Historic and iconic landmark makes a comeback
MARYVILLE, Tenn. – August 28, 2023 – The historic and iconic Armory on Ellis Ave. is returning to Maryville as a unique restaurant and entertainment destination called “The Armory.” The Armory represents an approximately $10 million investment in Maryville and will create 120 to 150 new local jobs.
Bart and Marti Fricks of Knoxville will own and operate The Armory restaurant/ bar/entertainment venue which is expected to open late Summer 2024. The building is owned by Massey Group.
With an innovative restaurant, a comfortable bar, and a large entertainment area, The Armory pays homage to its historic roots while delivering something entirely new and different to Maryville. The Armory will feature a 4,500-square foot rooftop deck and a 1,000-square foot patio – plus six bowling lanes – making The Armory a breathtaking indoor and outdoor experience.
Fricks currently owns and operates the popular and award-winning Jaboni’s Pizzeria locations in Maryville and Knoxville. He previously served as the chief operating officer for a local restaurant chain operating more than 20 locations throughout East Tennessee and started his career as a key member of the Ruby Tuesday’s team that grew the restaurant chain from a popular local eatery to a powerful national brand.
“We wanted to create something entirely unique in Maryville,” Bart Fricks explained. “The Armory will be a premier destination for food, drinks, and entertainment – and we are thrilled to be bringing back such an iconic and historic Maryville landmark in a way that the community can utilize and enjoy it.”
For decades, the armory stood on Ellis Ave. and was a recognizable part of the downtown landscape. After serving its original role as an armory, the building housed a number of businesses including a roller-skating rink and salvage business before being demolished in 2021.
Randy Massey of Massey Group is developing the property. Massey said, “I’m thrilled about the groundbreaking of the Armory Building, it’s been a labor of love and a true passion project for me. This facility embodies the hope and future growth that will transform downtown Maryville.”
Johnson Architecture designed the new building which it says pays homage to the historic structure while enlivening the venue through a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces. The 27,400-square-foot venue includes approximately 15,450-square-feet on the main level and 11,950-square-feet above.
Fricks estimates that the restaurant/bar/entertainment venue will employ nearly 150 people once the business is opened and operating. Alex Henry has been hired as The Armory’s General Manager and is currently making preparations for the opening. The Armory is also looking for management team members to fill positions beginning next year.