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Oskie’s, neighborhood restaurant

Farragut may not have Cheers, but Oskie’s Sports Grill is a place where “everybody knows your name.”

Oskie’s co-owner Gary Loudermilk said, “Everybody is like a big family here, it’s just a big melting pot of people,” from millionaires to sales people.

Loudermilk and co-owner Sally Ragland opened Oskie’s two years ago as a sports bar, and with 27 TVs, including three big-screens and a 42-inch plasma, it might be a football lover’s dream.

“For the N-F-L, we can show any game you wanna see, we have N-F-L Ticket,” Loudermilk said about the cable television package that offers a choice of NFL games.

Games shown on the big-screen TVs are on a first come, first serve basis.

Loudermilk added, “We’ve got enough receivers on satellite to where we can show all the games.”

Loudermilk said Oskie’s is named after a term used by the University of Tennessee football team.

“Oskie’s is an old football term. I’m not sure exactly what it means, but it is a word that started in the Tennessee area. When General [Robert Reese] Neyland was coach here, he instructed his players on defense that if the ball was thrown and the defense intercepted it, when they intercepted it, they were supposed to yell, ‘Oskie’s.’ And that … let the other players on the defense know that there was an interception, their team now had the ball and to turn around and block somebody and take the ball the other way.”

For people who prefer poker to football, on Monday and Thursday nights, Oskie’s has Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments, one from 7 to 10 p.m. and one from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., at no cost to the player.

Oskie’s also provides live entertainment on Friday nights at 9:30 p.m. with a $3 cover charge.

Loudermilk said Hip Twangers, Pineda, Black City Sanctuary and Fault Line are “regulars,” and he “mixes it up every so often.”

An entertainment schedule is posted on the door and Loudermilk said Oskie’s will have a Web site soon.

“When football season’s over, we’ll have entertainment Friday and Saturday night, but with football, you can’t really work it in around a football game,” Loudermilk added.

Football season will still be in full force, but in three weeks Oskie’s will add new flavor to the sports bar atmosphere.

Partnering with Glen Savelli, Loudermilk is adding a non-smoking Italian restaurant. “Bar food” will still be available, as well as pizza, appetizers, Italian entrees and desserts.

Loudermilk said, “I think we can offer people the best of [a restaurant and bar], we’re gonna have a separator with a door. I’ve had a lot of people mention that they like our food and everything, but they didn’t like the smoke, people don’t want their children around smoke, and I understand that. I have grandchildren, I wouldn’t want them in here on a busy Friday night when there’s smoke in here.

“I’m able to offer an alternative to people, more like a restaurant, family oriented, you can order anything from pizza to appetizers for the kids, or if you want, an Italian entrée. When we get going, we’re also going to offer a buffet at lunch.”

Loudermilk said he’s taking a risk, but he believes the restaurant and bar will be a success.

“Worse case scenario, I end up with a real nice room over there, [but] it will work, I have faith in Glen Savelli, he’s proven that he can run a restaurant and put out quality food,” Loudermilk said.

“There’s always nothing a hundred percent, but if you don’t take a risk, there’s no game.

“Our goal here is not too look like a corporate place,” Loudermilk added. But “to be a neighborhood pub, we’re very laid back, it’s a friendly atmosphere and just wanted a place where people can come and relax and enjoy themselves, eat some good food and watch some sports.”

Loudermilk added the food is “reasonably priced. We try to keep it to where somebody can come in here with their wife or girlfriend or children, and not be blown away by prices.”

Oskie’s is located at 155 West End Ave. Hours are Monday-Thursday from 11 to 2 a.m., Friday from 11 to 3 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.


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