Knoxville City and Knox County officials and dignitaries were in attendance at yesterday’s grand opening of the Blue Slip Winery at the historic Southern Railway Station (built in 1903) in downtown Knoxville.
Blue Slip Winery owners Linn Slocum, Jeff Galyon, and Marvin House called the new location for the business “a treasure” and thanked family, friends, business leaders, and a host of others (including local grape growers!) for helping to make their dream a reality. Beginning in 2009, the business was formerly located on Jackson Avenue in the Old City and is Knoxville’s first urban winery.
The new location in the Southern Railway Station provides not only more space for the on-site production of handcrafted wines made from local grapes, it also provides a place where customers can rent space for special events including wedding receptions.
Celebrating the grand opening of the Blue Slip Winery in the Southern Railway Station are from left: Blue Slip Winery owners Jeff Galyon and Linn Slocum, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, and Blue Slip Winery partner Marvin House, CEO of Knoxville-based Merit Construction. Photo by Laura Long Martin, CelebrateKnoxville.com.
Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero praised the location for the new business, saying that the area was “walkable and bikeable,” and featured not only ample parking but also a bus stop right out front.
“This is about being downtown in the heart of the city,” Mayor Rogero told the crowd at the event’s official ribbon cutting. “This is about shopping local.”
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett also expressed the county’s approval of the site, calling it “Napa Valley Tennessee,” and joked that although he did not drink alcohol, he was a certainly a big fan of economic development.
Jim and Betty Tolliver, owners of the Old Smokey Railway Museum, attended the event and said they were “thrilled with how the building has been restored.”
Jim Tolliver pointed out historic items in the building’s showcase shelves and noted that the Southern Railway Station’s former ticket window was still a great feature, along with restored benches and ornamental fireplaces.
–Laura Long Martin, CelebrateKnoxville.com, November 4, 2014.
Jim and Betty Tolliver, owners of the Old Smokey Railway Museum, stand next to former ticket window in the restored Southern Railway Station in downtown Knoxville. The building is now the new location for Knoxville’s first urban winery, Blue Slip Winery. Below, the view of the Southern Railway Station from the Gay Street Bridge. The Blue Slip Winery building is on the right. Photo by Laura Long Martin, CelebrateKnoxville.com.