Best of Knoxville 2009
- Best Concert Venue Runners-Up: Bijou Theatre, The Square Room, Tennessee Theatre
- Best Rock Club Runners-Up: Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria, Catalyst, Pilot Light
- Best Dance Club Runners-Up: Hanna’s, Hanna’s Old City, Sassy Ann’s
Owner Gary Mitchell envisioned jump-starting a new entertainment district for Knoxville when he opened The Valarium in early 2008. But the club hasn’t needed any help becoming a destination of its own, with concerts by N.E.R.D., Donna the Buffalo, The Misfits, and Girl Talk bringing hundreds of people down to the weird little industrial area between Western Avenue and Interstate 275. The Valarium’s provided a raucous alternative to downtown theaters and the cavernous concrete abyss of the Knoxville Coliseum. And with Voodoo on Saturdays, The Valarium has rejuvenated Knoxville’s dance scene.
The recent opening of the adjacent Cider House for smaller, more intimate club sets means even more music down there every week.