KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — After plans to redevelop the historic Kern’s Bakery in South Knoxville were announced in 2015, the next phase of construction on the 16-acre, mixed-use site is underway and we’ve learned many of the businesses which will occupy the food hall.

Phase II construction has begun at Kern’s Bakery to create an 18-booth food hall, market, outdoor entertainment area, office space and a rooftop bar. Flagship Kern’s, a 310-bedroom apartment community, was completed in Phase I of the project.

Food hall construction is estimated to be completed in 2023.

Developers have announced the following businesses will be featured in the 18-merchant food hall.

  • Ava Italian
  • Awaken Coffee
  • Biscuit and Bird
  • Captain Muchacho’s
  • Drop Zone Distilling
  • Hey Bear Café
  • Lanai
  • Milk + Honey Creamery
  • Myrtle’s Bakehouse
  • The Donut Theory
  • Won Kitchen
  • Zukku Sushi

Drop Zone Distilling, Knoxville’s first U.S. Paratrooper Veteran-owned moonshine distillery, will have the largest presence with 5,400 square feet and an outdoor patio along Chapman Highway. Mae Lee’s Boutique, a women’s clothing store, will open a 1,419-square foot storefront facing Chapman Highway.

Other retailers coming to the site include local florist Flourish Flowers, stationery and gift retailer Archer Paper Goods and fitness training studio F45.

“This building is such a historic masterpiece full of character and authenticity”, says Timothy Martin, owner and broker, TMA Real Estate. “Kern’s Bakery Food Hall is building upon Knoxville’s deep food heritage and is the perfect place for our family of chefs and entrepreneurs to share their unique brand with the Knoxville community. With the variety of concepts, there truly is something for everyone.”

The outdoor event lawn will feature a performance stage for concerts as well as a large screen for movies and other entertainment. The greenspace will have ample area for lawn games, festivals, food trucks and other attractions.

Kern’s Bakery will also feature an indoor stage for live performances. Two bars will serve the indoor stage and food hall guests while the main bar will serve the event lawn patrons and food hall consumers.

Other amenities include free high-speed internet, patio seating, a dedicated dog park, direct access to the proposed three-mile trail along the G&O Railway tracks and close proximity to Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness.

Developers are still looking to fill two food hall stalls and several thousand square feet of retail space, according to a release.

The 75,000-square-foot historic bakery was first constructed in 1931 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2017. A press release from developers states that the third and final phase of Kern’s Bakery is still in the planning stage.

“The animated ‘loaf of bread’ sign that tops Kern’s Bakery is a Knoxville icon,” Four Stones Real Estate partner Alex Dominguez says. “The people of Knoxville have been waiting a long time for someone to have the vision and the follow-through to turn this landmark property into a vibrant destination where they can go to enjoy good food and a lively atmosphere with family and friends. We’re proud to be the ones to turn a vision into a reality. We can’t wait to welcome the Knoxville community to Kern’s Bakery Food Hall next year.”