New rooftop bar and restaurant coming to West Town Mall

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — West Town Mall is getting a new addition.

Loco Burro Fresh Tex Mex Cantina is coming to Knoxville. The original restaurant has been in Gatlinburg for over 10 years, but now a second location will be opening at West Town Mall as a rooftop bar.

Owner Chad Kennedy says he was ready to expand to the Knoxville market after successfully running four restaurants in Gatlinburg through his business, Kennedy Concepts.

“We felt everything there was the right fit for us. It’s in a good part of town. There are still restaurants there performing fairly well. Drakes. Walk-Ons is new. Cheesecake Factory has rebounded pretty well, and just with the guaranteed foot traffic of the mall we felt that it was a good fit for us,” Kennedy said.

In a time where online shopping has become more prevalent and shopping malls are closing their doors, Kennedy says he still feels confident that his restaurant will do well.

“We’re really trying to do something different in Knoxville not only with the Tex Mex menu but with an environment and ambiance that can’t be met,” he said.

Construction is already underway. Kennedy says the new spot at the mall will look a lot like the Gatlinburg restaurant, but will also have TVs a VIP section, a full bar, and views of the mountains.

Kennedy also says with COVID-19 restrictions still in place, the outdoor rooftop layout provides a perfect environment to safely serve customers, and distance them appropriately.

“People are excited. People are excited for something different, something new, something fresh, something outside the box and I think that’s what we’re going to deliver,” Kennedy said.

The restaurant is scheduled to open June 2021.