This country is full of rich history and stories of immigrants coming over on boats with little or no money hoping to start a new life, make their fortune, or find adventure. Sometimes several members of a family came over together; one such family eventually settled in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Most of us have heard the basic story of George, Frank, and Harry Regas, and how they built a family restaurant dynasty. I thought this story might have been overdone, but as I look through the various books that document the history of Knoxville, I find barely a mention of the restaurant, and literally nothing on the family itself. I am baffled and try to understand how this could be. Could it be that most of our information is gleaned from the numerous newspaper articles that have been written over the years to celebrate the different milestones of twenty years, forty years, fifty years, seventy-five years, and now this, their ninetieth year in business at Regas Restaurant? Could it be from each of us having a personal memory of times we have spent at this very special establishment during the many milestones of our own lives? Whatever the connection it seems to me that the focus has been on the restaurant, but what about the family Regas?
Today when we see restaurants come and go, businesses succeed and fail, it is a comfort to see the love put into the fabulous food, the attention shown by the staff, and the continual presence of the founding family that makes you feel as though you have been invited to the dinner table in their home, where you are likely to run into your friends, local celebrities and politicians, and even your own family members. The Gathering Place creates the perfect setting for getting together any night after work to relax, talk, and enjoy live music on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Regas has been the place to go through the years even when others were moving out to the suburbs, but now that the downtown area is alive once more, coming to Regas is like coming home.
Through the coming months I will be bringing to you the Heart of Regas; beat by beat, from the beginning, with the ups and downs, victories and heartbreak. What do you remember? What story has been passed down in your family from encounters at Regas? Come sit by the fire and share. See you there! www.regassquare.com/.
Don't forget to subscribe to this feed.