Bar Updates: Gunthor's & Sapphire

Gunthor's Galley - Ok, I didn't even know they had closed last month but our friends at Gunthor's may be reopening their doors soon in Bearden (Short West).

From Carly Harrington at the KNS blog:

KNOXVILLE -- It closed its doors at Knoxville Center Mall last month, but the owners of Gunthor’s Galley apparently want to reopen the restaurant in Bearden.
Renaming it Gunthor’s Gulf Shore Grille, the eatery had been listed to appear before the beer board next month for a location at 4429 Kingston Pike, where Green Hills Grille was previously. More from her/KNS' blog

Sapphire: (from their email blast)

New Spring/Summer Menu is now available during regular dinner hours.

New Items include Gulf Shrimp Salad, Filet Mignon Caesar Salad, Spicy Trigger (fish), North Carolina Rainbow Trout, Rosemary's Pork, and much more. New side dishes. ALL new desserts, including an all-new Flourless Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream! Come check it out! We would love you to have your feedback.

Spring/Summer Wine List coming 04/01

Spring/Summer Cocktail Listcoming 04/08

Look for Lunch to start in April! Hours will be 11am - 3pm Monday through Sunday


Bar Surveillance

Just a personal observation, but I really think Sidestreet Tavern has a damn fine jukebox. Where else on a Sunday afternoon can you hear Orion by Metallica? RIP Cliff Burton.




That’s about all I’ve got for you today. Enjoy your Guinness, Harp, Smithwicks and Irish whiskeys. I’m sure there will be a few Irish Car Bombs served up too. I’m hoping for a fine plate of American-Irish corned beef and cabbage along with a few drinks out on the town.


Happy St. Patrick's Day

The Ballad of Doh Da Thone

Boh Da Thone was a warrior bold:
His sword and his rifle were bossed with gold,

And the Peacock Banner his henchmen bore
Was stiff with bullion, but stiffer with gore.

He shot at the strong and he slashed at the weak
From the Salween scrub to the Chindwin teak:

He crucified noble, he sacrificed mean,
He filled old ladies with kerosene:

While over the water the papers cried,
"The patriot fights for his countryside!"

But little they cared for the Native Press,
The worn white soldiers in Khaki dress,

Who tramped through the jungle and camped in the byre,
Who died in the swamp and were tombed in the mire,

Who gave up their lives, at the Queen's Command,
For the Pride of their Race and the Peace of the Land.

Now, first of the foemen of Boh Da Thone
Was Captain O'Neil of the Black Tyrone,

And his was a Company, seventy strong,
Who hustled that dissolute Chief along.


In a few hours, go make the most of it. Get out your Boru Harp, and drink like Wolf the Quarrelsome.

If you need us we'll be roaming downtown and carrying it on to the Old City.
For Heaven's sake though, please don't need us.

Odds and Ends

Just a couple of tidbits from the nation and world.

First, from the boozing folks at Asylum, we have a bar in Chicago that is among a handful that allows the patron to self-serve a set amount of beer. Pretty good start to something I've often wanted during busy, three-deep customers at the bar type nights.

Second, if you've read this tepid blog since its inception you'll know that we like to recognize absurdly strong drinks and other gimmicks of the clever brewer or distiller. Behold "Sink the Bismarck" an absurd IPA style that comes with a cork or stopper to extend the shelf life. Available from the UK, you can really taste the powerful ale and desire to relive great naval engagements. No word if we can expect other beers to commemorate the sinking of the Tirpitz or Scharnhorst.


Aisle 9 and Latitude 35

Sounds like a Shuggie Otis song but I’m referring to two new locations opening downtown, hopefully soon. First up, Aisle 9, or maybe Nine as the sign reads:

I first learned of this place a few months ago when a mutual friend of the co-owner was in town and we took a brief tour of the building. I haven’t really heard anything else about it until I noticed some workers there a couple of weeks ago while cruising through the Old City. Now the windows are covered up and the beer application was posted on the door indicating they are making progress. No idea when they will be open for business but I’m looking forward it.

