John Shearer: Popular Krystal Restaurant By UT Campus Set To Re-Open

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - by John Shearer
The Knoxville Krystal as it looked last May shortly after closing.
The Knoxville Krystal as it looked last May shortly after closing.
- photo by John Shearer

The Krystal restaurant on the Strip in Knoxville near the University of Tennessee campus, which is one of the more visible and better-known Krystals outside Chattanooga, will soon have new life after being closed since last May.

And helping it reopen will be a Chattanooga company hoping to extend the life of the environment in the process.

Brandon Carter, vice president for sales and marketing for GreenForm Construction Inc. of Hixson, said his company has begun doing a major remodeling on the restaurant, which has been at that site since the early 1960s.

“We started the project yesterday and hope to finish by the end of February and it can reopen the first couple of weeks in March,” he said Wednesday morning.

The four exterior walls of the current restaurant building will remain, but the rest of the structure will be greatly remodeled in the style of the newer Krystal built on South Broad Street in Chattanooga, he said. A user-friendly parking lot will also be redesigned for easier entering, exiting and parking alongside busy Cumberland Avenue.

Mr. Carter also said the restaurant will be unique in that it is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified structure.

“It is one of the only restaurant contracts in the state that is LEED certified,” he said.

This is actually GreenForm’s first Krystal restaurant, he said, although the firm did remodel some corporate offices in the Krystal Building downtown.

He added that the new Krystal ownership, Argonne Capital Group Inc., seems committed to building restaurants that are green and good for the environment.

At the time the Krystal closed on the Strip in Knoxville last spring, company officials announced no plans to reopen there. “For lease” signs were posted on the building, and Knoxville residents assumed another restaurant or business would eventually move to the site.

That Krystal restaurant was long a popular place for UT students and others frequenting that part of town.

The first Krystal restaurant in Knoxville opened at another spot on Cumberland Avenue about 1937, just a few years after the first Krystal opened in 1932 at Seventh and Cherry streets in downtown Chattanooga.

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