Red’s Cafe: Second Mural in Downtown Sevierville

The second mural in downtown Sevierville seemed to pop up quickly and quietly in the summer of 2020 during the pandemic. Finally, I am finally writing about this interesting piece of public art downtown. Here is a look at the second mural in downtown Sevierville: Red’s Cafe.

According to local historian, Carroll McMahan, ‘Red’ Clevenger was named for his red hair. He grew up in Newport and worked for the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) before buying the Rainbow Inn Restaurant on Chapman Highway. Later, he married, sold his business, was drafted into the army during WWII and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, receiving a Purple Heart. Clearly, Red Clevenger lived quite a life up to that time!

McMahan tells how Red returned home and built a cafe on Bruce Street in downtown Sevierville. Click the link and scroll down to # 3 to read more of Carroll McMahan’s stories about Red Clevenger, his kindness, generosity—and a keen sense of humor. It is so appropriate that this local citizen was memorialized on the second mural in downtown Sevierville. Here is a link to Carroll McMahan’s writing about Red Clevenger.

The Red’s Cafe mural in downtown Sevierville is facing the courtyard of the Appalachian Restaurant on Bruce Street. It is also located on the brick wall of Wanderlust Spa and Salon. This photo captures an interesting aspect of the mural, visible through the gazebo on Bruce Street.

Red’s Cafe depicts local businessman Paul “Red” Clevenger serving one of his famous hamburgers to a young child sitting at the counter. The child is Dolly Parton, who came to the cafe with her father and enjoyed Red’s special hamburgers during her youth.

Click this link from the Visit Sevierville Youtube webpage to hear Dolly tell the story herself.

In honor of this special place, Dolly added a Red’s Cafe eatery at her Dollywood theme park to memorialize one of her favorite places to eat in Sevierville. Everyone who has visited Dollywood since 1995 has strolled by Red’s Cafe in the Jukebox Junction area of the park. Naturally, the specialty at this Dollywood restaurant is hamburgers!

Visitors can read more information about Red Clevenger on the walls of Red’s Cafe in Dollywood. One story recounts the kindness of the cafe owner to families who would sometimes buy a hamburger and cut it in half for their younger children. In a generous move, Red would remark that the child looked “big enough to eat a whole burger by themselves” so he would throw an extra hamburger on the grill.

I was lucky to observe the artists in action on August 17, 2020. You can see the preliminary work and the ‘doodle grid’ that helps artists create murals on large areas.

The artists are from Asheville, North Carolina.

You can see more art from Smoky Mountain Mural Company on Instagram.

Here, the illustration of the young Dolly Parton begins to emerge on the mural. The artists usually begin a mural at night by projecting an image on the wall, but it did not work for this mural so they used a second technique called a ‘doodle grid.’ For that, the artists determined the area, designed a square grid by chalking out lines, drew the base prime image and circled them. The swirls and graffiti help to anchor the mural spaces visually, then the artists take another picture of the wall, use an overlay and mark the spacing of the subjects.

See the artists explain their process on the Visit Sevierville TikTok app page. Here is a link.

The Dollywood blog also has stories about Red and his cafe. You can see a picture of Red and his wife Lois in that article as well. Click the photo below to link to the Dollywood blog.

The mural had been finished for 11 months by the time that I visited again on July 17, 2021 when I visited the downtown Sevierville Farmer’s market to do some shopping. A favorite, the Sevierville Cruze Farm store had a table set up with milk and ice cream. One of the Cruze Farm helpers was dressed in the unique Cruze Farm dress so I asked if I could take her picture in front of the mural and they kindly obliged. This cute young lady posed with cup of ice cream as if to to toast Dolly, Red Clevenger, and a favorite place to eat in downtown Sevierville decades earlier.
It was perfect.

There are now three murals located on Bruce Street: two outdoor murals and one mural inside 10 Realty. Bruce Street is certainly an exciting place to explore art and more. See you out and about in Sevierville.