Also making progress and inching closer to opening their doors is Latitude 35. I was actually inside the building with one of the co-owners recently and they’ve done a ton of work since the last time I was there, but it still looked weeks away from being finished and it doesn’t appear they will make it in time for St. Patrick’s Day as he had mentioned as a target date. But the good news is that they aren’t cutting corners just to rush an opening, the building is basically being redone from top to bottom and I think they’re adding a top deck featuring a patio and bar area, so we’ll see when it all comes together. An advertisement in the March issue of Blank reads: “breakfast, lunch, dinner entertainment venue coming soon to Market Square”. And there will be multiple fully stocked bars with all your favorite beer, booze and wine so don’t worry about that.


Well Done

Really well done in fact, though not an aspect you’re aiming for when cooking pizza. Drunkenly cooking frozen pizza pie has cost me more lost pies than I can remember but probably fewer than our friend P. Sure, it works out most of the time, you come in from a night of boozing and think you just can’t make it without another meal before passing out. So you scavenge what’s available or become ambitious and cook something, often a frozen pizza in my case. Never mind that you just ate at the bar 2-3 hours ago. Get the pie in the oven, see what’s on TV while you wait – damn I’m comfortzzzzzz…..


Boozing is just as fun when animated

I'm not talking about getting tore up from the floor up either. Even when sobriety is crudely thrust upon me by responsibilities and that thing called 'work' I do enjoy seeing heavy boozing portrayed on the small screen. Throw in the limitless options presented by the adult-themed cartoon and we're in business. I present the FX Network's Archer.

The car smashing into what appears to be a boat made of balsa wood is iconic.

It's no secret that LVL loves his dirty and filthy cartoons...and fortunately the powers that be have gotten a full dose now of just how effective and damn funny the genre can be. The fact is characters can be drawn and written with almost limitless options really counts for a lot. Let's be honest, South Park and Family Guy paid their dues...and while their forerunners in The Simpsons and the vastly underrated The Critic dabbled in this absurdity, but it wasn't until cable took this type of program to late nights that we really gain insight into the drunken and drugged out world that is the mind of a comedic writer. The latest and sharpest of such programs these days is Archer.

Archer is set in an alternate reality where the Soviet Union(or at least Russia) is still engaged in a Cold War setting and privatized spy agencies pick up the slack that the CIA, MI-6, and the KGB leave unattended. Thinking of the sophisticated subdued drinking of James Bond and his martini? Think again.

This show is currently like nine episodes into its run, and every episode has displayed one or more characters drinking everything from Absinthe all the way to a double Campari and Vodka.

But LVL, aren't these drinks just understated props? Fuck you, no. The series is riddled with all the worst stereotypes about excessive boozing. Drinking on an empty stomach, drinking on the clock, sex-filled blackouts, drinking and driving, poonhoundery, and bizarre chemicals ingested as a side item to half gallons of gin, scotch, and champagne. Ever see someone snort MSG? Enter Dr. Krieger. Ever seen erotic asphyxiation on your normal Thursday viewing? Archer makes it a plot point in half the episodes. Wanted to see your reamed out mother blackout and lick gin off the elevator floor? Meet Malory.

This bitch's breath could peel paint. Even she runs around half-naked...but that's nothing compared to Lana Kane, Sterling's sometime lover and rival spy.

Lana's animated tits bounce around like 'shes at a rodeo' and yet despite her nakedness, she is an accomplished spy(Archer himself is somewhat of an unappreciated badass) who is known to 'hit the sauce' pretty hard on assignment.

If you've got 30 minutes to blow on Thursdays 10PM, give Archer a shot. You will feel the powerful urge to drink right along with these degenerates. Rampant heroin use and snorting MSG, seems a poor idea though in any reality.

Friday Rage

Apologies for the unusual negative vibe here but I have to vent for a moment. Maybe it’s the extra stress of work lately or just a case of manstruation but I’m over the edge with a few things this morning, mostly traffic.
Drivers who stop at green lights. I may have mentioned this one before but it bears repeating. It’s a simple fact of driving you learn from the start: Red means Stop, Green means Go. Not tap your brakes a dozen times as you approach in case the light changes (that’s why we have yellow lights), not ease through at 4 MPH thus backing up a line of cars for no reason, and definitely do NOT fucking stop at the Green light, look both ways multiple times, then make a last second decision like you’re taking a risk into the unknown. Fucking idiots.

