JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Downtown Johnson City has been full of people taking advantage of deals at local restaurants for the past seven days during an event called “Restaurant Week.”
The event, in its second year, was created last year by city tourism officials to help out local businesses that took a hard hit during the pandemic.
“It’s definitely taken its toll on downtown,” Red Meze Restaurant Manager Cory Bachetti said.
Bachetti said he’s counting this week as a success, noting that he saw larger numbers this year than the first time.
“I think everyone’s hopping on the bandwagon with it,” Bachetti said. “We appreciate all the support from the community.”
Bachetti said his restaurant sold out of french fries this week after so many people ordered the $8 gyro and fries special.
Over at The Main Street Pizza Company, servers said that people have been coming in and ordering their specials all week.
“Just myself alone I would say like 60 or 70 people at least,” server Courtney Turpin said. “There was a lot of other servers too though.”
Restaurant managers said they hope the new tradition continues for years to come.
“It’s good to see everybody kind of getting back to normal is what it feels like, just back to the normal crowd size that we had pre-pandemic,” The Main Street Pizza Company manager and co-owner, Elise Clair said. “It’s been a struggle for us for sure. The whole way through it’s been an up and down.”
“Last year was a big hit,” Bachetti said. “This year, helped out tremendously.”
Now that restaurant week is over, local business owners said they want to remind the community to shop local for their holiday presents.