The Cotton Eyed Joe finds new owner after 25 years

It's the end of an era, but not the end of an East Tennessee institution.
Big changes are coming to the Cotton Eyed Joe, a club known for bringing cowboys and city slickers together.

The Joe has had one owner for the past 25 years since it opened. This week that changed. A Knoxville native, real estate investor bought the 30,000 square-foot venue and is going to make some changes.

"We're not going to change a whole lot, we will redecorate, I want to change the floors and the restrooms, hopefully build a stage," said Chuck Ward,Owner of Cotton Eyed Joe.

Ward told Local 8 News he feels the pressure to keep the tradition of big acts coming through the doors. He is even willing to pay some more cash for bigger names and possibly expand the venue.

Ward says he expects to make the changes with the same staff by his side and keep the tradition of requiring people to stand and remove their hats when the national anthem is played nightly at 9 p.m.