Wednesday, March 12, 2014
One of Chattanooga’s oldest bars is set to open the doors to its new location across the river by March 21. First opened on Market Street in June 1997, the Big Chill and Grill will celebrate its 17th year in a larger space on the North Shore.
“We’re new and exciting, yet we’re nostalgic and well-known for what we’ve done so far,” said owner Scarlett “Scottie” Bowman, who describes the new location as “bigger and better.”
She said she loved the old location, but wanted to let Taco Mac take the opportunity to expand (refer to the article at timesfreepress.com/news/2013/jul/04/taco-mac-plans-site-expansion).
“We’re set up enough that we feel like everyone’s going to follow us across the river,” Bowman said.
Many new additions are on tap for the Big Chill, which will now be serving lunch daily as well as brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
The new space, which will be nonsmoking, seats 60-80 more people than the Market Street location. The extra space will also be used to accommodate six more daiquiri machines. The number of beers on draft is going from four to 20, and 20 more bottled beers are being added to the menu.
Negotiations are ongoing for the sale of the 4,000-square-foot space next door to the new restaurant and bar, which Bowman said would be a good thing for her business.
Another plus is the parking deck under construction behind the restaurant, she added.
“It’s way more upscale,” she said of the new location. “We’re not trying to be snotty, but if you’re going to move, you might as well correct your mistakes.”
Bowman said the old location was cramped and lacked storage, which has been corrected at the Cherokee Boulevard spot.
In addition to more seating, the new restaurant will also feature a covered patio with roll-back doors that seats 54 and an open back patio that seats 32.
“By opening for lunch we hope to get some extra revenue,” Bowman said.
She has been working on revamping the menu for the past six months, including creating the new lunch menu. She added some of the restaurant’s more popular specials to the permanent menu, which is served in full until last call at 2:30 a.m.
The restaurant will continue to stay open until 3 a.m. every night.
“That’s kind of our claim to fame,” said Bowman. “I hope the North Shore is ready for us.”