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Knoxville's Oldest Bar?

See smaller Niche landmark: Advertised as Knoxville's oldest gay bar, it is in fact one of the city's oldest same-name, same-location, not-mainly-a-restaurant bars.

Photo by Sheena Patrick, Sheena Patrick

Niche landmark: Advertised as Knoxville's oldest gay bar, it is in fact one of the city's oldest same-name, same-location, not-mainly-a-restaurant bars.

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  • Landmark of the Old Bowery: Patrick Sullivan's original 1888 saloon may be the city's oldest structure built mainly to be a bar.
  • Take Manhattan's: The 20th-century cafe/bar, first known by a similar name (Manhattan Cafe) ca. 1925, has a storied past.
  • Oldest Full bar? If we overlook a period of official closure, it's the one associated with Regas, Knoxville's oldest restaurant, open since the re-legalization of liquor by the drink in 1972.
  • Oldest bar on the strip? With some asterisks, it's probably the one at Copper Cellar's posh restaurant.
  • Niche landmark: Advertised as Knoxville's oldest gay bar, it is in fact one of the city's oldest same-name, same-location, not-mainly-a-restaurant bars.
  • If these bricks could talk: The antebellum building that hosts Bistro at the Bijou has a bar heritage reaching back to the Jacksonian era -- and a ghost.

Metro Pulse goes in search of the city's oldest saloon.

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