Date: 3rd May, 2020
Location:Harrogate’s Lounge, 409 South Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902, USA

Let me clear up one thing right away- Suttrees and Harrogate’s are one in the same but, at the same time, they are not. For all intents and purposes, Harrogate’s is the barcade and Suttree’s is the brewpub.

Confused yet? Stick with me pilgrim.

According to their website, “Harrogate’s is basically the misfit sister bar of Suttree’s. It is an arcade that serves really great beer in a funky atmosphere, and connects to Suttree’s by a sliding door. Featuring games like Galaga, Skee Ball, and plenty of pinball, Harrogate’s Lounge is just an awesome place to hang out. Tommy’s pinball wizard presides over our one of a kind light up pinball bar.”

The pinballs available to play are:

AC/DC (Pro Vault Edition) (Stern, 2017)
Aerosmith (Stern, 2017)
Batman 66 Premium (Stern, 2016)
Deadpool Pro (Stern, 2018)
Evel Knievel (Bally, 1977)
The Getaway: High Speed II (Williams, 1992)
Guardians of the Galaxy Pro (Stern, 2017)
Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast Pro (Stern, 2018)
Star Wars Pro (Stern, 2017)
X-Men Pro (Stern, 2012)
Blackout (Williams, 1980)
Dolly Parton (Bally, 1978)

Some of the pinballs at Harrogate's
Some of the pinballs at Harrogate’s
Solid-state Bally classics to modern Stern titles
From solid-state Bally classics to modern Stern titles
Bally's Evel Knievel
Bally’s Evel Knievel
Stern's Iron Maiden and Star Wars
Stern’s Iron Maiden and Star Wars

Harrogate’s is found more-or-less in the center of Knoxville’s ‘Old City’ neighborhood which once upon a time contained the region’s highest density of saloons and for a while it was Knoxville’s red light district. At the same time, somehow, it was a residential neighborhood that included families of free slaves and their descendants as well as several waves of European immigrants.

The Old City is the hub of surrounding neighborhoods such as Irish Town, Cripple Creek, The Bowery, Gunter’s Flats and The Bottom.

Suttree’s takes its name from the title character Cornelius Suttree in the novel written by Cormac McCarthy in 1951. Suttree has frequently been called one of the best works of 20th-century American literature and was the late movie reviewer Roger Ebert’s favorite novel.

At the time, the Old City district was a mixed-race commercial neighborhood of “loud and shoddy commerce” existing in a sort of legal twilight that allowed a market for ‘splo’ which was a name for cheap home made liquor.

By contrast, Suttree’s of 2021 offers a stellar selection of micro-brewed ‘high gravity’ beers on tap (usually over 32 beers on tap) and numerous other beers by the bottle. The selection of spirits is equally diverse, due in no small part to Suttree’s being a short drive from some of Tennessee and Kentucky’s most famous distilleries.

Sutree’s has a small kitchen that offers a well-curated listing of sandwiches, featuring the Frommage au Trois 3-cheese grilled cheese sandwich and the Royale With Cheese smoked brisket, bacon and sharp cheddar cheese sandwich served on a buttery toasted roll. Further down the menu, Tex-Mex selections can be found such as their pulled pork nachos and a Pork Squella-Dilla quesadilla. To my surprise, there are also five ramen bowls on the menu such as the Veg-O-Ramen (made with Miso broth), Matt’s Ramen and the Rise and Shine breakfast-style ramen bowl.

The Veg-O-Ramen
The Veg-O-Ramen

A selection of munchies and appetizers is also available for your enjoyment.

Harrogate’s has its own bar that has been constructed from old pinball playfields covered in a thick layer of clear resin. Colorful lights and other features add character to the bar.

The bar top made from pinball playfields
The bar top made from illuminated pinball playfields with Gottlieb’s Pink Panther at one end
The bar top made from pinball playfields
Gottlieb’s Circus sits at the opposite end of the bar top

At least when we visited, there was no table service; orders for food or beverages must be made with the bartender and a they will give you a vibrating pager so you know when to pick up your order from the bar.

The beer menu at Harrogate's
The beer menu at Harrogate’s

The games are mostly located on the Harrogate’s side, with a number of vintage stand up video games, Super Chexx hockey and table soccer (Foosball) games joining the pinballs listed at the beginning of this review.

The Super Chexx hockey game
The Super Chexx hockey game

The Dolly Parton and Blackout pinballs are on the Suttree’s side, while all of the other pinballs are on the Harrogate’s side. Some video games at Harrogate’s are blocked off and I assume eventually will be brought on-line when they are ready (repaired?).

Blackout and Dolly Parton
Blackout and Dolly Parton
House of the Dead video shooter
The House of the Dead video shooter

Trust me when I say it is far easier to find the games than it has been for me to describe where they are located.

The area surrounding the Super Chexx hockey game sports a number of posters and souvenir items from the USA vs USSR 1980 Miracle Olympic hockey contest and the Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup victories. Almost as an afterthought, there is a Nashville Predators hockey team banner hanging on display also.

Some of the memorabilia from the 1980 game
Some of the memorabilia from the 1980 game
Not forgetting the Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup victories
Not forgetting the Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup victories

The games are well taken care of and the ones we played had no issues with either electrical or mechanical features. Newer games are 75 cents per credit while older ones are 50 cents. A change machine is conveniently located in Harrogate’s accepting $1-$5-$10 and $20 dollar bills.

As you will note in the photos accompanying this review, both Suttree’s and Harrogate’s are dark and have predominantly dark-ish decoration. It was difficult to get decent photographs but I hope that you can tell reasonably well from the photos what the ‘vibe’ is.

Recently Harrogate’s have expanded their hours in response to easing of pandemic restrictions. Please check their website for the latest information, but as of this writing they are open 4pm to midnight, 7 days a week. Patrons are still asked to wear masks when not eating or drinking.

Suttree’s and Harrogate’s are, without question, ‘must visits’ when in Knoxville. The charm of the buildings located along Gay Street in the Old City is worth the time to visit by themselves. The great food, libations and games at Suttree’s and Harrogate’s are nothing less than welcome bonuses.

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