By Ralphine Major

It was known as the S&W Cafeteria, but patrons often referred to it simply as “The S&W.” For years, it was a landmark in Knoxville. Located on Gay Street downtown, the S&W Cafeteria offered a truly special dining experience for decades.

One of my earliest memories of going to the S&W was for our high school senior breakfast. That was special! So many features made the S&W stand out among restaurants. Beautiful white tablecloths covered the tables, someone was usually playing the piano in the dining area, waiters wore crisp white jackets, and a winding staircase provided a focal point in the bright and spacious interior. On weekdays, tables were often filled during the lunch hour with employees who worked downtown. The unusual pattern on the exterior front of the building always intrigued me.

By the time I took this picture, the popular S&W Cafeteria had, unfortunately, closed its doors to the public. The signage was gone except for the lettering on the entrance to the restaurant. But in the minds of many who often dined there, the S&W will always bring fond memories to mind. It was once, indeed, a special place in downtown Knoxville.

Words of Faith: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14 (KJV).