Chattanooga restaurants and bars that opened, closed in 2021

Staff file photo / Kwench Juice Cafe Chattanooga is seen earlier this year at its Market Street location.
Staff file photo / Kwench Juice Cafe Chattanooga is seen earlier this year at its Market Street location.

As in 2020, local restaurants and bars had to work overtime in 2021 to find ways to safely serve customers, and in some cases simply stay open.

It's been a tough couple of years for businesses in the food and entertainment industry, but that didn't stop several new establishments from coming online. Some didn't make it for a variety of reasons.

Below is a listing of some that closed, some that opened and a few that changed locations. The list also includes some that are scheduled to open in 2022:

Restaurants that closed

- Blue Plate. Once located on Chestnut Street near the Tennessee Aquarium, the upscale restaurant closed in February.

- Mayo's Bar & Grill. A staple of Brainerd Road for decades, structural issues forced the restaurant to close in 2021.

- Mojo Burrito. The pandemic and staffing issues took their toll on the chain of local restaurants, and the store in St. Elmo closed for good in February. The Red Bank eatery continues to operate.

- Mad Priest Coffee Roasters. The Mad Priest brand has expanded to Wilcox Boulevard and Broad Street, but the original Cherry Street location closed. It is now Cherry Street Tavern.

- Sofa King Juicy Burger. The name got everyone's attention, as did the burgers and milkshakes, but the restaurant closed for good this year and will be home to the Chattanooga Seafood Co. on Dayton Boulevard.

Restaurants that opened

- 423 Tacos. The restaurant takes street food to the next level with tacos and tequila being the stars in the new West Village eatery.

- Agave & Rye. Chestnut Street saw several restaurants open in 2021 including this one in the former home of Blue Plate near the Tennessee Aquarium. It features a full menu including Kung Pao chimichangas and "epic burgers."

- Big 9 Street Food. Tacos, Philly cheese sandwiches and chopped hot dogs or sausages give the restaurant on M.L. King Boulevard, which was once known as "The Big 9," a traditional local flavor.

- Bollywood Tacos & Bar. The same folks who created Sitar Indian restaurant opened an Indian/Tex-Mex fusion place on Main Street.

- Blue Light. The nightclub on Station Street is a popular place for people looking for late-night fun.

- Burlaep. Located on East 11th Street, it offers coffee, food, craft beer and T-shirts as the owners and staff blend several passions.

- Cherry Street Tavern. Local food industry veterans Marty Bohannon and George MacEwan opened Cherry Street Tavern in the former Mad Priest Roasters location in 2021.

photo Staff file photo / Marty Bohannon, left, and George MacEwan pose at the Cherry Street Tavern.

- Chris Bakery. Owners Amando and Mariola Salas used his love of baking to create the Brainerd Road business as a way to support their family during the pandemic.

- Giardino. Residents of Brainerd, Missionary Ridge and East Ridge have been thrilled to have a fine-dining Italian restaurant in the area, but other city residents have discovered it as well.

- Go Gyro Go. The restaurant on Ringgold Road is owned and operated by the former owners of 2Crazy Greeks as their first brick and mortar eatery and features things like their popular gyros, but also new items like fried eggplant.

- Hello Monty. Veteran Chattanooga restaurateur Rob Gentry joined with brother Clay to open an eatery at Main and Cowart streets.

- Lil Mama's Chicago Style Hoagy. You'll notice the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme upon entering, but the hoagies are what seem to bring people back to the new restaurant on Patten Square.

- Lo Main Bodega. The new place in an old house on Main Street offers a curated selection of beers, cocktails and food items including smash burgers.

- Kwench Juice Cafe Chattanooga. Whenever possible, the items used in their juice blends are locally sourced at this new place on Market Street.

- Mean Mug. A warehouse in Highland Park and a new location in the old Knitting Mill on Manufacturer's Road are part of the expansion of the business, which has a location on Main Street, as well.

- Nick & Norman's. The Chattanooga Choo Choo continued to expand its menu of eateries with the addition of this popular chain co-owned by "The Walking Dead" actor Norman Reedus.

- Monkey Town Brewing. The Dayton, Tennessee-based brewery expanded to Hixson and Loudon, Tennessee, this past year.

- Night Pearl tiki bar. The owners of Syrup & Eggs moved their popular eatery inside Dwell Hotel in 2019 and then opened the Night Pearl tiki bar there in 2021.

- No Hard Feelings. Specialty cocktails are the order of the day every day at the new Broad Street bar.

- Party Fowl. Nashville hot chicken highlights the menu, but the open-air atmosphere is also part of the fun at this restaurant at Hamilton Place.

- Pizza Bros. The owners added a new location near Finley Stadium to their popular Cherokee Boulevard location in 2021.

- Real Roots Cafe. Residents in North Chattanooga have found a new favorite place to eat and hang out in this North Market eatery offering kambucha-based cocktails and craft beers as well as Hawaiian paninis and Smothered Burritos.

- Rosecomb. Located near Riverview Park on Barton Avenue, the cozy place offers cocktails, craft beer and a variety of Southern favorites like chicken sandwiches, deviled eggs and fried okra.

- Six18. Oldtimers will know the location on Georgia Avenue as the former home of the Brass Register and more recently Jeffersons, but the Southern-style offerings of catfish and grits, or crawfish pimento cheese, might make people forget it was ever anything other than Six18.

- Zaya 423 Korean Steakhouse. The restaurant on Cherokee Boulevard takes Korean barbecue to new heights.

Restaurants that moved or changed ownership

- Charlie's BBQ & Bakery is now Barque. The popular Main Street eatery has a new name and new owners.

- Flaming Rooster. Owner Edward Wickley moved his popular hot fish and chicken establishment from Brainerd Road to Broad Street.

- Good Dog. The longtime Frazier Avenue restaurant was closed for a while, but reopened with See Rock City Inc. as its new owners.

Opening in 2022

- Cherry Street Brewing. Brother and sister Nick Tanner and Alisa Wall are expanding their operation from the Atlanta area to Chattanooga with a brewery/restaurant/taproom on Cherokee Boulevard.

- Peach Cobbler Factory. One of the fastest growing chains in the country is coming to Chattanooga on M.L. King Boulevard at the first of the year featuring 12 flavors of cobbler.

- Chattanooga Seafood Co. Located in the former home of Sofa King Juicy Burger on Dayton Boulevard, the store will have ready-made foods and fresh seafood.

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.

Upcoming Events