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Elkmont Exchange Ready for Business

leah kirk


Knoxville, Tenn. — The founders of Downtown North’s upcoming Elkmont Exchange | Brewery & Eating House have assembled a talented management team. Chris Meadows, former Lead Brewer at Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing Company, will join Alex Violette in the brewery as Head Brewer. Jon Newman, acclaimed charcuterie maker in Nashville, will assist Ryan Davenport in the kitchen as Sous Chef. JT Dewitt, nationally accomplished restauranteur, will assume the role of General Manager.

Brewmaster Alex Violette has maintained a strong connection with SweetWater Brewing Company throughout his career. His best friend, brother, and many friends have been employed by the Atlanta brewery, including Chris Meadows. After visiting Knoxville and learning about Violette’s concept, Meadows was enthusiastic to relocate after eight years with SweetWater in order to accompany the Elkmont Exchange team. In his time at SweetWater, Meadows gained experience in every aspect of the brewing process, assisted in the development of the company’s celebrated barrel aging program, and attained a degree in Advanced Brewing Science and Engineering from the American Brewers Guild. He was acknowledged as Sweetwater Brewing Company’s Brewer of the Year in 2016.

Executive Chef Ryan Davenport developed a wide range of culinary knowledge working at Nashville’s popular fine dining restaurant, Flyte. It was here that Davenport met Jon Newman, an experienced butcher and charcuterie maker. Newman displayed a strong passion for using whole animals and aging meats that was impossible to overlook. As Davenport developed Elkmont Exchange’s menu, he reconnected with Newman and proposed a Sous Chef position, to which he responded with excitement. Newman has a Food Science degree from Grand Rapids Culinary College in Michigan and has spent his career working at Cypress and Husk in Charleston as well as The Southern in Nashville.

JT Dewitt has joined the Elkmont Exchange team with twenty years of restaurant industry experience. Dewitt travelled the Southeast setting up and managing Darden Group restaurants for ten years. He then managed the Bonefish Grill in Naples, Florida before buying into the franchise in Madison, Mississippi. After seven years in Madison, Dewitt moved to Knoxville to become part of the Babalus Tacos and Tapas opening team. Dewitt understands the importance of structure in a restaurant while providing a fun and diverse workplace where both employees and guests can enjoy a great experience. After meeting the Elkmont Exchange team, Dewitt admired their dedication and passion, and is excited to use his talents to help Violette and Davenport develop and present their beer, food, and concept.

               Elkmont Exchange is located at 745 North Broadway in the Downtown North neighborhood of Knoxville. For more information go to