Peter Kern Library

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Located in the Oliver Hotel, the Peter Kern Library is a modern-day speakeasy.

Written by

Jeff Banowetz



On Union Avenue, between the The Casual Pint and the entryway of the Oliver Hotel, is a long alley with  a single red light affixed above a nondescript door. This is the exterior entrance to the Peter Kern Library, Knoxville's premier speakeasy. 

What Makes It Great

The intimate room is a popular destination among locals and visitors who have enough Knoxville know-how to find it. The Library a gas fireplace, cozy seating, a small bar with all the essentials, and a large portrait of the confectioner and speakeasy's namesake, Peter Kern, affixed behind the busy barkeeps. A nice variety of alcoholic options can be found in the menus fashioned from old World Book Encyclopedias, including several specialty drinks named after famous literary characters. On busy weekends you might have to stand in line, due to the very limited capacity of this little bar, but it's well worth the wait to experience one of the most unique destinations in downtown Knoxville.

Who is Going to Love It

Fans of classic literature and classic cocktails.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Park in the Market Square Garage. If that's full, the Locust Street Garage is a block away. Both are free on night and weekends.


Peter Kern Library

Knoxville, TN, 37902
35.964691, -83.91974

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