on Main Street is a Cartersville landmark. The building, which previously housed Knight’s Hardware, has been in the Knight family since 1889. According to a write-up on the menu, the tables and bar in the restaurant boast the original wood that once made up the floors of the hardwood store, giving the space an authentic and rustic charm. There is a welcoming air of festivity mixed with familiarity when you walk into the restaurant, and you get the impression that it’s a favorite local watering hole.
I went to Knights with my husband and son for the first time on a Friday at 6 p.m. We had tried to eat there in the past with our son but they don’t have high chairs so our attempts were always foiled. We were planning to hold him in our laps on this visit but were pleased to discover they had a booster seat available so we used that instead. All of that is just to say, Knights is not a restaurant catering to children but there were other children there during our visit and the servers were sweet to our son, many of them going out of their way to interact with him.
We sat ourselves at a booth and were greeted quickly by our server. We placed drink orders (wine for me, beer for my husband) and took in the atmosphere as we perused the menu. There was an after-work crowd laughing loudly and unwinding with drinks nearby and a smattering of other diners and drinkers at the bar and surrounding tables. It seemed like everyone knew everyone and they were all having a good time.
We ordered Fried Green Tomatoes with Remoulade Sauce ($6) and Jumbo Buffalo Wings in Hot Sauce ($8) for appetizers. The tomatoes were tasty but not the best I’ve ever had. They were juicy but a little oily, though the Remoulade sauce was quite nice. The Buffalo wings were not the best in town but they weren’t bad either. The sauce left a slight chemical aftertaste and the skin was not very crispy, but there was a decent amount of meat on the bones. We ordered the hot sauce on our batch but it was rather mild. Other wing sauce options include mild, barbecue, teriyaki and lemon pepper.
For my main dish I had the Grilled Chicken Sandwich ($7.75). All burgers and sandwiches are served with fries or a vegetable, or you can substitute onion rings for a dollar more. I chose the steamed vegetable of the day, which was broccoli. The grilled chicken was thin but moist. It was not quite large enough to fill the roll it was served on, but I was satisfied. I would, however, advise someone with a hearty appetite to order something more substantial.
My husband really enjoyed his main course, which was the 14-ounce ribeye ($18) with a side of broccoli. The giant piece of meat was tender and perfectly cooked. It was not overly seasoned or buttered. He also received a salad with his entree, which was just a standard side salad with lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes.
While the food wasn’t amazing on the night I dined at Knights (modest serving sizes and lackluster flavors and presentations), the service and atmosphere were excellent and I would definitely go back for a drink and bite to eat in the future. The lighting is dim and comfortable and the staff is attentive but not pushy. They have live music later at night, which is probably the best time to go if you are looking for a good time.
Knights 1889 is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. You can view the menu on Knights' website here.