What makes Lookout Mountain home

What's on your summer bucket list? A hike to Glen Falls? A mountain bike ride on the Cloudland Connector Trail? Or maybe a road trip to Nashville to see Alan Shuptrine's new watercolor exhibit?

The season has already kicked off with Community Movie Night. There's another in August and here's 5 reasons you can't miss it. Get ready for the fun, because summers on Lookout are anything but lazy!

OddStory Brewing Gives Chattanooga Something to Talk About

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It’s a typical night at OddStory Brewing. The garage-door windows are rolled open, mixing the din of conversation and clinking glasses with the street sounds of MLK Boulevard. There are no TVs – just long tables set up biergarten style.

Beer and conversation go together, and we wanted OddStory to be a place where you can tell your story to the person across from you,” explains Co-Owner Bryan Boyd. “It’s a bit counter-culture these days with iPhones and iPads, but we intentionally wanted to make this a place for conversation.

The name was inspired by the odd level under the streets of Chattanooga, a result of raising the city to escape flooding from the Tennessee River. But it also refers to the odd stories that can only come from sharing pints with friends and sometimes strangers.

Bryan recalls a story of a rather surly guy from Texas who ordered a flight one early evening. He ended up meeting the people next to him and enjoyed a night on the town with new-found friends.

“He came back later that night overjoyed, telling us how impressed he was with the place,” recalls Bryan.

The idea to open OddStory also began with a conversation over beers. It was on Bryan’s back porch, when he asked his son, Jay what he wanted to do with his life. He had just graduated college and was living at home. His answer: open a brewery.

So Bryan did what any good dad would do – sell his successful business of 12 years, move to a different town and become his son’s business partner.

Ok, so it wasn’t that simple.

After that initial conversation, Jay dedicated the next three years learning how to make craft beer. He worked for three different small craft breweries and also attended brewing school in the summer of 2014, which concluded with an internship at Vermont’s Harpoon Brewery. With a PhD in finance and experience running a small business, Bryan began researching the market and drafting a business plan.

As things progressed, both men saw the opportunities in craft beer, which is currently exploding in popularity across the country. They knew they were onto something, but they also knew their long-time Decatur, Ala., home might not be the ideal location. They researched 30 different cities across the US.

When it was decision time, the entire Boyd family rated where they wanted to live. Chattanooga won over Boise, Idaho by a tight margin, with Lookout Mountain likely being the tipping point.

The Boyds were familiar with Lookout because Jay had played soccer at Covenant College. Bryan’s wife, Denise fell in love with it years ago when they would come up to watch their son’s games. Bryan and Denise moved to the Mountain this January, while Jay and his wife, Emily moved to Main Street.

Lookout is such a unique place – we love it,” says Bryan. “We live two blocks from Rock City and I’m always surprised by how many people you see on the street walking, biking, skateboarding. You don’t really see that in most places in the US.

Today Bryan handles everything with the business while Jay focuses on brewing the perfect pint. Their recipe is working well, with sales moving faster than expected. In addition to the 16 taps they offer at the brewery, OddStory sells to approximately 30 establishments around town including The Flying Squirrel, Champy’s, Easy Bistro and FEED Co.

While the Boyds have lived here less than a year, they’ve quickly integrated into the local scene. SORBA, the Southeast Climbers Coalition, Young Professionals of Chattanooga and Lula Lake Land Trust have all partnered with the brewery for events. One evening they even hosted a church event.

Three churches got together and brought in a keyboard, sang hymns and drank beer,” Bryan smiles. “This is unlike any business I’ve ever been in. There’s always something going on.

OddStory’s flagship beers include the Belgian Blonde, American Pale Ale and Vienna Lager. But Jay is always brewing something new, such as an apricot rosemary Saison for summer or his coconut milk stout – which sells out every time he makes it.

One of the biggest surprises for the new business is how all ages have embraced it. Their initial business model was built for the 25- to 40-year-old demographic, mostly urbanites starting out in their careers.

We see 25 year olds to 85 year olds and everything in between,” he says. “I’ve been proud of my generation, who are a curious bunch. We were raised on Budweiser and Miller, and I love surprising them with the taste and quality of craft beer.

And with his next oldest employee being 30, Bryan appreciates whenever the age gap is evened out.

