Peyton Manning is opening a Western-themed restaurant in Knoxville

Peyton Manning and Graduate Hotels will open a restaurant in Knoxville as part of a hotel renovation and acquisition across from the University of Tennessee.

Saloon 16 will be located in what is right now the Hilton Garden Inn on Cumberland Avenue, which will be rebranded. The restaurant will be a western-inspired, high-end "watering hole." The name is inspired by the former NFL quarterback's nickname, "The Sheriff," and his University of Tennessee 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.

AJ Capital Partners acquired the Hilton Garden Inn. Prior to and during renovations, it will be operated as an independent brand, The Volunteer Hotel. Renovations will begin in December 2019 and are estimated to be completed in Spring 2020.

Once renovations are complete, the 112-room hotel will join the Graduate Hotels collection and will be rebranded as Graduate Knoxville.

The renovations will include upgrading rooms, common spaces, event space and the addition of Saloon 16 and a Poindexter coffee shop.

The Graduate Hotels brand was created for “travelers who seek memory-making journeys,” according to a press release. There are 14 Graduate hotels in operation and 17 under development.

AJ Capital Partners is a hospitality real estate team based in Chicago.

Peyton Manning's University of Tennessee legacy

Manning passed for 11,201 yards and 89 touchdowns during his Tennessee career from 1994-97. He helped lead the Vols to an SEC title in 1997.

Manning was the Heisman runner-up his senior season, when he threw for 3,819 yards and 36 touchdowns. He was a consensus first-team All-American and won the Maxwell, Davey O'Brien, Johnny Unitas and Sullivan awards, along with the Campbell Trophy, also known as the "Academic Heisman."

Manning went on to spend 18 years in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. He was named MVP five times and won two Super Bowls.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by Breanna McDermott

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Published June 14, 2019