The New Chattanooga Choo Choo is Ready to Make its Mark

Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) – The world famous, historical building which has added color to the Chattanooga skyline for generations has received a 20 million dollar makeover.

"The Chattanooga Choo Choo is a great community asset and what we really want to do here is help reengage with the community," said Choo Choo president Adam Kinsey.

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Chattanooga’s latest restaurants and music venues are housed in these hundred year old brick walls.

"Better use of space," Kinsey said. "Opening up old store fronts that have been boarded up for 50 years. We’re removing dropped ceilings to expose the great ceilings that are original from 1906."

New to the Choo Choo is the restaurant STIR.

They boast about their fresh oyster bar, but most uniquely, their craft cocktails that feature hand-sculpted, artisanal ice.

"The whole purpose of the ice is to keep the drink from the first sip to the last sip tasting the same," said STIR chef Jamie Walton. "And because it doesn’t melt because it’s dense, it’s clean and pure and clear, it makes a better cocktail."

And The Comedy Catch has moved across town to call the Choo Choo home.

The opening night headliner may be a familiar face to those who frequent the club.

"It is awesome getting the call to be the first headliner at the brand new location," said comedian Killer Beaz. "28 years ago I was the first act that they brought in so all these years later they have honored me with being the first headliner here at the new location at the Chattanooga Choo Choo."

The Revelry Room is a new music venue in the building, as well, adding more entertainment options to revitalized Southside.

"Energy in the Southside is just fantastic," Kinsey said. "So much is going on. Thousands of people are coming to the Choo Choo alone every night. It’s just awesome."

The Choo Choo also turned 98 hotel rooms into studio apartments that just started renting two weeks ago.