Jig & Reel: A Look Inside

location icon site icon
Boyd’s Jig & Reel: A Look Inside

# All Categories

# Food & Drink

location icon site icon

A Look Inside:: Boyd's Jig & Reel

What makes a good bar great? A bartender who can juggle pint glasses? The physical bar itself? Happy Hour specials? At Jig and Reel, I would say it’s the overall essence that makes it so unique. Just as scotch is one of those special spirits that manages to distill the essence of Scotland into a bottle, Jig and Reel has managed to capture the spirit of the Old City into a bar.

Boyd’s Jig & Reel: A Look Inside

"I love the fast-paced environment as well as the cozy, comfortable, know-your-neighbor environment."

Right on the corner of Central Street and Jackson Ave, Boyd’s Jig and Reel has become a downtown staple since it opened back in 2011 by its namesakes, Randy and Jenny Boyd. During a trip to Scotland, the two fell in love with Scottish pubs and the tradition of musicians just stopping by for impromptu jam sessions. As a fiddle player herself, Jenny wanted a place to play like that in Knoxville – so after purchasing the old Manhattan’s building, they made that dream come true. 

Randy and Jenny believe that the heritage of a place can be preserved and passed on through its music. This belief helped shape the bar’s mission (yes, a bar with a mission statement!) to “celebrate and preserve the regions’ musical heritage by playing the tunes and passing them on from musician to musician.”

When you walk in, you immediately feel the genuine down-home ambiance. It’s cozy and unpretentious. As the kids would say, it’s a vibe. The main bar area has comfortable booths, a fireplace, and beautifully displays one of the largest scotch selections in the world. After talking to the Bar Manager, George Talley, I learned they are currently housing nearly 800 scotches, including their blends, with the majority being single malt (or as Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec would say, the nectar of the gods). 

If you’re like me and know more about Ron Swanson quotes than actual scotch or whisky, fear not! Jig and Reel offers a full bar and doesn’t play second fiddle to anyone when it comes to regular music sessions. There is live music five days a week- hosting everything from Old Time Jam sessions to regular Irish, Scottish, and Celtic Jam sessions throughout the month. Fun Fact: the instruments hanging up in the stage room aren’t just there for decoration. Anyone can grab a guitar, fiddle, or banjo right off the wall and join in on the fun. Anyone. Seriously, how many bars do you know that have this option? This is a musician’s paradise. 

It’s exactly that spirit of community Gina Truitt, general manager of Boyd’s Jig and Reel, loves. “I love the community that we have. I love the live music aspect. I love the fast-paced environment as well as the cozy, comfortable, know-your-neighbor environment. And I like being able to be in a place that likes to do things that benefit the community.”

Boyd’s Jig & Reel: A Look Inside Multi Images
Boyd’s Jig & Reel: A Look Inside Multi Images

Not only is Jig and Reel a comfortable pub atmosphere – they’ve also been a host to tons of local and national acts while participating as a venue in the past for the beloved Big Ears Music Festival, Rhythm ‘N Blooms, and WDVX’s Weekly Live Radio Show. Just as their logo states, Jig and Reel is truly a musical pub whose main mission is sharing music that highlights the region’s Appalachian culture with the community.

 In addition to good drinks and music, you may also be surprised to learn they have a full menu of traditional Scottish fare including bangers and mash, haggis, and scotch eggs. Best part? All this delicious comfort food will be served to you by staff wearing traditional kilts. While I was there, I had one of their most popular items, the fish and chips, and it did not disappoint. Pro-Tip: They are also one of the only places downtown that offers a full late-night menu.

Another Don’t-Miss-Menu-Item: Chicken & Chips

So, the next time you want to get Jig-gy with it (please excuse my millennial Will Smith reference), head to Boyd’s Jig and Reel for good music, good food, and all the good vibes. 

Nena’s Fun Fast Facts:

  • Jig & Reel’s building has been around since the late 1800s and has been the site of an apothecary, a saloon, and a jazz club.
  • They have a fried Mars bar on the dessert menu. Do it and thank me later. 
  • The word above the bar, Sláinte, (pronounced slahn-cha) is Gaelic for “good health or cheers” and is the proper way to cheers someone while at Jig & Reel.

Whisky Histry:

  • The origin of whiskey began over 1000 years ago when distillation made the migration from mainland Europe into Scotland and Ireland via traveling monks.
  • “Whiskey” is a Gaelic word that means “water of life.”
  • Technically both spellings of “Whisky” and “Whiskey” are correct.
  • “International Whiskey Day” is March 27 while “World Whisky Day” is the third Saturday in May and “National Scotch Day” is July 27.

location icon site icon

Check Them Out!

