After parting ways with Papa John’s, Peyton Manning is getting back into the restaurant business. The former NFL quarterback and two-time Super Bowl champ is opening a hotel bar and restaurant across from his alma mater, the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The new venture is a “Western-inspired, high-end watering hole” called Saloon 16, a reference to the 43-year-old’s nickname, “The Sheriff,” and his college football jersey number.
“The vintage saloon will boast a refined, yet old-school, experience including a jukebox, dart board, live piano and outdoor dining,” according to a press release from AJ Capital Partners, the hospitality real estate development company that acquired the space.
Saloon 16 will be set up in the current Hilton Garden Inn, which is undergoing renovations until its reopening in the spring of 2020. The 112-room hotel will be rebranded as Graduate Knoxville, joining the youthful school-inspired Graduate Hotels collection featured in university towns and cities across America. There are currently 14 others, with an additional 17 under development slated to open by the end of 2020.
It’s too soon to say what’ll be on the menu at Manning’s new spot, but since it’s smack-dab in the middle of the South we can only hope it’ll feature Southern foods that the rest of the world needs to try.