“It’s nice to see someone in here my age,” he adds with a laugh.

Odd Story’s Tap Room Hours

Tuesday – Thursday: 4 pm until 10 pm
Friday: 2 pm until midnight
Saturday: noon until midnight
Open Sunday and Monday for private events

The Lookout Mountain Club Becomes Official with June 30 Merger

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A club merger may not seem like a monumental undertaking. But when you consider the history behind the Lookout Mountain Golf Club and the Fairyland Club, you’ll understand why it took an almost community wide effort to get approved.

There were some obstacles in helping people understand why it was not only good for Lookout Mountain but also for both clubs,” says Will Kline, co-president of the new club’s board. “It was a real concerted effort by a lot of people.

The idea was spearheaded two years ago by five local families –Caroline and Nelson Williams, Natalie and Rob Huffaker, Nini and Elliot Davenport, Karen and Miller Welborn, and Candy and John Killebrew. A merger had been attempted at least three times prior, so organizers knew they had their work cut out for them.

Both clubs have rich histories spanning 90-plus years. For decades the two clubs co-existed but always competed for a relatively small market share. While both offered dining, the Golf Club offered golf; the Fairyland Club offered tennis, a fitness center and a pool.

If families wanted both amenities they had to pay separate initiation fees and monthly dues. While a merger made sense going forward, members who joined under different terms had to be considered. Each property also had its own debts and arrangements for financing.

Despite the hurdles, the merger passed both clubs three-to-one with 60 percent participation. On June 30, The Lookout Mountain Club became official.

It’s a real win-win, not only for our members, but also for the entire community,” says Andy Pippenger, who will lead the new board with Kline. “Rather than competing for members, we can now offer something for every member of the family to enjoy, all within one club.

Since the initial merger vote in January, twenty-four new members have applied and a larger-than-expected number of Fairyland members have expressed interest in becoming full golf members. Most importantly the merged club has received new financing, on better terms, with the ability to make much needed improvements at both facilities.

The real beauty of combining the two clubs is the ability to consolidate and streamline operations for greater efficiency, while offering expanded amenities and services to our members,” says General Manager Victor Balcom.

One example is the recent decision to transfer lunch service to the Golf Club, reserving the Fairyland Club for special luncheons and other banquet events. Speaking of events, the new Club offers more venue choices. Wedding parties can now hold a rehearsal dinner or bridesmaid’s luncheon at one location and the wedding and reception at the other site.

The new club offers two membership options: full membership includes golf; regular membership includes all amenities except for golf. Within those two classifications there are different sub-categories of membership, with dues and fees based on age and place of residence, as well as a deferred payment plan for initiation fee payments.

We have worked hard to structure the fees to be very competitive with other clubs in our market,” says Membership Director Charlotte Lindeman. “By offering things such as a deferred payment plan for initiation fees we’ve tried to make it very accessible for young families to join.

The new board will be led this first year by Co-Presidents Andy Pippenger and Will Kline. Jim Haley will serve as Vice President, Ben Probasco as Secretary, and Ben Brown as Treasurer. Committee Chairs include Caroline Williams, Angie Sutherland, Terri Holley, Wes Robbins, Patton Smith, and Larry Parks.

Our main focus post-merger will be to provide the best product in all areas of the club, whether that’s golf, tennis, or food and beverage,” says Kline. “We share a vision to elevate the Lookout Mountain Club to a whole new level and to become one of the preeminent private clubs in the Southeast, all while continuing to offer a great value for our current and future members.

Some highlights of the new Club include:

  • Regular lunch service moving to the Golf Club (banquet luncheon service still available at the Fairyland Club)

  • Breakfast service now available at the Golf Club on Saturdays and Sundays; with Sunday brunch at the Golf Club from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

  • Barre classes on Wednesday mornings at the Fitness Center through a partnership with Kelly Armstrong of Neighborhood Barre

  • Yoga classes throughout the week

  • Water aerobics during the summer

  • Pickleball instruction and group play through Tennis Pro Sue Webb

  • Ongoing family events such as Wednesday night poolside buffet dinners throughout the summer, and Thursday night Fried Chicken Dinners at the Golf Club

Kicking It On Lookout - A New Soccer Season Starts Soon

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School bells will soon be ringing, which means it’s almost soccer season. And this new year brings some exciting changes to the Lookout Mountain Soccer Association, including a new technical director, Chris Cushenbery.