Publish date: 11 May.

Images by: Emilie Stooksbury

Share this article with your friends:

calendar

7 June, 2021

Golden Roast Coffee Roasters: A Look Inside
Irregular pink marble floors, original exposed beams, the vestiges of the old church kitchen—these are just some of the charming architectural features welcoming customers at The Golden Roast Marble City.
calendar

3 June, 2021

Navitat Canopy Adventures
Navitat is a hidden gem and a super cool adventure course built high in the canopy of the green forest of South Knoxville. It's is an entire setup of multiple adventure and zipline courses, ranging from beginner, moderate, to difficult levels - legitimately something the whole family or friend group…
calendar

28 May, 2021

5 Must-Try Burgers in Knoxville
Whether you're dreaming of backyard cookouts or aesthetic patio hangs, most of us are bound to experience a craving over the next few months only a juicy burger can satisfy. Honestly, it only makes sense that Memorial Day weekend kicks off with National Burger Day!

calendar

3 June, 2021

Navitat Canopy Adventures
Navitat is a hidden gem and a super cool adventure course built high in the canopy of the green forest of South Knoxville. It's is an entire setup of multiple adventure and zipline courses, ranging from beginner, moderate, to difficult levels - legitimately something the whole family or friend group…
calendar

27 May, 2021

Knoxville Adventure Collective
So many of us move to Knoxville for her access to all things outdoors. Jon and the folks at Knoxville Adventure Collective can legitimately help you start experiencing and exploring it.

calendar

7 June, 2021

Golden Roast Coffee Roasters: A Look Inside
Irregular pink marble floors, original exposed beams, the vestiges of the old church kitchen—these are just some of the charming architectural features welcoming customers at The Golden Roast Marble City.
calendar

28 May, 2021

5 Must-Try Burgers in Knoxville
Whether you're dreaming of backyard cookouts or aesthetic patio hangs, most of us are bound to experience a craving over the next few months only a juicy burger can satisfy. Honestly, it only makes sense that Memorial Day weekend kicks off with National Burger Day!
calendar

11 May, 2021

Boyd’s Jig & Reel: A Look Inside
What makes a good bar great? A bartender who can juggle pint glasses? The physical bar itself? At Jig and Reel, I would say it’s the overall essence that makes it so unique. Just as scotch is one of those special spirits that manages to distill the essence of Scotland into a bottle,…

calendar

6 May, 2021

10 Kid-Friendly Spots to Hang
Getting mom friends together with kids in tow can be challenging. To make things easier, we've compiled ten of our favorite spots to get together with the whole crew!
calendar

16 April, 2021

7 Date Night Ideas
So you've basically forgotten how to leave the house. We get it! To help you out, we compiled a launching pad of ideas for your next date night or girls night out!
calendar

1 March, 2021

7 Reasons to Call Knoxville Home
Not here yet? Need to convince a friend? We’re here to tell ya seven (of the literally countless reasons) to call Knoxville home.

calendar

3 June, 2021

Navitat Canopy Adventures
Navitat is a hidden gem and a super cool adventure course built high in the canopy of the green forest of South Knoxville. It's is an entire setup of multiple adventure and zipline courses, ranging from beginner, moderate, to difficult levels - legitimately something the whole family or friend group…
calendar

27 May, 2021

Knoxville Adventure Collective
So many of us move to Knoxville for her access to all things outdoors. Jon and the folks at Knoxville Adventure Collective can legitimately help you start experiencing and exploring it.

calendar

19 March, 2021

Oglewood Avenue: A Look Inside
Jade, owner of Oglewood Avenue, is not going to let you kill her plants. No, buying plants from Oglewood Avenue is personal. In fact, you don't buy them at all. You adopt them. (*collective pause to recover from cuteness*)
calendar

5 January, 2021

5 Fave Black-Owned Businesses in Knoxville
Learn more about five of our favorite Black-owned businesses you should absolutely check out this week!


location icon site icon

Don’t Miss the News!

Subscribe to the New2Knox newsletter to get weekly updates on all things Knoxville.

Loading
location icon site icon

Upcoming Events

location icon site icon

Move2Knox?

Moving can be daunting, but we’re here to help it go as smoothly as possible.

location icon site icon

Want to Advertise?

Want to advertise your business or event? Let’s chat!

Location Icon Site Icon

OUR INSTAGRAM