Knoxville became a town. Powell still has its own “downtown” area that is popular among the community members. While these two rivals regularly battle over who rightfully owns Emory Road, this post is going to use Dry Gap Pike as the line between the two.
With the lines of “what is Halls?” and “what is Powell” being slightly blurred, it is easy to meander between the two to explore everything that they have to offer. Leaving your hotel early and needing a quick coffee? We suggest stopping by Mahalo Coffee Roasters, or LifeHouse Coffee for your morning brew. Another great spot to grab a quick coffee and a freshly made donut is Panthers Dough Joe.
Want to experience some southern charm? Take some time to pursue the various shops that both Halls and Powell have to offer. You can find trendy clothing and accessories at stores such as Josie’s Boutique, Reap the Sew, and Trixie’s Boutique. Prefer more of a second hand or vintage vibe? From vintage, to antique, and thrifty, Chema’s Vintage Vogue, The Front Porch, and Rusty Cottage all feature eclectic collections that are sure to delight! Last but not least, a cool spot for any sci-fi lovers is Krypto Comics. New comics drop regularly, and make sure to check out their cutest employee, the shop dog Loki, before you leave!
Now that you have probably walked off breakfast with all of that fun shopping, it’s time for lunch! Halls and Powell both offer a myriad of diners that will have your mouth watering as soon as you step inside. Local places like Sunrise Deli, Scotties of Powell (which also has breakfast), and Humphammers Market and Deli regularly serve up southern classics made fresh on the grill. Another great diner option is Inskip Grill. This diner has been serving up unique burgers, a giant craft beer selection, and monster milkshakes for several years in the Fountain City community, and they recently opened up their second location in downtown Powell. Right down the street from Inskip Grill is Southern Kitchen Sandwich Co. This local deli combines family values with fresh-baked bread and quality ingredients to create an inviting, comfortable atmosphere. Another option is to visit one of Powell’s treasures, Lulu’s Tea Room. Lulu’s is known and loved by all generations for the quaint decor, delicious food, and yummy cakes and treats. We recommend trying to get a reservation here if possible, but they can also accommodate walk-ins!
Parks and Activities
The suburban areas of Halls and Powell offer some great park areas to visit. Starting in Halls, Clayton Park features 11 acres adjacent to Beaver Creek with natural wetlands and a paved 0.2 mile walking loop. The park includes a picnic shelter with six tables and a grill, restroom facilities, a playground, bike racks, and a drinking fountain with a pet fountain attached. If it’s a rainy day, or you’d rather do an indoor activity, head to Halls Cinema 7 to catch a movie and a classic bucket of popcorn. Moving on to the Powell area, Powell Station Park has features a skatepark, playground, and splash pad. The paved loop circles the play area and connects with the Powell Greenway, while the nature trail winds over to the creek. Another unique feature of this park is the 9-hole disc-golf fun course that offers some difficulty as a few shots play through tightly wooded hallways. Another great outdoor activity offered in Powell are the two adaptive kayak launches that have been installed on Beaver Creek! You will find them at Powell High Landing (Brickyard Road) and Roy Arthur Stormwater Park (Harrell Road). You can stand up and walk out of most places in the creek and the gentle current will carry you along.
After exploring all of the activities that Halls and Powell have to offer, you are probably ready to start looking for a good dinner spot. If you have a taste for Mexican cuisine, Zapata Mexican Restaurant, Cancun, El Mariachi Loco, and Plaza Mexico have you covered. Another great place to check out is Bel Air Grill, a family owned restaurant that has been based in Knoxville since 1991. They’re known for their burgers and hand cut fries, but the menu features a myriad of family recipes sure to satisfy anyone's taste buds. Traveling down Emory Road a bit, Wild Boar Tavern is a favorite community spot for live music, football watch parties, and karaoke nights. This tavern serves up quality bar food with a side of a good time. A newer option for dinner in the Powell area is Paradise Que. This restaurant offers an array of mouthwatering dishes inspired by the tropical flavors and culinary traditions of different tropical regions. You can find favorites such as the Loco Moco, Poke Bowls, Huli Huli Chicken, and Kalua Pork Street Tacos. Each dish is crafted to ensure an explosion of flavors in every bite. If the name wasn’t enough of a clue, The Burgers serves up a great selection of hand-pattied burgers, as well as chicken sandwiches, all-beef hot dogs, bratwursts, and fish-n-chips. If you are looking for a pizza spot, Pizza Hoss in Powell focuses on fresh flavors and ingredients, and a warm inviting atmosphere. The Powell area similarly has several great Mexican restaurants such as El Rey and Cocina y Tienda Mexicana. If you prefer Asian cuisine, Full House and China Jiang both serve delicious Chinese food. Whether you choose to dine in or take out, these two restaurants have an endless array of delicious and authentic Chinese food options.
There’s more where that came from, but this is a strong head start. We hope we inspired you to visit the Halls and Powell neighborhoods! Check out Knoxville’s other neighborhoods here.
Post written by Fall 2023 Marketing Intern, Kacey Cannon