Fans of Smoky Mountain Brewery soon won’t have to leave Blount County to enjoy the ribs, “Brew-B-Q Chicken” and pizza at the restaurant. The Copper Cellar Family of Restaurants have purchased the old Uno’s Chicago Grill on Watkins Road in Maryville.
The corporation closed on the former Uno’s building on Friday, Aug. 13. Plans are to re-open it as a Smoky Mountain Brewery, said Bart Fricks, chief operating officer for the Copper Cellar Family of Restaurants.
“Yes, we did purchase the Uno’s building. We are still early on in the process, but we think Maryville is a great market,” Fricks said. “I don’t think you can go wrong with any location you pick out there. Margins are so tight in the restaurant business, but we felt we could do business in the community and make a little in the process.”
Fricks said the structure has 7,200 square feet of space and plans are to make modifications to it. “I believe we’ll expand it a little and make it a little bigger. Our intention is to open a Smoky Mountain Brewery, which means that one of the big things we feature is live entertainment. We will have to put an addition in to have an area for that,” he said. “And we will put in some of our own touches.”
Fricks said the building won’t need a massive overhaul. “That was part of the attraction. We won’t have to spend lot on modifications,” he said.
There are three locations of Smoky Mountain Brewery locations (Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Turkey Creek), but Fricks said the company was unsure whether a microbrewery would be housed in the new Maryville location. “We’re reviewing that right now,” he said. “We’ll definitely have a restaurant, but as far as adding a brewing operation, that would require adding more square footage.”
Fricks said the Maryville location will run on same footprint as the other three Smoky Mountain Breweries. “The biggest thing is Copper Cellar is venturing into Blount County, which is a market we’ve looked at for a while. We are just very excited about being able to provide our food and service to the Blount County community,” he said. “We’re probably opening in late fall.”