Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tony’s Taste of the Town – Knoxville


The Alabama –Tennessee rivalry is anything but hospitable. However, just because the rivalry is bitter does not mean fans attending the game must deal with the hostility the whole time they are in Knoxville.

Calhoun’s On the River is a traditional barbecue restaurant just minutes from Neyland Stadium.

“We are all about Southern hospitality,” general manager Tammy Dawn said. “Our guests feel at home and welcome. We specialize in barbecue, so it is a very laid back and relaxed atmosphere.”

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Calhoun’s On the River is the restaurant’s location.

“It is right there on the [Tennessee] river,” said University of Tennessee alum Valerie Behne. “Neyland Stadium backs up to the river so people can dock their boats at Calhoun’s, eat there and go walk to the stadium.”

Dawn said many of her customers take advantage of the restaurant’s convenient location.

“There are two different docks within a two-block radius that you can park boats at,” Dawn said. “We have got boats here that have been here since the end of August.”

Like most quality restaurants on game day, Calhoun’s expects to be packed for Saturday’s matchup. Dawn said she recommends that guests going to the game after their meal allow themselves three hours in order to make it to the game.

“It will be very crowded,” Dawn said. “We plan on opening and it being very strong from the get-go. Probably by 2 to 3 p.m. at the latest it will be jam-packed.”

Although the crowd at Calhoun’s might cause a little wait for guests, fans attending the game after their meal at Calhoun’s do not have far to walk in order to get to Neyland Stadium.

“That’s what everyone does,” Dawn said. “You can see the stadium from here and hear it.”

Calhoun’s is also a great place to be before the game. Besides a sizable bar, the restaurant also has a patio and 12 TVs so guests can watch the action from around the SEC.            

“This is a great place also because we have a lot of tailgating in our parking lot,” Dawn said. “Normally the visiting team takes over our parking lot, and their fans know to start here.”

The menu at Calhoun’s has the best of the barbecue world, from rotisserie-smoked chicken to Calhoun’s award-winning ribs. Dawn said she definitely recommends that guests try the ribs and the steaks.

Even if you are not going to Knoxville for a football game, Calhoun’s is still a great place to visit. Behne said Calhoun’s is also an ideal date location.

“It’s a great first date place,” Behne said.  “You can go sit outside. You are right there where the water is. It is a great atmosphere, it’s fun, it’s loud, it’s laid back and the food is really good too.”

Calhoun’s meets just about every requirement needed to have a good game day experience, and should provide a memorable experience to guests visiting over the weekend.

“It is going to be insane,” Dawn said. “But it is a great insane that we welcome.”

More to Discover