JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Several new restaurants are coming soon to Johnson City and downtown leaders believe that could be the next big step in the development of downtown.

Five new restaurants are opening now or are expected to open soon downtown.

Juan Siao, an Asian-Mexican fusion restaurant, opened on Tuesday.

The Black Olive will open its third location in the Tri-Cities in Johnson City. A now hiring sign could be seen in the window.

Diablo, a Mexican restaurant, will open in the former location of Willow Tree Coffee House. Owner Vik Vatrana told News Channel 11 there’s still work to be done before Diablo can open.

Voodoo Chicken will open inside Rum Bar in former GoBurrito location.

Burg’r & Barrel will re-occupy the Johnson City Train Depot and is expected to open in May.

Lindsey Jones with Connect Downtown Johnson City said adding those new restaurants to downtown’s existing dining portfolio could make Johnson City the region’s hub for food-lovers.

“We 100 percent should be marketing as the foodie district or the foodie region in the Appalachian Highlands. We’ve got it all here right in downtown within walking distance,” Jones said.

Things are moving fast at Burg’r & Barrel at the old train depot. Demetri Kalogeros, operations manager with Peerless Hospitality Concepts, said a grand opening for the craft burger and beer joint is coming soon.

“Floors are finished, equipment’s going in right now, and we hope to be open by the end of this month, if not by the first week to be ready for the Blue Plum Festival,” Kalogeros.

They’ll also breathe new life into the depot’s train platform. Crews are currently installing turf and an outdoor bar for an outdoor space called Gather at JC Depot.

“It’s more of a hangout type venue to where we can gather,” Kalogeros said. “This is one of the most prime locations in downtown Johnson City. I think it offers such a historic meaning to the city that everybody just has a great appreciation for.”

Jones said this restaurant boom is the next step in making downtown a destination.

“The more places that we have the more people that are coming in downtown. We have a ton of people moving here right now, so we’re only going to continue to grow, so why not open as many doors as we can,” Jones said.

Kalogeros said the city’s revitalization efforts in downtown were a big factor in Peerless’ decision to bring Burg’r & Barrel to downtown.

“It shows that the restaurateurs are buying into what the city has done with downtown and what we can expect to see for many years to come,” Kalogeros.

With Summer right around the corner, restaurant openings could bring a big, hungry crowd down Main Street.

“This is the perfect time to get all of those new restaurants busy and go in their doors and try something new,” Jones said.

Jones added that several upcoming festivals and events hosted in downtown Johnson City can provide a great opportunity to try the new restaurants once open.