Chrome Pony and 4620 Reinvent Themselves as Gay Bars

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."

Kenner's featured performers for the nightly shows will be female impersonator Angel Collins and Kayleb Kash, a Justin Timberlake impersonator who was Mr. Gay United States in 2007.

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.