GATLINBURG, TENN. – November 1, 2021 – After operating Gatlinburg’s popular Fannie Farkle’s for more than 40 years, owner Marion Paul has sold the business to brothers Jim and Matt Knowles. The private sale was finalized November 1, 2021.
Paul launched Fannie Farkle’s in 1981 as a place for vacationers and locals to enjoy great food surrounded by a fun atmosphere. The “Ogle Dog” corn dog and Sausage Subs served at Fannie Farkle’s are “legendary” according to many Smoky Mountain visitors and the arcade is a showcase of the most current and popular video and electronic games.
“Fannie Farkle’s uses the slogan, ‘Come for the food, stay for the fun,’” Paul explained. “We set out in 1981 to create a fun place for families using a simple formula – and it has grown beyond our wildest dreams.”
With a background in carnivals, Paul recognized the potential of the Gatlinburg Parkway the first time she saw it. She also knew the Great Smoky Mountains National Park draws millions of people to Gatlinburg every year. Her instincts were correct and Fannie Farkle’s has thrived for four decades and now has millions of fans nationwide.
West Virginia-based Jim and Matt Knowles operate several businesses under their K&K Music company. They have spent considerable time in Gatlinburg and are excited about the future of the popular tourist attraction.
“What Marion Paul has done here at Fannie Farkle’s is uncommon,” Jim Knowles explained. “Of the 12 million people who visit the Smokies every year, a huge portion of them view a stop at Fannie Farkle’s as a required part of their vacation – many of them consider it their first stop.”
Matt Knowles said, “Our plan is to retain everything people have loved for the past 40 years about Fannie Farkle’s. The food is amazing and the arcade is the best in the Smokies. People who come here often will be pleased to see the Fannie Farkle’s they know and love.”
The Knowles Brothers plan to invest heavily in Fannie Farkle’s moving forward.
“We will take the winning business model Marion Paul has created and invest in it so that people 40 years from now will still be making their first vacation stop at Fannie Farkle’s,” Matt Knowles said.
Fannie Farkle’s will honor all points and play cards regardless of when they were earned and the staff at Fannie Farkle’s – many of whom have been with the company for decades – will remain in place to serve guests.
Named after a character on the 1960s television show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, Fannie Farkle’s is located at 656 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more information about Fannie Farkle’s, visit www.FannieFarkle.com.