Old Southside YMCA Blossoms Into The Common House With 3 Bars, Event Space, Lap Pool

Thursday, April 15, 2021 - by Gail Perry

A building from 1929 that was originally a YMCA has been restored to become the third location of Common House. It is located in the heart of the Southside at 1517 Mitchell Ave. and is the third location for the business, joining the others in Charlottesville and Richmond, Va. The site is equipped with bike racks and is positioned for walking and biking.

 

The Common House Chattanooga will be a combination restaurant and a co-working space with a rooftop lounge.

There are also a handful of hotel rooms available. Repairing the original pool belonging to the YMCA was not feasible, said owner Ben Pfinsgraff, so it was floored over and a lap pool has been built behind the building. The old gym is now the event space and can accommodate around 180 people. All the restorations were done with the intention of preserving the historic nature, he said.

 

Occupancy of the building is 1,500 including inside and outside if every space were to be filled. However, the owners expect that will never happen. A parking lot with 27 spots has been built and there are a couple of satellite lots that will be managed.

 

The business is a membership club where people pay to join, giving them access to a conference room and the ability to rent a space for their events. There will also be on-going programming, including live music, speakers, wine tastings, classes and film screenings. It will also be open to the public so that anyone can try it out, said Mr. Pfinsgraff.

 

There are three bars - in the restaurant area, another space that will be used for serving coffee and holding events and the terraced area with a small bar.

The Common House was unanimously approved for a beer permit at the meeting of the Chattanooga Beer Board on Thursday morning. Wine and liquor will also be available. The beer board was told that servers will be trained in all regulations from the city and state. Because the building has many rooms, everyone will be aware if a problem related to the sale of alcohol occurs because the employees will be connected with small radios, the board was told.


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