Gay St. is not a drop off / waiting area. Cars parking along Gay St. when I first moved to town years ago struck me as a bit peculiar, but I got used to that rather quickly. Now more than ever it seems as though drivers take their sweet-ass time loitering in traffic as spouses, friends, etc. go about their business. I can deal with the quick 5 second jump in/out and moving along, but that’s the least of it. I don’t want to see PDA as you kiss and coo over one another like you won’t see each other for months, this isn’t the airport. Likely you’ll be back at 5 PM picking them up and reliving the whole process again. Going to the KUB express payment box is one thing, but don’t idle in traffic while your passenger picks up their cleaning or opens a checking account at the bank. Move your fucking cars people!

KAT rules downtown street traffic. Just look at those buses next time you’re driving downtown. Count the number of buses then count the riders, you can usually count them on one hand per bus. One weekday afternoon several weeks ago I counted 9 buses on Gay St. from 1st TN Bank to the visitor’s center, many with only 2 – 3 passengers. KAT is a public service that I don’t really have a beef with but I can’t wait for the new transit center to be completed. I don’t know if it will reduce traffic congestion or not but let’s hope so.
Ok. I’ve had my Jameson-laced coffee and biscuit so I’m relaxed now. It’s Friday, the weather is warming up and a fun holiday is just around the corner. I feel better, really, thanks for listening.


Monday Hangover

Literally. I’m hung over for the first time in a while following a week long quasi-bender that culminated Sunday night at Preservation Pub with beer and shots. I’ve been in the weeds at work and decided to deal with the stressful times by drinking my way through it, as usual. Not that I was getting shitfaced hammered every night but I definitely made sure to have 5 or 6 IPA dinner and random shots nightly to aid with rest and recuperation. It worked. I’ve easily made it through a rough week all thanks to inebriation. It was good to visit Pres Pub since I hadn’t been there in a while and it was unusually clear of smoke due to the doors being open with the warmer temperatures. I started off having Lowenbrau but was quickly goaded into Jager shots by serial drunkards KRTI and his Queen. Fine. I was ready for whatever came my way, except for the news that PP would no longer be selling Lowenbrau since their distributor was discontinuing that product. That and Mo’Nique winning an Oscar. Weird but whatever. I’ll miss my favorite imported beer. Maybe I’ll try She Wolf, I’ve heard it’s “ok”.


Check out this mess

A little pre-St. Paddy's day discord, if you will. Personally I like it when St. Patrick's Day falls midweek since it forces some uncomfortable decisions regarding work attendance. The last time it fell during the weekend, I felt curiously unfulfilled. Not that we here in the south are quite as enthusiastic like some larger cities to the north are about the holiday, but there is just something more emotionally rewarding about being 'jobsick but barwell.'

I've not really called in to work for March 17 in a long time. It seemed necessary when I was younger, but now I admit to a few flaws in the plan. If you choose to rook your work and not go on the 17th, you will greatly enjoy the holiday proper. It will be fun, and you will get wasted and possibly comatose. While you knock back car bombs though, know that the bell will soon toll for thee. Work looms, and it looms with baleful glares from co-workers...it looms with your overwrought cologne(the cheaper the better) to stave off the booze smell that you noticed when you kicked that prostitute out of your hovel on the short side of 4AM. How much did you spend? Why is your phone lit up with text messages and voicemails in which you remember jack shit of?

Hurry fuckface, because you've got only a few hours before your perfidy is exposed by the hangover. It will go something like this:

Indeed. Not a pretty sight. Better to take the next day off...sure, if you call in sick you will be somewhat accused of sleeping one off, but that will only be a rumor...a nasty bit of shit that you, being a paragon of office virtue, can refute(by a duel if necessary). What's more is that your co-workers themselves usually have some weak sauce of their own that will manifest itself, so your situation is not likely to last for long. Trust me, I've noticed a pattern. In one of my earliest jobs out of college, the office prude all but accused me of calling in sick the day after the Super Bowl. I didn't have to remain stoic for long, because later in the day she farted at the copier. Not a squeaker mind you, but a fullbore olfactory holocaust. World War One type stuff. My point is that you can get past that one, at least once or twice. Don't abuse it, and your own experience may differ(almost assuredly). Some people believe the hardest part of this exercise is waiting out the clock on St. Paddy's proper, but once work is done you can jump in with both feet.

Anyway. Try this possibly terrible drink, courtesy of Asylum.com.