Restaurateur Gregg White Gets Spicy

Squelching rumors that he's starting a new restaurant downtown, Gregg White offers the real story: the Knoxville entrepreneur and originator of such successful concepts as Nama and La Costa has become managing partner for Spice Rack Cantina, which will open at the former Cozymel's site on Kingston Pike on Nov. 16. In fact, the other players in the venture are Food Friends and Company, a Dallas-based business that owns numerous restaurant concepts and owned Cozymel's.

"This is a re-branding effort, but still Mexican-themed," says White. "They thought it would work in this market, and I tend to agree with them."

White's been on board since early October; the restaurant, which he says will be "fun and playful, with sexy salsa dancers," is now hiring those dancers—"Spice Rack Girls"—and other workers.

There will not be a duplicate downtown. "This is the one and only in Knoxville," says White. "Although hopefully it will become one of many at some point."