Skoby’s World

This is a matchbook from Skoby’s World in Kingsport TN:


Skoby’s, on Konnarock Road in Kingsport TN, was a treasure.  Started in 1946 as a barbecue joint, the restaurant became the place to take an out-of-town guest or to just enjoy a civilized dinner.  Skoby’s World came about when Pal Barger donated Skoby’s to Virginia Intermont College in 2005.  The place was demolished in 2010.
Back in the 70s, one time when I had gotten a raise at work, I took mom out for dinner at Skoby’s.  Reserved a room and everything.  Now, mom was a small little critter (wore a 4B shoe) and I was not a heavy eater.  When the waiter brought out the salad and the warm yeast rolls, mom and I tucked in.  And when the waiter brought the steaks and baked potatoes, we realized that we didn’t have much appetite left.  In true foodie fashion, we offhandedly mentioned to the waiter that we would like a takeaway tray.  Instantly provided.

And their crème brûlée was, honestly, just drag in the casket and die for it…

4 thoughts on “Skoby’s World

  1. Bob Dean

    Love your posts, Bob! I still have a couple of those Skoby’s matchbooks somewhere. However, I believe it became Skoby’s World long before Pal donated it to VI. I ate there once after VI took it over. I had duck, and lamb to take home. It was pretty good, but not as good as the old days.

    1. Bob Lawrence Post author

      The dating I used for this post was not very accurate, I admit. I had just hung around Google until I found some known dates, then tried to fudge my way through. An article in the Bristol Herald Courier (here’s the link) indicates that the restaurant changed hands a couple of times before Pal took over in ’71. Since it didn’t go to VI until 2005, much could have changed at the restaurant. I wasn’t too fond of the back bar with the skin-topped tables. A bit paleo for me…

  2. John Osborne

    Fred Sr. and Helen ran Skoby’s until his death in 1971, at which point Fred “Pal” Barger Jr. took charge of the business. Pal transformed the restaurant into “Skoby’s World,” advertised as offering a “department store of dining” due to its multiple differently-themed rooms, including “The Orient,” “The Galley,” and “The Butcher Shop” to name but a few. Helen died in 1979. By the time Pal donated the restaurant to Virginia Intermont College in 2004, the “Skoby’s World” logo had quietly gone away. The Barger family ran it through closing time on August 28, 2004. VI reopened it in early 2005 and closed it in 2008 with the end of their culinary program.


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