In last week’s Eye on the Scene, we had some big news about the Cider House, a new late-night venue in a building adjacent to the Valarium. It was originally slated to open on Jan. 29, with a show by local band 1220 to follow the Drive-By Truckers concert. We checked the website again, which, as of this writing, says the Cornbred Blues Band will be playing the first Cider House show on Feb. 4 after Citizen Cope at the Valarium. But, according to Valarium/Cider House owner Gary Mitchell, the venue probably won’t even be ready for that.
“I can’t say for sure yet,” Mitchell says. “We’re probably not going to be open until the middle of February.”
It turns out, as is frequently the case with the opening of a new club, that there were some unforeseen problems. Mitchell said he originally envisioned Cider House as a relatively small, intimate club, maybe a 300-person capacity. The plans have grown larger—it’s now up to 600 to 800—and with them the demands of the fire marshal. Mitchell says that city building codes requires him to install eight-foot-wide doors, and the fixtures he needs are “just not available in Knoxville.” He has them on order, though, but he says it could be more than 20 days before they arrive and are installed.