Cushenbery will lend his expertise to assist volunteer coaches with training drills, improve referee training and will hold an additional Friday skills session with players. A former player at Covenant College, Cushenbery recently coached the McCallie varsity soccer team to win a state championship this year.

Chris is a key asset to growing and elevating the level of soccer on Lookout Mountain,” says Kim Brock, LMSA director. “We are all very excited to welcome him.

Registration for the 2017-18 season is already open through the Lookout Mountain Rec’s Blue Sombrero page.

The deadline to register is August 11, with a $20 late fee for signing up after that.

Another change will be an Opening Day, held Saturday, August 12 for all age groups. Kids will play scrimmages so that coaches can evaluate skills and abilities to ensure evenly matched teams. Please bring your child ready to play, including shin guards under socks. (See below for times.)

“Kids shouldn’t feel any pressure at all during these scrimmages – they are strictly to help us create equal teams,” says Brock. “We want the kids to come play and have fun.”

Teams will be made and announced later that day. If you feel your child should play up or down an age group, please contact Brock directly. She requests that you do not email regarding friend or carpool requests. Instead either make a note on your child’s registration form or tell someone at Opening Day on August 12.

“Creating even teams is our main priority, although we will try to accommodate special requests,” she says. “We can’t promise these will all be granted, however.”

Once the teams are finalized, your child's coach will contact you with information on practice day and time and any other details. Players will receive their uniforms at practice the week before their first game.

Practices begin the week of August 14th.

First 4th of July Parade Comes to Lookout Mountain

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Join your community for the first Lookout Mountain Fourth of July Parade, held July 4 at 10:30. There will be floats, golf carts, walkers, bikers and vintage cars – basically anything that can move you down the street en route to the Town Commons, where food trucks, sno-cones and live music await.

All ages are encouraged to participate including Girl Scouts on a float, teenagers popping wheelies on 10-speeds, and toddlers waving in wagons. The parade is the brainchild of Georgia resident Michelle Workman, supported by a recently formed committee including Angie Sutherland, David Bennett, Justin Workman, Sarah Lehn, Wendy Taliaferro, and Katherine Smith.

“A large part of the reason people choose to live on Lookout Mountain is the lifestyle and our unique, inclusive community,” says Smith, a real estate agent with Keller Williams. “As a committee our goal is to help showcase what a great a place this is to live and continue to foster community through events like this.”

The parade will be the committee’s first event, with hopefully more to come. To participate, simply visit their website to register. Then plan to line up at 10 a.m. in front of Georgia’s City Hall.

“We were inspired by places like Highlands and 30A who’ve been holding 4th of July parades for years,” says Smith. “The idea is to get something started this year and let it grow from there.”

Floats can be as casual as streamers on a golf cart but participants are encouraged to let their creativity flow. Lookout Mountain business Pro-Ad Sports has produced t-shirts for the event at a special rate, paid for by Love Lookout. The shirts will be FREE and handed out the day of the parade.

Don’t miss this picture-perfect summer memory. Plan to participate or watch, then eat lunch at the Commons before heading to other celebrations.

Lost Art - How Townsend Atelier is Building Chattanooga's Art Scene

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Michelangelo had the Medicis. Chattanooga artists have Townsend Atelier. Lookout Mountain native Peggy Townsend and her husband Stan may not be funding up-and-coming artists like the famous Florentine family did, but they are playing a key role in keeping the arts alive in Chattanooga.

With lofty ceilings, easels as far as the eye can see and near life-sized figures in charcoal, Townsend Atelier could pass as any prestigious art school in the country – with one key difference.

The pressure is not there like you have in an academic setting,” explains Peggy. “If you’re a professional, there’s a place for you here. If you’re just curious and intimidated, there’s a place for you too.

Atelier is the French word for “workshop.” In the art world it has come to mean passing on a skill set from a practicing professional (master) to an apprentice. At Townsend, it means offering classes of all levels taught by professional artists.

We’re very deliberate about engaging with instructors who are great teachers but are also successful practicing artists,” says Peggy. “Students not only receive excellent instruction but also timely advice when it comes to marketing or selling their work.

