Chuck Ward gains beer permit for Cotton Eyed Joe

Sandra ClarkFarragut

Editor’s Note: Sandra Clark received a call at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, from someone claiming to be the owner of Cotton Eyed Joe. The person said he had not sold the business to Chuck Ward and does not have a contract to sell. We will update our readers as we learn more.

A new owner is coming to Cotton Eyed Joe. The country music entertainment venue at 11220 Outlet Drive is being purchased by Knoxville real estate investor Charles “Chuck” Ward. He appeared before the town of Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Aug. 24 seeking a permit for on-premises beer sales.

Ward complied with town regulations and was approved. He claims to have renovated and resold, “flipped,” some 1,200 houses in Knoxville and has trademarked the slogan, “The King of Flipping.”

He said the 25-year owners of the establishment are retiring. And he told the board that he’s had experience in the entertainment industry as manager of the Back Porch on the Creek music venue off Lovell Road for the past two years.

Chuck Ward is ready for Farragut. But is Farragut ready for Chuck Ward? Stay tuned.

Also at Thursday’s Beer Board meeting, Stephen Krempasky of the Farragut Business Alliance was granted a permit and fee waiver to sell beer at a post-race party for an Oct. 28 half-marathon and 5K road race. He’s hoping to attract vendors to the old Kroger parking lot, site of the race’s start and finish. “It will be like a farmers market of business,” he said.

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