Cherokee Country Club, with 975 members and $5 million in annual food-and-beverage revenue, is known throughout Knoxville, Tenn., for its food-and-beverage offer.
“In last year’s member survey, member dining was the most important activity at the club, with a 98% rating,” says Executive Chef David Pinckney.
Cherokee culinary staff’s skill level sets the club apart. The team comprises at least five former executive chefs from other clubs and restaurants alongside 10-plus-year employees that lead the line.
“We have doubled our food and beverage program since I started here 16 years ago,” says Pinckney. “We have also added 300-plus member families in that time.”
In 2022, Cherokee completed a $7 million dining renovation, cementing it as a culinary destination for members and guests.
“The club is enjoying a full-fledged revival with the addition of family dining in the Dogwood Room; the fine dining restaurant, the Magnolia Room; and the renovation of everybody’s favorite room, The Pub, with 28 new bar seats and a view of the river,” says Pinckney. “The club also added a two-tier terrace on the back of the restaurants overlooking the best view of the Tennessee River and the Smokey Mountains. I don’t think anyone objected to the club’s yearly food minimum of $800; it has been eliminated for the upcoming year. [We hope members] choose Cherokee solely because it is [their] first choice for going out to lunch or dinner.”
Click here for Cherokee’s lobster crepe recipe, and read on to learn more about the club’s newly designed dining spaces:
Led by the award-winning Johnson Studio restaurant design firm, the Pub’s renovation introduces a horseshoe bar with a distinctive backlit overbar and wine display as the focal point. This gathering spot offers a wide variety of handcrafted and barrel-aged cocktails, signature draft beers, and specialty wines from around the world. The contemporary menu features traditional favorites with a modern twist, along with various innovative starters and entrees.
The newly added Sequoyah Terrace provides the perfect spot for outdoor dining with its views of Lyons Bend along the Tennessee River. The former Pub lounge has been transformed into a private dining room suitably named the Ross Room in honor of Cherokee’s first president, William Ross. This room adjoins the Pub and serves larger groups looking to enjoy the same energy and excitement that surrounds this space. With two oversized fireplaces, community tables, and expanded seating capacity, the newly renovated Pub is the ideal venue to stop in and meet fellow members for a cocktail and dinner.
The Magnolia Room
This adult-only, upscale dining room features a hyper-seasonal weekly menu that offers specialty steaks, seafood and other chef-inspired dishes.
Boasting beautiful artwork, inviting décor and warm ambient lighting, the Magnolia Room provides Cherokee’s members an intimate dining venue to celebrate special occasions and entertain guests. A unique wine display exquisitely spans the room’s northern wall and sits adjacent to a dual-sided fireplace. This formal setting for refined dining is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday and brunches and dinners every Sunday.
The Dogwood Room
Dogwoods, symbolic of rebirth and growth, set a perfect backdrop for the club’s new family dining venue, the Dogwood Room.
With décor inspired by East Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains, featuring an artfully curated mix of texture, color and comfortable furnishings, this warm and welcoming space is designed to appeal to all ages. The casual menu focuses on fresh, local, and high-quality ingredients, from freshly made bread to gourmet burgers and signature steaks.