Urban Knoxville: Hemp, hemp, hooray for new Gay Street businesses and major property sales

From The Holistic Connection: "The Holistic Connection is Tennessee’s premier cannabis dispensary in Knoxville, TN."

The 865 is getting a 420 neighbor in the 700 block of Gay Street. And I'm getting a headache just thinking about those numbers.

My name is Ryan Wilusz and, as your downtown reporter, I'm definitely more of a words guy. That's why I'm writing to get you caught up with the latest news and events happening in and around downtown Knoxville.

First things first, shoutout to One Knoxville SC. While the team fell short to Asheville City SC in the inaugural game I wrote about last week, the boys picked up their first win earlier this week against Tri-Cities Otters.

And if you're looking for a place to kick it, read all about The Holistic Connection — THC, for short. The new retail store and "dab bar" will let customers consume legal THC products and chill out as the effects take hold.

It's not fake cannabis, one of the co-owners told me. It's the real deal.

And so is the Ephant Group.

You might have heard of this group from my reporting on the Hope Brothers Building, which the real estate developer is transforming into a boutique hotel with a restaurant and bar concept from the people who brought you Sapphire.

Now, the group has purchased the building at 304 S. Gay St. and the empty lot next to it for a total of $7.3 million. The building already is home to Knoxville's priciest Airbnb and the city's tiniest speakeasy. Who knows what could be next?

Whether you live on Gay Street or in a neighborhood adjacent to downtown, you know how great urban living can be. And while I love the Sevier Avenue area just as much as you love your neighborhood, these core areas could always be better.

Check out this week's episode of "The Scruffy Stuff" podcast, where growth and development editor Brenna McDermott and I discuss what each core Knoxville neighborhood needs most.

Speaking of living near downtown, it's time to ...

Live like a local

Celebrate local: It has been 40 years since the World's Fair came to Knoxville, and it has been 20 days since the city started celebrating the anniversary of the May 1 kickoff. But World's Fair Park will host the biggest celebration yet on Saturday, with a variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy. There will be performances at the amphitheater, a Ferris wheel, arcade games, food trucks and fireworks programmed to '80s tunes. You won't want to miss it but, unfortunately, I will. Let me know how it goes!

Listen local: Take in the beauty of downtown Knoxville's two signature theaters with a Friday-night performance by Paul Cauthen at the Bijou Theatre and a Sunday-night performance by Needtobreathe at the Tennessee Theatre – if you can find resale tickets for the latter. Or, if you're looking for something a little more low-key, check out The Pilot Light on Friday night for a performance by The Criticals, Carmen and Connor Kelly & The Time Warp. Just remember it's cash only!

Eat like a local: Last week, I mentioned it was coming. Now, it is finally here! Lanai, a food truck favorite for Hawaiian eats, is having a pop-up at Marble City Market while the food hall prepares to announce a new vendor after the departure of Po' Richard's.

Signing off and staying scruffy, I'm Ryan Wilusz. Cheers to the weekend!

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Urban Knoxville: New Gay Street businesses, downtown property sales