Littles to open Kitchen 919 next week

Tom KingWest Knox

In June 2016, The Orangery closed. That wonderful building at 5448 Homberg Drive is about to come to life again as the father-son ownership team of Deron and Drake Little open Kitchen 919 deep in the heart of Bearden.

Kitchen 919? “The kitchen is the favorite place in the home and 919 is a tribute to our zip code location in Bearden – 37919,” Drake says.

Their intent is to make Kitchen 919 a major part of the Bearden scene, much like Deron’s Seasons Innovative Bar & Grill is in Turkey Creek in Farragut. Little and his staff are putting the final touches on this 12,000-square-foot, two-story gem this week.

“Our vision is to create a restaurant that celebrates Knoxville’s unique local products that are available. Through classic culinary preparation and current artistic plating techniques, the guests will enjoy the cuisine with their taste buds, their eyes and their heart.” Drake said.

Kitchen 919’s “soft opening” for family and close friends will be on Wednesday, Nov. 29, (by invitation only). Kitchen 919 will open to the public at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30. “Our fingers are crossed that we’ll be welcoming people, taking orders and serving our food,” Drake said. “This is the most stressful and most exciting thing we’ve ever done. This project is about blood, sweat and tears and opening what we hope will be a signature part of Bearden and a unique dining experience for our patrons.”

When you scan the main menu and the bar menu you will quickly notice the local flavors … local okra and garden vegetables, Cruz Farm buttermilk, Shelton Farms grits cakes, Sweetwater Valley cheeses, Cheshire Farm pork and 3 Bears coffee, among others.

The bar area will be an active social spot, with cutting-edge craft cocktails and featuring local brews. It’s called “Bar Temperance” and will have its own “Speakeasy” menu for dinner along with signature drinks, beer, cider (many from local breweries and breweries from Johnson City and across Tennessee) to an impressive wine list. Try the Homberg Cobbler or the Lyons View drinks, we’re told.

Here are some fast facts:

  • Roland Michaub, general manager, will lead a staff of 40. Carol Scott is the chef and Michelle Porter the bar manager.
  • The main dining room will be on the first level, and the second level – The Phoenix Room — will be for weddings, receptions, private parties and charity events. Its elegant décor remains and has been enhanced. It has two suites – one for brides and bridesmaids and the other for the groom. One is named the Paisley Suite and the other the Parker Suite after Drake’s two children.
  • Kitchen 919 will be open Monday through Thursday from 4:30 to 10 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday open until 11. It will be closed on Sundays except for private parties.
  • The website for reservations is www.kitchen-919.com and the phone number is 865-223-9979.

“This is such an exciting project, to bring this restaurant and this facility back into the Bearden scene,” Drake said. “Dad and I are putting our heart and soul into this and we’re committed to making dining here a very special experience.”

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