Bella Vita, Old Chicago Are New Restaurants; The Camp House Moves To MLK Boulevard

Thursday, December 4, 2014 - by Gail Perry

Four restaurants were given beer permits Thursday morning at the meeting of the Chattanooga Beer Board. Two are new to Chattanooga. Bella Vita, 1400 Cowart St., will serve “Southern infused Italian” food with an extensive five-page menu. There will be a cabaret style show held twice monthly, which the owner Tammie Taylor said would be something a little different for Chattanooga. This will be a non-smoking establishment and a security team will be on the premises, she said.

Drivers license scanners will be used to verify age, and taxis will be on call if needed to transport those judged unable to drive safely.


Old Chicago is a new restaurant that is owned by Craftworks Restaurants and Breweries based in Chattanooga. The location is at Northgate Mall but the restaurant will only have an outside entrance. The food will be “really amazing,” said general manager Rhonda Martin, and will include pizza and craft beers on tap and in bottles. Live entertainment is in the plan if owners of the building give approval. Opening is planned for Dec. 15.


Two established businesses on the Southside received new licenses. St. Johns Restaurant, 1278 Market St., and the more casual restaurant next door, St. John’s Meeting Place, was required to re-apply for a permit because of an ownership change when the former chef sold his share of the business to the other partner Joshua Carter. Mr. Carter has been an owner at the restaurants he described as fine dining establishments for the past 10 years and told the board that there have been no beer violations so far.


The other Southside restaurant to receive a new license was The Camp House, that has recently moved to 125 E. M.L.King Blvd. Chris Sorensen, representing the business, said that it is primarily a coffee bar and a place to get a quick meal. He said his customers like to have a beer to go along with the food but that the least expensive beer on the menu is $5. “We try to price people out of being drunk,” he added. With the move from the Williams Street location where food service ended at 4 p.m., the restaurant is trying to expand the food offering to include an after-dinner menu such as sandwiches and wraps. On Monday through Saturday hours will typically be 7 a.m.-10 p.m. but some Friday and Saturday nights there will be live entertainment and will be open until midnight. On Sunday, closing time is 8 p.m.


The Raceway #6866 at 2528 Broad Street will change ownership on Dec. 16. Clinton Brock, the buyer, already owns two Raceways in North Georgia and is expanding to the Chattanooga area. Existing employees will be retained and retrained with his policies. The business will be closed for only around four hours to do an inventory before re-opening with the new ownership. A carry-out permit was given to this business.


 Plans are gearing up for MainX24 on Saturday. Three more special event permits were added to the ones issued at the last beer board meeting. Carla Pritchard and her husband own The Clear Building at 400 E. Main St. that is under renovation. In one area of the building known as Grandfalloon, there will be a large multi-use venue. On Dec. 6 from 4-10 p.m. Chattanooga Presents will use this space to showcase three different bands at one of the many activities that day.


Haven & Ale, a craft beer store that is located on the Northshore, is partnering with food trucks at 121 W. Main St. in a parking lot at the corner of Main and Williams for the MainX24 event. A heated and lit tent will be set up and several family friendly performances will be held by Rock Skool and the Folk School of Chattanooga. Food and drink at this location will be available from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.


Jonathan Sussman received a special event beer permit for an adult big wheel race which is a benefit for The Children’s Advocacy Center. This venue will feature beer from Yazoo Brewing Company based out of Nashville. Hours of service here will be from 1-5 p.m.

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