Tupelo Honey Cafe, a fixture in downtown Asheville since 2000, will open a new restaurant in Johnson City, in the historic train depot, according to the restaurant’s owner Steve Frabitore. The target date for opening the new downtown Johnson City venue is fall 2013.
“We are very excited to open in the Tri-Cities market,” said Frabitore. “We have had an enormous amount of interest and enthusiasm from folks in the area encouraging us to come to the area, and we are especially excited to be a part of downtown Johnson City’s revitalization efforts. We believe it is important to preserve this historic building and we are eager to add new jobs to the area’s economy.”
Tupelo Honey opened its second Asheville location in March 2010 in south Buncombe County at 1829 Hendersonville Road. It will open on historic Market Square in Knoxville in late September of this year. All of the restaurants are owned, managed, staffed and operated by Tupelo Honey Cafe. Each restaurant employs approximately 80 staff members.
The decision to open in the Tri-Cities comes after months of research and extensive third-party site selection analysis.
“We visited both sides of main street in Bristol as well as Kingsport and Johnson City,” explained Frabitore. “It was not an easy decision since everywhere we went, we were so warmly welcomed. Each community did a terrific job of helping us understand the town’s assets and offerings. Frankly, the hospitality we received in all of the cities makes us extraordinarily eager to be in the Tri-Cities region.”
The historic train depot in Johnson City was constructed in 1909 and the restaurant will occupy the 5,800 square food freight bay and will have approximately 175 seats, a full bar, outside dining along the station platform and a centerpiece open display kitchen where customers will be able to observe and interact with Tupelo staff.
“We are all about flavor and scratch-made fun,” said Frabitore, “and we think we’ll deliver on that promise well in Johnson City.”
Look for Facebook updates at www.facebook. c o m / t u p e l o j o h n s o n c i t y . For more information, visit www. tupelohoneycafe.com