Have you been to Ray’s Place?

Since 1987, Ray Mowery has operated Ray’s Place in South College, UT Knoxville’s oldest building, serving up great food and friendly service. Like the shop’s previous owners, Mowery is visually impaired, but he manages the business expertly while caring for each of the students that dines at his establishment.


Did you dine at Ray’s Place when you were at UT Knoxville? Comment below to share your memories of Ray’s Place!

Ray and DianeTo get things started, here’s a memory of Ray’s Place—complete with photo of Ray and Diane—from Undergraduate Admissions blogger Nate:

“My absolute favorite place to eat in the world! ‘Ray’s Place.’ Ray’s is a little known secret on the hill. It is owned by Ray…and has been for a long time. He runs this little shop with a big smile on his face all the time, and the best customer service imaginable.”

You can read Nate’s full “Eateries of Interest” post here.

13 Comments on “Have you been to Ray’s Place?

  1. I remember eating at Ray’s Place back in 1989-93, when I would meet my buddy Chandan between classes. We were both EE students from Knoxville West High School, but our class schedules diverged when I started co-oping. At Ray’s, we could grab a snack and drink and catch up on what was going on in our lives. Chan and I live several hundred miles apart now, but when we talk, we just pick up where we left off, partially because of that bond that was strengthened by the time we spent at Ray’s.

  2. I graduated in 1969 after four years of graduate school. I was in Ayres Hall everyday I was on campus. I remember a man and his wife near Ayres that had a little shop and I think they both were visually impaired. They were great to us and always knew that graduate students didn’t have much money. Could you help me remember thir names. They are a part of my great memories of UT and the “Hill”. I come back at least once a year and walk through Ayres. I also remember the old drug store that was replaced by the Student Center. Thanks for reminding me.

  3. I love Ray’s! I ate there almost daily from 1993-1996 as I was in the Chemistry building across the street. He was so friendly and such a bright spot in my day. And the lasagne and sweet tea were great. Thanks for the memory!!

  4. I ate at least twice a week at Ray’s. while I was attending UT. His lasagna and tea are excellent. I have very fond memories of his place and his friendly smile. My niece is a freshman this year and before classes started I took her to Ray’s and told her about the food and the service.

  5. I was a student from 1961 to 1965; my father was a professor. He introduced me to this man who owned a little coffee-and-doughnuts shop close to Ayers Hall — alas, I have forgotten his name — he too was blind, or at least very visually impaired. Dad used to go get coffee mid morning, and I got in the habit too. Someone who always greeted me with a “Hello there!” [Was his name Ray too — ?]

  6. This place is the reason I flunked Astronomy 4 times. I needed a good reason to get back on the hill and find my new wife “to be” and try to pass astronomy yet another time. Rays place was the perfect out for me. I did finnaly pass, found the girl, graduated and we now live on Rocky Top Rd in Lenoir City, TN. Life is good!

  7. iTHe place in late 60’s was known as (blind) Richard’s.. It was a great place to get a quick snack on the “Hill”. Richard was friendly, happy, and very well liked by all. He could somehow discriminate between different denominations of paper money and was a bit miffed when the government started taking silver out of our coins.

  8. @Rick
    I don’t believe so. In fact, I don’t believe Ray’s is ever open on the weekends.

    Ray’s a great man and a great place to grab a snack. In grad school now, and will always frequent Ray’s.