For the past 36 years, Gourmet’s Market has been a destination for East Tennessee foodies. This month, major renovations began that will nearly triple the size of Gourmet’s Market’s main dining room.
When it opened in 1978, enthusiasts raved about Gourmet’s Market’s selection of hard-to-find cheeses, meats, coffees, teas and cooking utensils. In recent years, the restaurant has grown an even larger following of customers who enjoy the restaurant’s creative cuisine.
According to Adam Tyler, general manager of Gourmet’s Market, the success of the café and bistro at Gourmet’s Market ̶ and the large crowds the restaurant is attracting ̶ necessitated the changes currently underway.
“Gourmet’s Market has a loyal following of customers,” Tyler said. “Over the past few years, that following has grown more rapidly than we ever expected. They pack this place out and line up outside the door to get in. We simply outgrew our dining room. We needed more space to accommodate our customers ̶ and now we’ll have it.”
Founded by Richard and Barbara Strehlow and managed in recent years by their son Eric Nelson, Gourmet’s Market established a reputation as an eclectic gathering spot for coffee and conversation, a light snack or a full-blown meal. Nelson emphasized Gourmet’s Market’s casual atmosphere and locally-grown natural ingredients that attracted college students, business people, and families from all parts of East Tennessee. Tyler took over managing Gourmet’s Market after Nelson’s death earlier this year following a lengthy battle with cancer.
Prior to managing Gourmet’s Market, Tyler served for 18 years as Executive Chef at various sporting venues, convention centers and upscale restaurants and resorts across the country, including University of Tennessee Athletics Department.
With the rapid growth of Gourmet’s Market’s restaurant business, Tyler has also focused his energy on growing the company’s popular catering business. A recently expanded catering menu has secured ongoing catering work with companies including Pilot/Flying-J and Bush Brothers.
An open house is scheduled at Gourmet’s Market on Wednesday, Nov. 5 to showcase the restaurant’s new Holiday Catering Menu with tastings and holiday gift ideas.
“Gourmet’s Market has a long history and a great reputation for serving fantastic food,” Tyler said. “I’ve been entrusted with a great brand and an amazing legacy. I feel a responsibility to the history of this place to move it forward in way that best serves its customers. This expansion is the first of many steps we are taking to serve the people who eat here.”
Along with the expanded dining room, Gourmet’s Market will add group seating to accommodate large groups and business meetings. Tyler plans to host cooking classes and special events at Gourmet’s Market regularly with the new facilities.
Gourmet’s Market is located at 5107 Kingston Pike in Bearden (across from Nama and Shuck’s). The open house will take place Nov. 5 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The restaurant is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 am. until 3 p.m.