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

29 June, 2022

What to Do for the 4th of July in Knoxville
FIRST THINGS FIRST: I now have multiple friends who think of me when they eat hot dogs. Y'all, I can't stress this enough: I. Love. Hot. Dogs. And there's not a holiday out there that celebrates the hot dog like the 4th of July. If you're new to Knoxville or…
calendar

19 June, 2022

The Bottom: A Look Inside
Over in East Knoxville (at 2340 E. Magnolia Avenue to be specific) lies The Bottom - a magical place where you can listen to book talks, join in on discussions, celebrate community, or even find a book of your own. It was founded by Dr. Enkeshi El-Amin, a local sociologist…
calendar

11 June, 2022

Get To Know Knox Pride
If you’ve been on social media or have taken a trip down Chapman Highway in South Knoxville lately, you may have noticed a new resident in town - the Knox Pride Center! And if you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community in Knoxville and are looking for just that -…

calendar

27 May, 2022

Things to Do in Knoxville When Family Comes to Town
You are very cool and fun. We can just tell. When someone (such as yourself) is very cool and fun, people will inevitably want to visit Knoxville to hang with you. When people inevitably visit, they will probably want to do more than watch Netflix and eat food (I mean,…
calendar

14 December, 2021

New Years Eve in the Scruffy City!
It happened again. Our eyes got dry, we finally caved and blinked, and 💥WHAM💥 it's already the end of 2021. If you're anything like us, you'll be too busy stuffing your face with cookies to form any plans the week after Christmas - SO we're giving you the NYE lowdown…
calendar

26 October, 2021

Halloween Events in Knoxville
It's Halloween week (Halloweek, if you will😉) witch means there is plenty to boo in Knoxville, Tennessee! Whether you want to hit as many spooky events as possible or you need to oh-so-carefully select your one golden extroverted opportunity, here are a bunch of Halloween events for all ghosts and…

calendar

9 May, 2022

5 Must-Try Vegan Meals in Knoxville
When you think of the South, vegan food isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. No, it’s more like biscuits and BBQ or bust. Needless to say, when moving to Knoxville from a very vegan-centric city, I was super nervous about the vegan and plant-based scene. But let…
calendar

20 April, 2022

5 Flights to Try in Knoxville
From coffee flights to beer flights to flights to exciting places, Knoxville is full of flights and we are fans of all of 'em. But as much as we love all those flights to vacations - it's considerably cheaper (and much easier) to do the beverage kind on a whim.…
calendar

7 February, 2022

The Perfect Brunch Spot for Your Enneagram Type
We at New2Knox believe it is always a good time to brunch. Similarly, we believe it’s always a good time for self-reflection. Just in time for Galentines Day, we married these two beliefs and figured out the best local places to brunch in Knoxville based on your enneagram type. (If…

calendar

9 December, 2021

The Ultimate Knoxville Gift Guide
If you have already finished your Christmas shopping, we are fundamentally not the same kind of person. I probably have a lot to learn from you and I’m frankly not sure why you clicked on this article at all. However, if you have been quietly muttering to yourself, “Everything will…
calendar

30 November, 2021

5 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Friend Who Has Everything
​It’s the time of year for ribbons, bobbles, and credit card debt (or however that Christmas song goes 😂). When it comes to gifts though (and credit card debt for that matter), we prefer experiences. You get to share it with your loved one, make lasting memories, and up your…

calendar

19 June, 2022

The Bottom: A Look Inside
Over in East Knoxville (at 2340 E. Magnolia Avenue to be specific) lies The Bottom - a magical place where you can listen to book talks, join in on discussions, celebrate community, or even find a book of your own. It was founded by Dr. Enkeshi El-Amin, a local sociologist…
calendar

19 March, 2021

Oglewood Avenue: A Look Inside
Jade Adams is the stylish, hilarious owner of Oglewood Avenue - and frankly, we’d like to be her new best friend. (It’s not weird, okay? Don’t make it weird.) Besides, considering the way she takes care of her plants, she’d be a good best friend to have. Let’s back up:…
calendar

5 January, 2021

5 Fave Black-Owned Businesses in Knoxville
If you’re anything like me (white… oh so very white), you may have realized you had a lot to learn last summer. You may have also been surprised to learn that COVID was hitting Black-owned businesses (even in Knoxville) disproportionately hard. My favorite part of 2020 life was ordering local…

calendar

19 June, 2022

The Bottom: A Look Inside
Over in East Knoxville (at 2340 E. Magnolia Avenue to be specific) lies The Bottom - a magical place where you can listen to book talks, join in on discussions, celebrate community, or even find a book of your own. It was founded by Dr. Enkeshi El-Amin, a local sociologist…
calendar

11 June, 2022

Get To Know Knox Pride
If you’ve been on social media or have taken a trip down Chapman Highway in South Knoxville lately, you may have noticed a new resident in town - the Knox Pride Center! And if you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community in Knoxville and are looking for just that -…
calendar

28 April, 2022

What to Do If You Only Have One Day in Knoxville
Knoxville, if you ask us, is the cutest lil city in the south and deserves all the days. We know you would definitely want to stay in Knoxville forever and ever amen. However, if other clearly less cool people are passing through for the day, your main goal is to…

calendar

6 April, 2022

How to Hike Fort Dickerson Loop
Fort Dickerson Park (home of Augusta Quarry, formerly known as Fort Dickerson Quarry) is a pleasant, easy hike just barely south of downtown Knoxville. You've got plenty of scenic overlooks, but also a lil bit of that ✨scruff✨ Knoxville holds so dear. It's also only 3-ish miles, so you can…
calendar

18 February, 2022

Top Places to Cozy Up by a Fire in Knoxville
If you’re new to Knoxville, there is something you need to know about Tennessee weather… it can be a little crazy. I’m not sure who originally said this, but the saying: “If you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes and it'll change,” definitely applies to our scruffy…
calendar

9 November, 2021

5 Spots for Fall Leaves in Knoxville!
Fall has finally hit Knoxville, Tennessee. Is she consistently a month late? Yes. Is she always gone too soon? Also yes. Because of this, we wanted to waste no time sharing our favorite local spots so you can go find them and throw colorful foliage in the air and spin…

calendar

16 November, 2021

Glitterville: A Look Inside
Stephen Brown is a rather unassuming name for one of the most vibrant human beings on the planet. Like many other Stephens, this one was born in East Tennessee and went to school at the University of Tennessee. But this is where the similarities end. See, from there, Stephen Brown…
calendar

19 March, 2021

Oglewood Avenue: A Look Inside
Jade Adams is the stylish, hilarious owner of Oglewood Avenue - and frankly, we’d like to be her new best friend. (It’s not weird, okay? Don’t make it weird.) Besides, considering the way she takes care of her plants, she’d be a good best friend to have. Let’s back up:…


location icon site icon

Search Bar

Search
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt
location icon site icon

Don’t Miss the News!

Subscribe to the New2Knox newsletter to get monthly 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