Proposed Pigeon Forge restaurant with distillery creates dispute

Proposed Pigeon Forge restaurant with distillery creates dispute

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For some business owners in Sevier County, they believe Pigeon Forge is the ideal location, especially off the parkway. For some business owners in Sevier County, they believe Pigeon Forge is the ideal location, especially off the parkway.
"Every time we've tried to work with the city and do something, they've turned it around and used it against us and wrote it against us. That's not right. That's just not fair," said Brent Collier. "Every time we've tried to work with the city and do something, they've turned it around and used it against us and wrote it against us. That's not right. That's just not fair," said Brent Collier.
By CAMERON TAYLOR
6 News Reporter


PIGEON FORGE (WATE) - A business owner is trying to open up a restaurant in Pigeon Forge that would include a distillery. So far the Pigeon Forge Planning Commission isn't moving forward with the idea.

For some business owners in Sevier County, they believe Pigeon Forge is the ideal location, especially off the parkway. Brent Collier who owns several restaurants in the area is eyeing the current Corky's BBQ for his newest idea. 

"It would be similar to a spaghetti warehouse, spaghetti factory, pasta warehouse look and where you'd actually hand craft your spirits and have a winery and a brewery also," said Collier.

He already owns a business similar to that in Gatlinburg, Doc Collier's, which makes its own moonshine. Collier submitted plans for the new restaurant and distillery to Pigeon Forge's Planning Commission on Tuesday, but they denied it.

Currently the city doesn't allow businesses on the parkway to have their own distilleries, wineries, or breweries. 

"For some reason I think there's a secret agenda by a group or some individuals that are trying to keep distilleries off the parkway or to cease competition," said Collier.

Collier points out that there are two distilleries already in Pigeon Forge, The Old Forge Distillery and The Ole Smoky Barn at The Island. Neither are on the parkway.

According to the planning commission, the proposed restaurant also doesn't include on site parking or meet stormwater requirements. Collier says he did get a permit for the stormwater issue and is hoping to clarify the parking problem. 

"Every time we've tried to work with the city and do something, they've turned it around and used it against us and wrote it against us. That's not right. That's just not fair," said Collier. 

The planning commission tells 6 News they won't be amending the ordinance anytime soon. Collier says he will be resubmitting his plans in hopes of opening the restaurant and distillery.

Planning commissioners will be reviewing the new set of plans at their meeting at the end of next month. If they do not approve it, Collier plans on filing a lawsuit against the city.


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