JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – After months of work, a brand-new Black Olive location has opened in downtown Johnson City.
Starting on Tuesday, the business’s soft opening ended, and co-owners Kinsey Holliday and Moe Farrouki were happy to welcome in guests for some of their first regular hours.
“It’s been really exciting just to finally be open,” Holliday said. “I feel like we’ve really been preparing for almost a year, and anticipation’s been high. It just feels nice to finally open the doors and get some customers in here.”
The new Black Olive resides at 202 E Main St. and features a spacious main dining room with a patio that opens to the street. From comfy Italian classics like Chicken Parmesan and Lasagna to more adventurous Moroccan zing, the restaurant offers a wide menu for all to enjoy.
“The difference about this location in Johnson City,” said Farrouki. “Is that we can make some new dishes.”
Some of those will be homages to Moe’s roots, with Moroccan salmon and chicken slated to make regular appearances on the menu. Each week, Farrouki said he plans to rotate in a new dish. For this specific location, the Downtown Chicken is expected to be a crowd pleaser.
For The Black Olive, the downtown location presented a major opportunity. From concerts on the patio to a bar for short-term visitors, the new venture is poised to plug into the downtown business that streams along Main Street.
In the meantime, staff positions are still available for those that want in on the action. From wait staff to line cooks, owners Holliday and Farrouki are planning to add more shift coverage as time goes on.
“Staffing’s definitely been an issue as well, and we’re still not fully staffed,” Holliday said. “But we’re working on it. We try to be a really good place to work. At our other locations, we’ve had people that have been there years and years.”
For those that give the restaurant a shot, Farrouki and Holliday recommended the Lemon Chicken Soup as an appetizer if available, and the spice-seared salmon dishes carried some of the owners’ highest praise.