Dinner is served

RT Lodge now open as restaurant, inn

Tucked away in the woods on the campus of Maryville College is an inn boasting first class amenities and dining. Ruby Tuesday Lodge is now open to the public for dinner by reservation and for overnight stays.

Ruby Tuesday Lodge has most recently been a facility used for training by Ruby Tuesday. On Jan. 7 it opened to the public for dinner, and the inn is open for guests looking for overnight accommodations in a “bed and breakfast” style setting. The lodge is open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner for those not staying in the lodge.

Breakfast is included with all overnight stays, and guests have access to all the Lodge’s amenities such as the fire pit, pool table, sitting room and bar.

According to information provided by the Lodge, its history began in 1932 with the arrival in Maryville of Susan Wiley Cooper Walker from her native Pennsylvania. Walker was married to a business associate of Andrew Carnegie and, after his death, chose to relocate in Tennessee to be near her sister, wife of the Maryville College president.

After seeing her sister’s home located in the woods adjacent to Maryville College, Walker decided she would like to have her own residence in the beautiful forest and persuaded the administration to allow its construction on the stipulation that the property be willed to the college upon her passing, a seemingly promising situation for the college as she was already in her seventies. She found the quiet surroundings the perfect location for her naturalist ways and personally sketched the plans for her new 26-room home.

Originally named Morningside after the community she resided in near Pittsburg, the residence and gardens still reflect her love for natural beauty and gracious hospitality. Life at Morningside agreed favorably with Walker who lived until late in her 98th year, outliving six Maryville College presidents.

Upon Walker’s death, the house was donated to Maryville College, and for many years served as the College Presidential residence. In later years, the property was leased and operated by different parties as a part-time restaurant and special event destination named the Morningside Inn.

In 1997, Ruby Tuesday, Inc., acquired Morningside and developed the property as a corporate retreat and special event destination and restored the grounds and residence to its present elegance, adding two architecturally compatible overnight guest buildings.

The Main House, designed with the rustic elegance of a hunting lodge, features fine antiques and accessories, an antique billiard parlor, antique books and game boards, multiple fireplaces and sitting areas, and intimate dining areas with seating for up to 130 guests. Multiple breakout areas and meeting spaces are available for private business activities and gatherings.

Menu choices range for soups, salads, appetizers and entrees such as pork chops, salmon on a bed of rice, filet with fried oysters, coconut shrimp and desserts that include a “moon pie” with orange sauce, banana bread pudding and creme brulee.

For more information, call 865-981-9800.

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