JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Big changes are coming to a major road in Johnson City. Two landmark restaurants- The Peerless and the former “House of Ribs” undergoing redevelopment along North Roan Street.
“This is an area of town where there needs to some real new life coming into it,” said Todd Holmes, Senior Pastor of The River of Tri-Cities Church and current owner of the former “House of Ribs” building.
Thursday afternoon the owner of The Peerless Restaurant announced the establishment which has been open for more than 80 years is now closed.
“When you’ve been in business for eighty-two years, things always are changing,” said Gary Kalogeros, Owner and President of Peerless Hospitality Concepts, Inc. “We saw this opportunity with the economy so much better, people’s dining- they have a change of habits and it gave us the opportunity to re-think about how we do everything.”
After renovations, it will re-open as a tavern, bakery and retail space.
“We’re having a mixed bag of tools here to bring our commercial development side and our hospitality side to create something totally unique for Johnson City and its really going to change the cityscape,” said Kalogeros.
“With the tavern, we’re going to be focused on “foodie shareables” and tapas. We have a little more light so I think it’s going to attract a younger crowd. We also have a new bakery, which bakeries are hot right now.”
Kalogeros also announced a church will begin meeting in a banquet space at the current peerless location.
That church – called “The River of Tri-Cities” eventually will meet just a few blocks away on North Roan Street in what once was another legacy Johnson City restaurant – the House of Ribs which closed several years ago.
“House of RIbs has been around forever it seems, everybody knows it, everybody has eaten there,” said Holmes. “We’re going to take that piece of property, we’re having everything drawn up right now.”
Holmes said The River of the Tri-Cities Church already has plans for the front wing of the now-vacant building.
“The other one is available for us to purchase and so we’re hoping to be able to do that also because we want to start a Bible college there also,” says Holmes.
The River of Tri-Cities Church is expecting their build-out to be complete by March 2021. The Peerless Centre’s Annex is expected to be open sometime this summer.