Third Mural in Downtown Sevierville: Sevierville Shuffle

There is a third mural in downtown Sevierville—but you must enter a gallery to see it on an interior wall. Come into the welcoming office of 10 Realty at #118 Bruce Street to see this new mural. I was excited to see the third mural in downtown Sevierville called Sevierville Shuffle. Come take a look!

First, enter Realty 10 on Bruce Street. Randy Babel, the owner, encourages visitors to come inside to see the mural and other paintings, pottery, and carvings on display in his business. Babel incorporates a realtor’s lounge with an art gallery so the public can browse, shop, and enjoy.
As you enter 10 Realty, you will notice the mural on the right.

Created by local artist, Crystal Lynn Sharp, the mural presents a map of Sevier County with local iconography. Locals will know all of them!

Crystal chose the name Sevierville Shuffle because “we (and our visitors) all tend to shuffle through our area, almost rhythmically. Sometimes we jot from place to place or glide smoothly. We always have so many choices and, like sticking your hand in your pocket and not really knowing what we are going to get, we so often are surprised by something that we did not anticipate—then, we are doing the ‘Sevierville Shuffle.’ ” Thus, this is how the artist named the mural.

Here is the technique that Crystal Lynn used to begin the process of painting the mural on a 9′ X 24′ section of wall.

Post-It Notes with the names of places and things helped to plan spacing for imagery in the mural. Truly, I think that the first process in planning a mural is quite fascinating.

In this photo, the body of the mural is falling into place. You can recognize local places and nature in the Smoky Mountains.
The owner of 10 Realty gave the artist free rein over the project. Crystal definitely kept the viewers in mind. We can gaze and guess, using our imaginations in regard to the icons. Look in the right corner in the picture above for one of the most important icons in our area. Well done!
Here is a photo that captures the Sevierville Shuffle mural as a work in progress.

Crystal recalled how Randy Babel contacted her about creating a mural inside his business. “Randy had a passion for art and he knew that we needed a space to display artists’ work so he offered up his walls in 10 Realty. It all seems to be blossoming and I was glad to help.” Indeed, it is quite impressive!

In a further description, Crystal told of painting “iconic places by using characters and representations of our well known spots as we meander down the parkway and local roads.” It is quite an enjoyable trip for the eyes.

The finished project looks perfect on that section of the wall. The Sevierville Shuffle mural will visually carry you from Exit 407 to Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. It is delightful!

Randy Babel asked for Crystal’s help in finding artists willing to hang their work in the office. There is an abundance of beautiful paintings and more… and all are for sale. I took quite a while looking at everything. You need to to plan on 30 minutes or more to really take them all in.
Many thanks to artist Crystal Lynn for letting me use many of her photos which show the development of the mural from the beginning to the end. To see more photos of 10 Realty/ Gallery 10, check out my previous blog story.
Come to browse or even take an art class in the evening. It is definitely one of the best things now in downtown Sevierville.

Here are links to Facebook pages for more details and upcoming events.

https://www.facebook.com/10Realty/

https://gallery10art.com

Here is the Facebook link for the artist of the Sevierville Shuffle mural, Crystal Lynn Sharp. https://www.facebook.com/mountainwingsstudio

10 Realty / Gallery 10 Art Gallery in Downtown Sevierville

A new space has opened in downtown Sevierville that combines a real estate office with an art gallery. Located in the previous Crust and Crumb bakery location at 118 Bruce Street, 10 Realty offers local artists a place to display their work in a gallery enviroment. If you are in the downtown area from 9-5 during the week, you really need to walk in and see this unique space! Here is a quick view.

The focal point of the room is a beautiful mural of Sevier County with local icons, painted by local artist Crystal Lynn.

This is significant because it is the third mural painted in downtown Sevierville. I am working on a story about this mural soon as it deserves a story all its own.

The wall spaces in 10 Realty make a perfect display area.

Randy Bable, the owner of 10 Realty, had a vision for his office to sell real estate, to serve local artists, and to provide a community space.

