Deal signed to open downtown burger joint

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Knoxville (WVLT) – Downtown Knoxville will have a new dining destination this summer.

The City Council has unanimously approved a five-year lease to put a Gridiron Burgers next to the Regal Riviera 8 Theater on Gay Street.

Gridiron Burger is a casual, family friendly and football themed restaurant that specializes in burgers.

The lease includes the city spending $300,000 to build out the shell space for the restaurant, on the north side of the theater.

Gridiron Burger is owned by Collin Cope, a longtime Ruby Tuesday executive who opened his first Gridiron Burgers in Powell in 2006 and another in Farragut in 2007.

"Ever since I started my own company I've looked downtown," Cope said. "I like the momentum Mayor Haslam has started to redevelop downtown and I wanted to be part of it."

According to the agreement, Gridiron’s lease will initially five-year’s, with an option for two additional five-year terms.

Rent will be $56,240 per year for the initial term, $62,160 for the first extended term and $68,820 for a second extended term of five years.

"This is going to be a great addition to downtown and I think people will really enjoy this restaurant," said Mayor Bill Haslam, "and we're looking forward to working with Collin Cope."

For more information about Gridiron Burgers, you can click on the link below.

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