Several Knoxville restaurants expanding, hiring

Several Knoxville restaurants expanding, hiring

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"The next location, we're going to add Vietnamese," Asia Cafe co-owner Phillip Lim said. "The next location, we're going to add Vietnamese," Asia Cafe co-owner Phillip Lim said.
Sunspot is moving to a new location and doubling its capacity. Sunspot is moving to a new location and doubling its capacity.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Despite a sluggish economy, some Knoxville restaurants say business is better than ever and are expanding their establishments.

Asia Cafe in North Knoxville is opening a new location in West Knoxville on Gleason Drive March 2. The new location is around five times larger and will have extended hours.

"Asia Cafe's name is already out there and people just love to come here," Asia Cafe co-owner Phillip Lim said.

Lim has co-owned Asia Cafe for four years and said business has never suffered.

"The reason I can make it through these terrible times is because it is all home recipes," Lim said.

But it's not only Asia Cafe that's growing.

Dead End BBQ on Sutherland Avenue is opening a second location in Maryville that's expected to open by November.

Sunspot near the University of Tennessee campus moved to a new and bigger location down the street, doubling its capacity. It's now located at 2200 Cumberland Ave.

"When the economy took a downturn, it was a big wake-up call and really you just needed to battle out for every single customer that you can get," Sunspot General Manager Mark Hawkins said.

According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurants account for ten percent of the workforce in Tennessee, with almost 268,000 jobs.

Lim said the new location for Asia Cafe will employ up to 60 people, which is double what the current location employs.

Lim said he will also expand the menu in West Knoxville.

"The next location, we're going to add Vietnamese," Lim said.

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