Chattanooga Street Tavern toasts the new year

Chattanooga Street Tavern toasts the new year

January 6th, 2014 by Katie Ward in Local Regional News

January is typically a month of celebration when people like to toast the New Year and hang out with friends or family.

Chattanooga Street Tavern is ready for all situations with two limousines available to pick patrons up and take them home.

"In case someone does not have a designated driver, we have limos," said tavern owner Michael Lovelady. "Most people bring a designated driver with them. In metro LaFayette it is a flat fee of $20 to go get them and take them home in a limo. We will go down to Trion and down to Rock Spring. If it's further, we raise the price."

Bands that frequently play on Saturdays at the tavern include Kamikaze Dali, Foot of the Hill Gang, Southern Exposure and musician Eric Shelton. The tavern is hosting LaFrandrin Jan. 4, Jerry Fordom Jan. 11, Natasha Anderson Jan. 18 and Beats Workin Jan. 25.

"We want people to be able to come in and enjoy it without emptying their pockets," said Michael Lovelady, whose son Gary manages the tavern. "We have people come from all over for an interesting mix."

Some interesting items on the menu range from sweet-tea-glazed salmon to West Side sirloin or the tavern's best-sellers: burgers, wings and fish and chips.

"We expanded our beer inventory," said Michael Lovelady. "We have eight beers on tap. We have 17 beers by the bottle including some craft beers and nine different specialty drinks."

The tavern selects a different business or profession each week to highlight for Thursday Business Day to receive 10 percent off.

Lovelady welcomes people to the tavern in 2014 that seats 99 patrons inside and out total.

"We never have any problems here," said Lovelady. "The local folks see it as their place and they take a lot of pride in it."

So what's going on along the West Side next to the tavern?

Heirlooms Antiques next the tavern has been busy helping shoppers looking for unique home furnishings. Mars Theatre next door is welcoming a new acting troupe in addition to its current Southern Jesters actors. In January, Back Alley Productions will begin rehearsing at the venue for three shows in 2014. The shows are "See How They Run" in March, "Macbeth" in the summer and "It's a Wonderful Life" next December.

"We want to keep artisan specialty shops here," said Lovelady, adding that two business spaces are now available to be filled. "The Mars Theatre and the tavern complement each other. All theatrical performances are catered by the tavern."

Coming up, the Youth Action Committee will show classic movies in the theater to raise funds for projects in the local Depot Park.

The Arts Guild that runs Mars Theatre recently received a $5,000 donation from Alchemy to continue developing the arts locally. The group is planning a spring arts show and more.

One unique new tenant moving into the theater is Connect City, a satellite church, that will host church services there on Sundays beginning in 2014.

"It's a youth-oriented church," said Lovelady. "I think it's great that a church wants to move in next to the tavern."

Lovelady said even though holiday shopping was not as busy in 2013 as it was in 2012 that he thinks it's because of the way the holidays fell in the workweek. However, he is not discouraged and feels that 2014 will be a great year for welcoming people to the West Side of LaFayette.