It’s getting warmer and we’re all ready to get outside – with drink in hand. We’ve got a roundup of Knoxville’s rooftop bars to enjoy, bookmark this one and plan a visit!
Five Thirty Lounge
The Five Thirty Lounge is an elevated experience at the top of the Hyatt Place Hotel, home of the former Historic Farragut Hotel, downtown on Gay Street. Take in stunning views of downtown and the Smoky Mountains from 10 stories up. Their glamorous indoor bar is the perfect place to get cozy and enjoy craft cocktails like the Farragut Old Fashioned (Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Vanilla Demerara, Black Walnut Bitters) or the Smoke on the Mountain (Espolon Tequila, Banhez Mezcal, St. George Chile, House-made Grapefruit Soda, Sal De Gusano). Step outside to enjoy the firepit and relax.
Radius Rooftop Lounge
The Radius Rooftop Lounge is atop the 14th floor of the Embassy Suites by Hilton, downtown on Gay Street. Watch the sun set over downtown from the nearly 360-degree view. To the southwest the Smokies provide a beautiful backdrop in the distance. Sip drinks like The Volunteer (orange vodka, chili infused honey, Redbull, cherry juice) or the Southern Smash (whiskey, maple syrup, lemon juice, mint). This glamourous indoor-meets-outdoor space is worth the elevator trip.
Preservation Pub in Market Square is a swift departure in vibe and style from the aforementioned hotel rooftop bars. This is Knoxville’s longest running rooftop bar owned by locals (rascals?) Scott and Bernadette West and played a big role in revitalizing historic buildings (hence the name, “Preservation” Pub). Expect over 300+ beers on three floors, with the crown consisting of the Magic Beer Tree in the Moonshine Roof Garden with kitschy plastic flamingos for company. Live music, regulars, and shenanigans are sure to be found here.
Bernadette’s Crystal Gardens
Flanking Preservation Pub’s opposite side, Bernadette’s Crystal Gardens is a showcase of the art of Bernadette and her artist friends. Enter four stories of lounges and gardens, surrounded by crystals, gems, fossils, and more. The “Bohemian Hippy Chic” vibe carries throughout, with drinks named after precious stones like the Amethyst (Empress Gin, ruby red grapefruit juice & house-made honey simple syrup, garnished with torched rosemary) and the Garnet (Four Roses Bourbon, pomegranate and crisp apple juices, house-made ginger simple syrup, cinnamon, garnished with a cinnamon sugar brûléed orange). All blank spaces have turned into canvas, from the bar tops, to hand painted bathrooms, to murals and gemstones in every direction. Experience 92 carats of crystals, perhaps with a “Citrine” in hand.
Scruffy City Hall
Scruffy City Hall is adjacent to (and owned by the same family) Preservation Pub and similar in style but with a gothic twist – gothic as in architecture, not the fashion genre. The whole building is really an interesting piece of art of three levels: the Main Hall is a great venue for intimate shows, the Loggia Balcony Bar with beautiful arches is one of the best people-watching spots overlooking Market Square, and you’ll find the “CinePub Under the Stars on the Scroof”. Come for a visit and see why this is “Knoxville’s Cathedral of Entertainment and Libations.”