JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- It’s been a decade since Stir Fry closed down in Johnson City, but soon people will once again be able to order their favorite menu items.
“You have some classics on the menu. You have some vegetables, fried rice, we also have a little bit of pork belly ramen, which is something different. We’ve got some noodle dishes and a little bit of stir fry dishes. Then we’ll have some tacos on the menu that has a little more Latin flair to it,” said General Manager, Lorenzo Ramunno. “There will be some awesome seafood on there, such as mussels. You can’t get that at a lot of places, so mussels will be on the menu. And Stir Fry, really there’s not much in downtown Johnson City that has a lot of Asian, stir fry dishes around here.”
The Stir Fry Group’s newest endeavor, Juan Siao, is set to open on Tipton Street in downtown Johnson City in May with its Asian-Latin-infused menu.
“We’re going through currently, right now, our final inspections, and we’re making sure that the food quality is absolutely superb, and of course making sure our staff is ready to go,” Ramunno said. “We’re going to have a good time and make sure that everybody is ready to welcome Johnson City guests.”
The food isn’t the only thing nostalgic about the restaurant, which was built from the ground up.
“We’re joining to an additional building that’s just been a landmark downtown,” Ramunno said. “We actually still have the original Coca-Cola sign still on the building, which is so unique and a lot of people remember that sign. So instead of covering it up, we left it exposed, and we joined this building to make it look like it was part of this building for all these years.”
The two-story restaurant has flight stairs that fan out, leading to the upstairs bar and seating area with large opening windows.
“It’s going to be a really classy, comfortable atmosphere with convenient price food,” said Ramunno. “We want this place to be very fun.”
Next month’s opening is long-awaited after several setbacks, like the pandemic and supply chain issues, since they broke ground in 2020.
“We got to wait on construction, wait on certain things to be shipped over, staffing, we’ve got to make sure we get the proper staff and get everybody to apply so a lot of delays have happened,” explained Ramunno.
Leadership is now facing another obstacle ahead of opening- hiring in a tight labor market.
“It’s been a struggle, but with that said, we’re going to do the best we can so whenever we do open up, hopefully, everybody will be patient with us,” said Ramunno. “It’s going to be a lot, but we’re going to make sure we handle it the best way we can.”
Ramunno hopes this will add to the ongoing effort of making downtown Johnson City a destination.
“We kind of want to make Johnson City, just the downtown area, a landmark to where people can travel to different restaurants around here, just try new things,” he said. “Whether it’s going to a restaurant way across there and they can just walk across and try something- some Asian stir fry yet Latin cuisine, they can go over to The Label, try a lot of different types of food.”
The team is still looking for experienced kitchen workers like line cooks as well as hosts, food runners, and barbacks.
“The Stir Fry Group has done a great job in the Tri-Cities area when it comes to opening up restaurants when it comes to employees,” he said. “People love to work for this company.”
People can apply in person during the week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Resumes can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.