The interior communicates an upscale, outdoorsy vibe. Make note: Randy Bable made the table that you see on the right. It is an amazing piece of furniture!

Every space is well used. Each frame seems to be perfectly placed!

Each piece of art is accompanied by a QR code with information about the artist and the work. Just open your phone camera and place it close to the QR symbol to open the information. ( Wouldn’t you like for someone to come to your home to hang your pictures with such perfect spacing?)

10 Realty offers art and work spaces. Follow their Facebook page to keep up to date on future activities. For example, there are going to be some painting classes very soon. Here is a link to the Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/10Realty/

Certainly, 10 Realty will be an asset in downtown Sevierville area with all it offers to the community. Indeed, it is good to have art and artists back on Bruce Street!

See you out and about!

Barbecue in the Mountains: Preacher’s Smokehouse

After visiting a friend in the area, we decided to try a little barbecue place that we found on our drive to Pittman Center. Located on 2929 Pittman Center Rd., the restaurant serves locals and visitors alike. As it turned out, we found some of the tastiest barbecue in the mountains.

A place to gather together and eat meat. A meat eatery.

Preacher’s Smokehouse

You will notice the gravel entrance and parking lot with a beautiful view of the mountains in the background.

Preacher’s Smokehouse is appropriately located in a cabin with a nice little front porch. The woodpile on the right side lets you know the authenticity of the food. In addition, I think that I remember some picnic tables outside to the right of the building.

I got a pork meal combo with two sides. Next time, I will try the brisket or burnt ends from the menu. I have never tried burnt ends, but they sound so good. We thought that the prices were reasonable too.

Step up to the window. Ordering is easy.

If you get here at the right time, then you can have what appears to be the ‘best seats in the house.’

The sides were excellent and the sizes were quite generous. If you have a light appetite, you could easily share with a friend. Later on, I realized that I had not taken many pictures of the food so the following are screenshots that I found online from other happy customers.

According to the Preacher’s Smokehouse Facebook page, it may be a good idea to check before you drive out there because they frequently sell out of barbecue— and that would be a monumental disappointment!

Here is a link: https://www.facebook.com/preacherssmokehouse

Limited hours and limited days open make Preacher’s Smokehouse a particularly special place to get barbecue.

Monday:CLOSED, Tuesday:CLOSED, Wednesday:CLOSED

Thursday:11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Friday:11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Saturday:11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Sunday:CLOSED

Phone number: (865)332-9731

Writing this story has whet my appetite and I look forward to a return trip soon to Preacher’s Smokehouse.

Save some burnt ends for me!

Mapco: A New Place for Gas, Snacks, and Coffee in Sevierville

Weigels, Pilot, and Sheetz are my preferred gas stations, especially for coffee and drinks. That being said, I would not ordinarily write about a new gas station in town—unless it was special. I had heard some interesting things about the new Mapco station that just opened in front of Publix in Sevierville. This new gas station has some special amenities that make it worth a stop and now make it officially ‘my favorite gas/coffee stop’ in Sevierville.

First, the address is 730 Winfield Dunn Parkway in Sevierville.

The coffee area is excellent. The prices are comparable to other places. I like the ‘select- and- grind beans- then brew’ type machines. Chilled creamer is nice. Chilled coffee is an option as well.

There is an extensive assortment of adult beverages that are chilled and ready to go. I found the prices comparable to local grocery store prices. You can cool off in the walk in cooler.

You can probably find almost any drink that you like in the coolers.

I was extremely impressed with the machine that creates drinks using robotics. It also cleans itself. Feeling thirsty now.

Grab-and-go snacks offer variety. There were many healthy options too—more than I usually see in other places.

Free Wi-Fi and a variety of chargers are available to customers.

Finally… time for the best thing at Mapco…

…a dog park in the back of the station. This is excellent for pet owners!

