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Oskie’s owners cook up new business

If hope springs eternal, as the saying goes, then Gary Loudermilk could be considered an eternal optimist.

Loudermilk opened The Galley this week, a new restaurant in West End Center specializing in fresh seafood and hand-made meals.

“We have really good food here and it’s a nice place for families to come and enjoy themselves,” he said.

The Galley is located next to Oskie’s, 155 West End Drive, which Loudermilk co-owns with Sally Ragland.

“We’ve turned Oskie’s into a nice little sports pub, but this restaurant won’t be associated with it other than being right next to it,” Loudermilk said. “We’ll have a different name and a different atmosphere.”

The 1,800-square-foot restaurant would include a salad bar, a cappuccino machine, two regular television sets, a projection television and a variety of what Loudermilk calls “reasonably priced food.”

“People will be able to get oysters on the half shell for seven ninety nine,” he said. “Probably the most expensive thing would be our homemade pizza, which will run about twelve dollars. People will be able to come in here and eat for about ten dollars per person.”

Loudermilk said he understands that while Oskie’s has become a community watering hole, people don’t want to go there for food because of all the cigarette smoke.

“I think we can offer people the best of [a restaurant and bar], we’re gonna have a separator with a door,” he said. “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.”

The new restaurant would give customers that very opportunity for good food without the smell of secondhand smoke.

Loudermilk said he named it The Galley because of ties to the Farragut Admirals and the nautical community.

“We plan on this being a family-oriented place,” he said. “There’s a lot of foot traffic going through here and we’re going to offer people a place where they can bring their families as well as be able to watch the Vols play.”

This is Loudermilk’s second attempt to turn his extra space into a restaurant. Earlier this year, he teamed up with Glen Savelli to create Oskie’s Italian, a short-lived restaurant.

“That was just a bad idea,” he said. “It didn’t really work out.”

He said he has monetary goals set and if the restaurant doesn’t meet those goals, then it may go the way of its predecessor.

“We feel confident this will become a community meeting point,” he said.

Loudermilk said he feels it will have the same success as Oskie’s.

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.”


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