In April, Marie and I took a day trip to Chattanooga for her to look into a possible job and for me to look at a neighborhood where we might end up residing. You know what’s within walking distance of this neighborhood? The excellent Terminal Brewhouse, home of some of the best house-made root beer available anywhere, along with a fantastic oatmeal stout called Southsidenstein.
I hadn’t been back to the Terminal since my first visit five years ago, and it really was due for another visit. It’s such a terrific location, and the drinks and the food are very good.
We arrived about noon on a Wednesday, and the place was fairly slow, although it picked up while we were there. We sat outdoors. They have a patio that is probably lovely at the best of times, however, as you can see in the photos below, the city was doing some road construction when we visited and it was quite noisy. Just as well we didn’t bring our five year-old; he would have been far more interested in the excavation equipment than his meal.
We started with an order of the pot roast nachos, which have apparently returned to the menu recently after a roar of customer complaints about their removal. They are quite tasty, using really good beef.
Marie ordered the fru-fru sandwich, omitting the bacon, and enjoyed it. It’s chicken with apples and brie. This has changed in the last five years; it used to be made with pears. Marie enjoyed the sandwich, but she wasn’t crazy about it. The nachos and the root beer pleased her most.
I honestly could not decide what I wanted, even after looking at the menu the night before, and settled on a pizza. This is a pretty basic bar pizza, and not at all bad for what it is, but there are many more imaginative things on the menu, and I really, really should have had a salad instead of this. The Lucky’s Seven salad with blackened chicken would have been a much better choice. At least I got some good exercise after all this melted cheese and stuff. I walked all the way from the restaurant to the river on Market and back via Broad. Should probably do that every day.
The Terminal’s home is incredibly interesting. It was constructed in 1910 and is called the Stong Building. It was originally a businessman’s hotel, and for a little over a decade it was pretty successful. During the 1920s, it began falling on hard times, and the late-night cafeteria was said to have been turned into a speakeasy. Before the 1930s were finished, it had become a house of prostitution. In the early 1940s, a porter at the station next door named Chester Davis bought the building and kicked out all the illicit businesses. Davis was one of the region’s first black business owners, and the Stong Building stayed in his family for three generations. Joe Sliger purchased the building in 2006 and set about restoring it; the restaurant and brewery finally opened in 2009.
As it turned out, we couldn’t find a place in this neighborhood that is large enough for us at a price we could afford at this time, and had to look elsewhere. Nevertheless, it probably won’t take us five years to come here again.
Other blog posts about the Terminal Brewhouse:
You can see all the restaurants that we have visited for our blog on this map, with links back to the original blog posts. It’s a terrific resource for anybody planning a road trip through the southeast!