Once a common practice, ateliers are a rarity these days, particularly in the Southeast. But the movement is growing, says Peggy. Townsend focuses on classical disciplines such as drawing, painting, sculpture, color mixing and theory. Their facility does not allow them to do anything with metals or glass, and they don’t focus on things that tend to be on the side of “craft.”

Classes range from $15 per class for open studio drawing with live models, to $250 for a weekly oil painting class with well-known local artist Mia Bergeron. Weekend workshops with visiting artists attract students from across the country, such as the upcoming alla-prima portrait workshop with California-based Sean Cheetham.

All ages are welcome at the Atelier, especially at the five weeks of children’s art camps this summer. During the fall there are offerings for homeschool students and even “Mommy and Me” classes. They also rent space to up-and-coming artists like Caleb Stoltzfus, who’s decision to study art at Covenant College was influenced by the fact that Chattanooga has an atelier.

Peggy and Stan have been heavily involved in Chattanooga’s cultural scene since the late 80’s – Stan as a professional artist and Peggy as an arts administrator for the Hunter, AVA, and the City of Chattanooga. They started Townsend Atelier in 2007 as a web store for artist’s supplies, but classes were always part of their long-range vision.

We love Chattanooga, and are committed to helping make it a cultural and arts destination,” says Peggy. “We see the arts as an ecosystem, and you need every flavor. We’re one flavor, and hopefully filling a void that’s not being met by other entities.

Support Lookout Mountain Conservancy at Flying Squirrel and Crash Pad

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Supporting local land conservation never tasted so good. This summer there are two opportunities to enjoy good food and drink while helping Lookout Mountain Conservancy.

The first is this Wednesday, June 21 at the Flying Squirrel, where 10 percent of all proceeds go to LMC (from 5 pm until 1 am). With a menu chockful of local veggies, it makes sense that the Squirrel would want to help LMC continue their work focused on healthy land and clean water. LMC representatives will be there to say “hi” from 5:30 until 7:30 pm.

Then, the Conservancy’s annual shrimp boil, “Hot Fun in the Summertime” returns July 13 from 6 – 10 pm at the Crash Pad. For just $45 per ticket you can enjoy a Creole-Gullah dinner catered by The Feed Co., as well as beer and wine. Live music always makes this a toe-tapping evening, with music from local cover band Priscilla and Little Rickee as well as Lookout Mountain bluegrass band, Rising Fawn Social Club.

Thanks to generous sponsors, all proceeds from this event benefit LMC’s conservation efforts and the Intern and Leadership Partnership with the Howard School. The Conservancy’s intern program has become one of the nation’s leading programs connecting at-risk youth to conservation, education and leadership. For many, it’s a new path for a new future.

The party is a unique way to not only support the program but meet its participants, hear their stories and connect with the Conservancy.

Summer Library Hours at LMS

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If you already feel like you’re losing the Summer Screen Time Battle, it’s time to hit the library. Lookout Mountain School makes that task easier for all Lookout Mountain, Tennessee residents by holding Summer Library Hours this month and next (see below for schedule).

Managed by kindergarten teacher Lee Cook, the LMS library is open to all ages. They have summer reading lists for each grade level, but preschoolers are also encouraged to attend. Even grandparents occasionally drop in when out-of-town grandchildren are visiting.

Library days run from 9 am until 3 pm on the dates listed below. There are dates every week until July 19, with the exception of July 4th week. All books are due back by July 19.

Summer Library Hours
9 am – 3 pm

June 20,22

June 26,27,28,29

July 10,11,12,13

July 17,18,19

**All Books Due Back July 19**

Summer Swimming With Fairyland Flash

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Swimming in the summer is a favorite pastime for most kids. But for Fairyland Flash kids, pool time means a lot more than “sharks and minnows.”

The Lookout Mountain swim team – now in the top division of their league – practices every morning, with meets on Mondays and Thursdays. They compete against teams around the city, including Signal Mountain, Dalton, Ooltewah and Stuart Heights.

Fairyland Flash is led by Caroline Bentley, a Lookout Mountain native and former collegiate swimmer. She grew up swimming for the team as soon as they would let her, around age 5.

