Remember When, Chattanooga? The Rathskeller Restaurant was a Cherry Street landmark

Contributed Photo by Hugh J. Moore Jr., via / The old Rathskeller Restaurant on Cherry Street was a Chattanooga institution until it closed in 1970. A parking garage is now located on the property.

For much of the 20th century, the Rathskeller Restaurant was a cultural and culinary landmark in Chattanooga.

Located at 618 Cherry St., the Rathskeller was an outgrowth of the Turner Club (also known as the Turnverein Club), a German-American social and fitness club with roots here going back to the 19th century. The club, which billed itself as the oldest social club in Tennessee in the 1960s, occupied the top floors of the vintage, 1888 building with the restaurant below.

This photo, taken by Chattanooga attorney Hugh J. Moore Jr., shows the building before it was leveled in the 1970s. The block later became a parking garage, and the Turner Club relocated to the Shallowford Road area, Moore said.

"I went to the Rathskeller frequently with groups (reporters/photographers) from the News-Free Press and the Post when I worked at those papers, off and on (from) 1962 (to) 1969," Moore said in an email interview.