Blake Shelton to Open New Restaurant in the Smokies: Ole Red Gatlinburg

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We’re excited to report that country superstar Blake Shelton has announced plans to open a new restaurant and entertainment venue right here in Gatlinburg, TN! Known as Ole Red, this eatery will be the third location for Shelton’s growing restaurant chain. In the official press release, Shelton said, “Gatlinburg is one of my all-time favorite places. This part of the country is full of people who love good food, great music, family, and most importantly, a good time. That’s what Ole Red is all about, and I can’t wait to give my fans another place to have fun in Gatlinburg.” Read on to learn everything we know about Ole Red Gatlinburg.

Ole Red Gatlinburg Location and Venue Details


Ole Red will be located at 511 Parkway in the heart of Gatlinburg, just a 4-minute walk from the famous Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. The multi-level building will cost around $9 million and will take up 16,000 square feet of space. The entertainment venue will feature the following:

  • A two-story restaurant and bar
  • Performance space
  • Dancefloor
  • Exterior terrace
  • Retail area

Given Blake Shelton’s status as a country music icon, it is no surprise that live entertainment will be a big part of the Ole Red experience. The Gatlinburg restaurant will boast curated concert lineups, showcases for up-and-coming talent, and even more wonderful music. Ole Red will be outfitted with state-of-the-art performance equipment, including concert-quality production and sound capabilities and LED screens throughout the venue.

Blake Shelton has played three concerts at the Ole Red location in his hometown of Tishomingo, OK, and he has already stated his intention to perform at the new Nashville, TN location (and perhaps bring along some of his famous friends and favorite contestants from The Voice). We hope this means that Shelton will also be headlining in Gatlinburg when the restaurant opens!

Ole Red takes its name from the hit song “Ol’ Red,” which Shelton recorded for his debut album in 2002. The irreverent tune tells the story of a prison bloodhound, Ol’ Red, that the warden uses to track down inmates who attempt to escape. Ol’ Red is one of the most commonly requested songs at Blake Shelton concerts and the singer considers it to be his signature song.

The Food at Ole Red Gatlinburg

While the official Ole Red Gatlinburg menu has not been released yet, some information about the restaurant’s food has been revealed. According to the press release, Ole Red will feature a chef-driven, Shelton-inspired menu with a few Nashville classics, as well as BBQ, burgers, and more Southern favorites. The Ole Red location in Nashville is headed by a chef who has been nominated for a James Beard Award (which is the culinary equivalent of an Oscar), so we expect that the Gatlinburg restaurant will boast a chef with an equally impressive background.

We checked out the menus for the Ole Red locations in Nashville and Tishomingo to find a few dishes that could possibly be served at the Gatlinburg restaurant:

Nashville Hot Chicken & Waffle – maple reduction, fluffy Belgian-style waffle, and Nashville-famous spicy hot chicken

Good Ole Onion Burger – ½ pound Angus beef with sweet onions, cheddar, pickles, lettuce, and tomato

Smoked Pulled Pork – one pound of pork served with vinegar slaw, TN Buckshot Red Grits, and pickles

Fried Catfish – breaded with lemon pepper cornmeal, served with hushpuppies, pickled green tomatoes, and fries

A Warm Welcome from Dolly Parton

In an interview, Blake Shelton joked that he won’t be the only country music legend in town, “There’s another country star that has a place there, in that area. I can’t think of her name…Oh, Dolly Parton. That’s right.”

Dolly Parton, of course, owns the world-famous Dollywood theme park and two popular dinner shows in nearby Pigeon Forge. The Queen of Country had this to say about Shelton’s big announcement, “Hey Blake, welcome to the neighborhood! I know everyone at Dollywood and I wish you the very best of luck. I can’t wait to try it out!”

Ole Red Gatlinburg Opening Date


The Ole Red location in Gatlinburg is expected to open in spring of 2019. We will update this blog as soon as more information becomes available. If you’re looking for more wonderful places to eat in the meantime, check out our guide to 6 famous restaurants in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains.

Where to Stay in Gatlinburg

When you stay with Timber Tops Cabin Rentals, you will be just a short drive from all of the incredible restaurants, attractions, and shops in downtown Gatlinburg. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 15 bedroom lodges, we are guaranteed to have the ideal accommodations for your getaway. To start planning your vacation, browse our selection of cabins in Gatlinburg!