All in all, Mapco is an excellent new business to open in Sevierville and I know that I will stop there frequently to get coffee and other sundries. It is on the right side of the road to serve visitors and locals alike as they enter town. When you get a chance, come visit Mapco and see for yourself. I’ll see you at the coffee machine! Sevi

First Downtown Sevierville Farmers Market 2021

I saw the Facebook announcement and was ready for the new season for the Downtown Sevierville farmers market. Not only will it return to downtown Sevierville this summer, but it will take place on Saturdays. This is exciting for those of us who did not work in the downtown area and could not make it on Fridays. It is great to have the market back for the summer!

The new streetscape downtown is looking nice. I parked in the lot on Main Street and Court Avenue, across from the Historic Sevierville Hotel. There is a little shortcut that I like to take to access the gazebo area on Bruce Street.

This is my favorite short cut from Court Avenue.

Here is a time lapse of the shortcut to the downtown farmers market.

Or, you can park behind the vendors near the gazebo area. This can come in handy if you make some larger purchases.
There were many gift ideas at this table. The vendors were so friendly as well.
I was well impressed with this vendor from Dandridge and must park closer next time so I can buy one of his herb planters. The plants were healthy and ready to use or plant at home.

Everyone’s favorite! The pastry pictured above is an Almond Tea Cake. Wonderful!

Olde Virden’s is a popular vendor at the Knoxville farmers market so it was good to see them in downtown Sevierville.
The top photo in the collage above would make a good Father’s Day gift. I bought the two items pictured below. One for a gift, and the other a treat for my sister at the lake this summer. I love the Spicy Cheese Straws!
The gazebo is one of my favorite spots in the downtown area.
You will notice some new things downtown as well as the streetscape so enjoy your visit to the farmers market.

See you out and about in Sevierville this summer.

Barbara Tenney’s ‘Berried Treasure’ Cooking Class at KaTom

Strawberries are in season so when I saw the menu for Barbara Tenney’s cooking class for May 13th, I signed up right away. I alerted friends and marked the calendar for a class that was sure to please everyone. Janice and I can report that it was an absolute treat.

A nice table was waiting for us when we walked into KaTom kitchen.

Menu

Green salad with berries and raspberry vinaigrette

Steamed asparagus

Grilled chicken with strawberry barbecue sauce and strawberry salsa

Strawberry lemonade cake

The kitchen was prepped and ready to go.

The salad was so fresh and full of flavor. The dressing would make anyone crave more.

I was very interested in the strawberry barbecue sauce. It was worth all the work and ingredients to make it.

I learned an important tip: tenderized chicken breasts cook quickly and are more flavorful. What a colorful spring plate!

The strawberry salsa was light and complemented the main course without being very sweet. I would have never thought to combine strawberries with avocado—but it was very nice.

And now, for the piece de resistance!

The strawberry lemonade cake was perfection!

The cake was a perfect blend of flavors, with a delicate lemon undertone throughout the confection. The icing was not too sweet and balanced the two fruit flavors perfectly.

One more view…a slice of heaven!

At the table next to us, we saw local friends enjoying an evening out. You never know who you will see at at KaTom cooking class.

I always enjoy arriving a few minutes early so we have time to shop. There are many grilling utensils and summer items on the showroom floor now. This gadget looks convenient.

Make sure you check the ‘discount’ area because you never know what treasure you may find there. I have purchased several pieces of glassware in my recent trips to KaTom.

To find out about more cooking classes, follow KaTom Restaurant Supply on Facebook. On the menu, click ‘events’ to see classes, demos, and other information. They are planning more summer events so stay tuned!

Here is a link.

https://www.facebook.com/KaTomRestaurantSupply

Honeybee Coffee Company: Caffeine Oasis in Downtown Sevierville

A cold February morning proved to be the right time to visit a new little coffee place in downtown Sevierville. After dreaming about a coffee shop downtown for a long time, it was exciting to finally visit Honeybee Coffee Company on Main Street and Court Avenue. It took me a while to get there, but it was worth the wait.

Honeybee Coffee Company is located on the ground floor of the new Historic Central Hotel in downtown Sevierville. Customers can use several parking spots in front of the business. I used a second option: the public parking lot across the street on Court Avenue.

