An idea for the empty husk of Sullivan's in the Old City
San Francisco is home to numerous great bars, restaurants and venues. I travel there frequently, often spending a little bit of time taking in the architecture. I also enjoy the restaurants and bars, which made me think about Sullivan's. Now, I'm not the guy to do anything about this, but the idea would seem to make sense for an old Victorian building with a split level and a big room up top. Consider this...
By day, a full service tea room. When I say "tea service" I mean "quality tea presented beautifully with food." Samovar is a great tea room in San Francisco as an example. Tea happens to be a high-end item these days, and a limited food menu would make sense for the lunch or pre-bar crowd.
By night, a wine bar. In San Francisco near the Triton hotel there's a coffee shop by day that serves wine at night called Rouge & Blanc. Same idea here, really, but I feel what the Old City needs is another flagship high-end "bar" to attract an audience that aren't necessarily beer people.
Knoxville has some killer beer and liquor joints, and a few wine places as well. The combination of wine at night and tea during the day, coupled with a light menu would appeal to the middle-aged affluent audience this part of town needs to pull in.
Oh and the third floor? By day, rent it out for team meetings, business trainings and similar low-key events. By night, have jazz, comedy, poetry and other intellectual pursuits.
Perhaps if things went well the courtyard could be opened up for event space. The old BBQ joint could potentially open up as well, although it would be cool if there was some way to take advantage of the "it's late and I've had a lot to drink" crowd by selling its wares quickly via window or cart.
But the main idea is simple: A split-purpose space that serves the same type of clientele. Tea and wine. Business and pleasure. I just hate seeing that place sit empty!