The Abbey: A True Hidden Smoky Mountains Tennessee Gem

 

By Ken Mink

TOWNSEND, Tn. – It is not often that travelers can happen upon a hidden scenic gem that brings great pleasure to their heart, their pocketbook and their palate.

But such is the case of The Abbey, a colorful and entertaining little restaurant in this tiny town on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

This locale provides visitors with a totally unique setting, surrounded by giant trees alongside the beautiful Little River.

Originally built as a wedding chapel the European-looking structure was converted to a pub-like restaurant two years ago. Now the business offers a variety of locally and regional brewed beers and ciders and a delicious light food menu. Prices are also very reasonable.

The Abbey is open year-around, with plenty of inside seating during inclement weather. The interior woodwork is beautiful.

Locals recognize the building as the former Heartland Wedding Chapel.

Owners Steve and Janice Fillmore opened The Abbey in late August/early September 2018.

And the setting is what makes this place unique and most appealing.

With a series of outdoor patio seating areas amid a forested canopy (some trees soaring more than 70 feet) only 15-20 feet from the crystal-clear waters of The Little River, The Abbey is a very tranquil site.

Diners are only a stone’s throw from the hundreds of tubers who float gingerly by daily on their bright-yellow inner tubes.  Flat bread pizzas, wings and ribs are a delight. Prices are reasonable at $10 and under.

Local country musicians entertain customers each Friday and Saturday nights (from 7:30).

The Abbey is set back several hundred feet from U. S. Highway 321 which runs through the middle of town (turn left at the Subway restaurant).

Service is friendly and usually fast. Customers order at the bar and their food is delivered to their outdoor tables.

Townsend bills itself as “The Quiet Side of the Smokies” but has dozens of motels/hotels and restaurants (and a golf course and hundreds of rental mountain and riverside cabins). With several miles of relatively flat bike trails, the town has also become popular with bikers and hikers.

About 25 minutes away is the bustling tourist meccas of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, reachable from the nearby scenic Smoky Mountain Foothills Parkway or the Highway 321 whitewater-laced Little River Road route. Nearby is the famed Cade’s Cove historic settlement. A few miles north of the town is Maryyille and 30 miles north is Knoxville.

For more info about The Abbey:  https://www.townsendabbey.com/

7765 River Road, Townsend, Tennessee 37882

865-448-1924

Open year-around

HOURS:

Friday

11 am to 10 pm

Saturday
 11 am to 10 pm

Sunday 11 am to 8 pm!

Lunches on the River

Live Music most weekends!

 

Weddings or Private Events
are available on request

 

 

 

 

 

Local country musicians entertain customers each Friday and Saturday nights (from 7:30).

The Abbey is set back several hundred feet from U. S. Highway 321 which runs through the middle of town (turn left at the Subway restaurant).

Service is friendly and usually fast. Customers order at the bar and their food is delivered to their outdoor tables.

Townsend bills itself as “The Quiet Side of the Smokies” but has dozens of motels/hotels and restaurants (and a golf course and hundreds of rental mountain and riverside cabins). With several miles of relatively flat bike trails, the town has also become popular with bikers and hikers.

About 25 minutes away is the bustling tourist meccas of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, reachable from the nearby scenic Smoky Mountain Foothills Parkway or the Highway 321 whitewater-laced Little River Road route. Nearby is the famed Cade’s Cove historic settlement. A few miles north of the town is Marvyille and 30 miles north is Knoxville.

For more info about The Abbey:  https://www.townsendabbey.com/

7765 River Road

Townsend Tennessee 37882

865-448-1924

Open year-around

HOURS:

Friday

11 am to 10 pm

Saturday
 11 am to 10 pm

Sunday 11 am to 8 pm!

Lunches on the River

Live Music most weekends!

 

Weddings or Private Events
are available on request

 

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