McKinney’s Restaurant & Tavern
Named in honor of John McKinney who built Hale Springs Inn in 1824, McKinney’s Restaurant & Tavern offers food and drinks made with the freshest ingredients and of the highest quality. Two dining rooms, a tavern area, as well as an outdoor patio area serves delicious meals in this one of a kind environment. McKinney’s invites you to “come as you are” whether it be for a romantic dinner for two, dining with the entire family, or for a meal with your friends.
Make sure to ask about our Chef’s Specials and Drink Specials!!!
About the Inn
The Inn was originally built in 1824-25 by John McKinney, a local lawyer and businessman, to compete with the tavern operated by the founder of Rogersville, Joseph Rogers. Rogers’ Tavern was originally located a few hundred feet off the Great Stage Road that ran through the new town to Knoxville, Tennessee toward the Cumberland Gap. In 1815, Rogers built a newer building directly on the Stage Road; neither building, however, was very substantial, and there were minimal guest rooms.
McKinney’s plan was to build a larger, brick inn directly on the road to compete with both of Rogers’ buildings. In 1823, he began construction on a massive, three-story, Federal style building that would house facilities for a true tavern bar, but also individual guest rooms on the different floors. The building also featured an impressive balcony over its door that would feature prominently later in its history.
During the nineteenth century, the Inn played host to many famous personages as they made their way into the thriving new state of Tennessee. Among them were United States Presidents Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson.
Jackson stayed at the Inn shortly after its completion, while he was still President; he used its balcony to address a crowd of Rogersvillians in a political speech. McKinney, the Inn’s owner, saw this as a publicity coup over rival and town-founder, Joseph Rogers, who had also petitioned the President to stay at his Tavern. The deciding factor in Jackson’s mind, according to letters from the time, was the balcony over the Inn’s main door.