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‘Extended family’: Entrepreneurs Add to Mix, ‘Beach Vibe’ 
On breaks, Chris Morton last year would sometimes walk from his restaurant a few blocks to Suttree Landing Park and take a quick refreshing swim, or kayak, to clear his head. He’d be back at work in less than an hour.

The park, and the South Waterfront, are what made him a true believer in Sevier Avenue.

He’s a co-owner of both Alliance Brewing Co., 1130 Sevier Ave., and South Coast Pizza, 1103 Sevier Ave. And soon, he’ll be one of the first tenants to move into City South apartments, just down the street.

“People come across the bridge to play – to play on our beach and enjoy Suttree Landing Park,” Morton says. 

“It’s why we came down here in the first place,” he says, the “we” referring to his restaurant team – a group of partners and employees that has stayed with him and stayed intact for years. 

“We like to pull people in and build relationships. Here in South Knoxville, there’s a beach vibe – it’s easy and laid back.”

Chris Morton, co-owner of South Coast Pizza

Morton is a pioneering member of a fraternity of businesses – restaurants, breweries, a coffeehouse, a bridal boutique, a veterinary clinic, and others – that have adopted Sevier Avenue and contributed to its unique character.

Sevier Avenue just a few years ago could be categorized as hushed – or perhaps moribund. Now, there’s an excitement, Morton and others say. Pre-pandemic, a new business seemed to be opening up every month.

Morton sees the group of entrepreneurs as “extended family.”

“We’re all doing OK and sticking together,” he says. “Great people are moving down here and making it better for everyone – nobody loses.”
Posted by evreeland On 16 February, 2021 at 8:48 AM