Johnson City Press: Grand opening, new events highlight Evening on Elk in downtown Elizabethton
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Grand opening, new events highlight Evening on Elk in downtown Elizabethton

John Thompson • Updated May 9, 2019 at 8:52 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Downtown Elizabethton is going to be a happening place tonight with its first ever “Evening on Elk”; the grand opening of the city’s first craft beer tap house, Riverside Tap House, 635 E. Elk Ave.; and the second weekend for Big Dan’s BBQ, 633 E. Elk Ave.

Chasity Thompson, proprietor of Building 520 in downtown Elizabethton is the prime mover of the organizing effort that has become Evening on Elk. Thompson has been a retailer in downtown for several years now. Her business was formerly called Crazy Creek before the name change, which reflects the business address of 520 E. Elk.

Thompson said she was hoping to bring a little more excitement to downtown Elizabethton. She has succeeded in getting downtown business owners to join with Project Move to make the second Friday night of each month during the summer designated as Evenings on Elk.

There will also be outdoor activities going on down at the Covered Bridge Park.

In addition to the merchants staying open until 9 p.m., there will also be a fleet of food trucks parked at the corner of East Elk and Elm Street. For those who want to stay later, there will be an event wrap up at the end of the downtown, with Jiggy Ray’s Pizza and the Riverside Tap House staying open to 11 p.m.

Michael Howell, cofounder of Riverside Tap House, said it has been a busy time getting the building ready for the grand opening. He said there will be 12 taps of various beers to choose from this evening.

Riverside does not serve food, but another new business adjoining the tap house will be happy to provide some of the best barbecue in downtown Elizabethton. Big Dan’s is a well known business, having operated his restaurant on the Stoney Creek Highway for years, first as Creekers beginning in 2010 and then as Big Dan’s since 2015.

Owner Dan Britt has closed his Stoney Creek location to open his restaurant downtown. He has brought his two smokers from his old location, so the food will be identical. He said he did make an adjustment with the menu to speed up service.

Dan opened his downtown location on May 1 and the first night was busy, with lines forming to get some of the new offering. The Wednesday special with buy one medium sandwich and get one half price is proving to be popular.

There was a time when Elizabethton was a very lively place on Fridays. Thanks to people like Chasity Thompson, Michael Howell and Dan Britt, that is becoming true once again.

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