She was asked to step in about 10 years ago when the league was struggling, and her leadership has built the team back to its former strength. There has been a Lookout Mountain swim team since the 1960s.

Every morning at the Fairyland Club pool from 8:00 to 9:30 am, you’ll find head coach Alice Revenig and Betsy Bookout, who focuses on technique and strokes with the younger kids. Ages range from 5 to 18, but getting on the team is based more on ability than age.

Practices run Memorial Day through mid-July, with the City Meet on July 14-15. While swimmers are encouraged to make daily practices, coaches are more than willing to work around day camps and summer vacations. The team’s first meet of the season took place June 5 against Stuart Heights.

Swim team registration usually takes place in April, but Bentley says they accept swimmers up until the start of the season.

Town Hall Meeting Tonight Regarding Canyon Ridge Resort Development

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A long-awaited luxury resort on Lookout Mountain is finally starting to take shape. After surviving the “Great Recession” and one of the longest law suits in Hamilton County history, Canyon Ridge Hotel Resort in Walker County is slated for opening in late 2019.

Anyone interested in learning more about the project is invited to attend a town hall meeting tonight at 6 pm at the Walker County Civic Center.

We have been working on this project since 2008,” says Scenic Land Company President Duane Horton. “It is as well studied and proven as any effort I have witnessed.

Overlooking the eastern brow of Lookout Mountain, Canyon Ridge is positioned to be a keystone development for Walker County. It promises a minimum of 180 full time jobs with benefits when it opens, as well as $1 million in tax revenue for Walker County.

According to a company press release, no location in the Southeast offers a similar mountaintop, upper-upscale/luxury resort experience within a two-hour drive of 14 million people and 28 Fortune 500 companies in the Nashville, Birmingham, Knoxville, Huntsville, Atlanta and Chattanooga markets.

Hart + Howerton has been named as the resort’s Master Planner. The nationally renowned company is known for its groundbreaking work with Walt Disney World as well as luxury resorts in Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley and Scottsdale. The company also handled the expansion of Sea Island and the restoration of The Greenbriar Inn.

For oversight and operations of the resort, Scenic Land Company looked to Valor Hospitality Partners, an Atlanta-based global hospitality management company, led by Euan McGlashan. McGlashan’s experience includes Cape Grace Hotel in South Africa, named “Best Hotel of the Year” in 2000 by Condé Nast, Barnsley Gardens where he served German Prince Hubertus Fugger of Bavaria, Sea Palms Resort and Hotel Indigo-Atlanta, among its more than 40 locations spread across three continents.

Although the resort requires expertise and experience not found locally, Scenic Land Company is committed to using local resources at every opportunity. Numerous local companies are already engaged in areas such as design, construction, legal and financial services, with more targeted as the project progresses.

We are primarily funded by local investors and we are developing a project for the benefit of the local community and our investors,” promises Horton.

To find out more, visit the company’s website or attend the town hall meeting tonight at the Walker County Civic Center (10052 US-27, Rock Spring, GA 30739).

Road Closure to Affect Lookout Mountain Traffic Starting Monday

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Progress doesn't happen without some pain. For Lookout Mountain residents, that means a summer-long road closure of Broad Street - a main thoroughfare for traveling up the Tennessee side.

Beginning as early June 5 Chattanooga Public Works Department will be working to overhaul the intersection of Broad Street and St. Elmo Avenue. The changes will improve storm drainage and ready the street for the Tennessee Riverwalk extension. The project is expected to continue through August.

For more details and alternate routes during the construction, see the following recommendations from the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

Southbound Broad Street traffic will turn right onto West 35th Street and take St. Elmo Avenue to Cummings Highway. Heading east from Cummings Highway, motorists will take West 37th Street and turn onto Tennessee Avenue to reach Broad Street.

To avoid congestion in the St. Elmo area, the transportation department recommends Lookout Mountain traffic bound for downtown Chattanooga take Ochs Highway and follow Tennessee Avenue to West 40th Street, then turn onto Alton Park Boulevard, which turns into northbound Market Street.

From Scenic Highway, the department recommends turning left on Wauhatchie Pike to Cummings Highway. From there, take Browns Ferry Road to Interstate 24 eastbound to reach downtown Chattanooga.

Read more here

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