The coffee shop is open every day with good hours for those of us who need a caffeine fix.

I usually get a Latte, but opted for a Chai instead because I had a really good one in Asheville a couple of years ago and wanted to try one again. The Honeybee Coffee Co Chai was excellent! I will order it again.

The quiet background music is perfect for a coffee house, fostering relaxation and concentration during your visit.

The Court Avenue side of the business has large windows that afford a view of the courthouse. There was plenty of light despite the overcast day, good for reading, etc.

The coffee beans are roasted in Knoxville.

I am a fan of interiors with a Scandinavian vibe. It was very attractive and made me want to linger.

Honeybee Coffee Co uses Cruze Farm milk products in their brews, which is as wonderful as you can imagine. Decadent!

The most popular spot in Honeybee Coffee Co.

All too soon, it was time to go.

Honeybee Coffee Co is definitely an asset to downtown and the courthouse area. You will surely find me visiting the coffee shop frequently this spring and summer while out and about in Sevierville. Save me a spot near Dolly.

February Valentine’s Dinner at KaTom

My first cooking class in over a year at KaTom with Barbara Tenney was filled with holiday delights.

On the menu:

Mixed Greens with Strawberry Cream Dressing

Fresh Orange Rice

Simply Steamed Asparagus

Macadamia Nut Crusted Chilean Sea Bass with Vanilla Lime Butter Sauce

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Barbara Tenney (pictured right) prepared and instructed this themed dinner from behind the counter. A camera above projected the steps for each dish.

The first course was excellent. Candied pecans in a salad + strawberries = instant happiness.

The Chilean Sea Bass was the best that I have tried in my foodie experiences.

I was intrigued by the Orange Rice and it did not disappoint. Important tip: make sure that you rinse Jasmine Rice before cooking it to reduce the starch. There was still plenty of starch so I can’t imagine not rinsing it now. The orange flavor was light and made the side dish special.

I receive KaTom email announcements about cooking classes and signed up online through Eventbrite. It was easy.

After making a reservation, your party will be assigned a table with a good view of the cooking class. Each participant receives a copy of the recipes so bring a pen in case you would like to take notes during the lesson. Participants sample each course which tend to be full size servings, in my opinion. It can be a good idea to bring a ‘to go’ box if you have a small appetite.

The point of no resistance.

I have had Red Velvet Cheesecake before, but this one was the best! Very fresh, light, and creamy. Bravo!

I heard that Barbara Tenney and the KaTom team are planning an Easter themed class in the spring. Sign up for email alerts or follow KaTom Kitchen Supplies on Facebook to get the latest news in regard to cooking classes. Tickets are limited right now due to social distancing so I recommend signing up within 48 hours if you see a class that interests you.

Buen provecho!

A Look Back at 2020

I only wrote seven blog stories this year due to the impact of the COVID 19 virus on Sevierville from March to even now. Although my stories of Sevierville only ranged from February to June 2020, the year produced three of my favorite blog stories ever. To wit, this is a quick look back at a year that we will never forget. This is brief pictorial overview of 2020 in my blog, month by month.

January

February

March

April

This story honored our friend and colleague from SCHS, Deborah Webb. It may the one of my best works. Certainly, it is one of my favorite posts over the years. We still miss her.

May

I enjoyed reminiscing with this friend and learning about his work in Los Angeles on some of my favorite cable shows. Jared’s photos bring out the vagabond in us all. Truly, I enjoyed creating this story about his career and keep following Jared’s adventures on social media.

June

It is always enjoyable to attend the first farmers market of the summer—even if it is in a different location.

The next story was my last story of 2020 and is one of my favorites. After wishing for a mural downtown for several years, we were able to observe the first one in downtown Sevierville from beginning to completion. This is the most viewed story on my blog with over 3,574 views.

July

August

September

October

November

December

We made it through 2020 and look forward to the new year, 2021. It may start out tough, but I believe that better days are ahead. Hang in there and I will see you out and about in Sevierville.