Tag Archives: McKarem’s Department Store

The Shaheen Building

This corner building, the red brick part, was once known as the Shaheen Building and home of the Palace of Sweets, owned by Charles Joseph, Sr., who had come here from Lebanon (the country).  He and M.F. Kabool (of Iager or Iaeger WV) opened the Phoenix Restaurant here (302 East Sullivan) in 1927.  It was remodeled in 1937, to much celebration in the local newspaper.  Apparently, it was a quite well respected eatery.

It was still open in 1948, but I lose track of it after that.  It wasn’t the open as the Phoenix in 1957-1959, when I lived downtown, but the large sign over the doorway was still there. Years ago, I asked my stepdad if he knew anything about the place (he’d been in Kingsport in the 30s) and he recalled staying in one of the rooms upstairs.

Down from the Phoenix…I think where the other red brick building is, was the Liberty Cafe (305 East Sullivan), also owned by Mr. Joseph.  The building in the light tan brick was, in 1959, part of McKarem’s Department Store.

In 1947, the Phoenix Grill advertised aggressively in the paper that it sold beer by the case for off premise consumption…and they’d deliver!