There have been rumors for a few months now that the Chrome Pony Saloon on Alcoa Highway might undergo a surprising sort of rebranding. Turns out it’s true—starting on Valentine’s Day weekend, the biker bar will undergo a transformation into a gay nightclub. There’s always a fine line between the two, anyway; the new Chrome Pony will feature leather nights (with a spanking machine!) on Wednesdays, and every night was leather night at the older incarnation.
The grand re-opening of “Knoxville’s Newest Gay Showbar” is set for Friday, Feb. 12. The new club will be managed by Terry Kenner and T-Rex Production, who used to book dance nights at the old Electric Ballroom, which has since become the Valarium. The Chrome Pony will be open from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
“What’s funny is that gay people love bikers,” Kenner says. “So the response we’ve been getting has been great.”
That’s not the only radical reinvention of a local nightclub underway. The Bearden club 4620 Reinvented—which began life as a jazzy piano bar back in the 1990s and has been hosting rock shows off and on for the last couple of years—has undergone a similar transformation. It’s been reinvented again as a gay night spot named Velvet. The grand opening of the new club is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 3.