JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Sports-themed restaurant Kickback Jack’s will open its first Tennessee location in Johnson City’s Hamilton Place center in the first half of 2020.
The large (9 to 10,000 square foot) restaurant is under construction at 3026 Hamilton Place, near Aubrey’s. Tom Mincher, who owns the Greensboro, N.C.-based chain, said the restaurant distinguishes itself from other sports bars by what he said is “basically a scratch kitchen.”
“The majority of the ingredients are coming in fresh,” Mincher said. “We don’t do a lot of microwaving and frozen foods.”
The 300-seat restaurant should open by March or April, depending on weather, and will include an outdoor seating area. Management staff already are training at North Carolina locations and are a mix of employees familiar with the chain and locals.
The Kickback Jack’s website boasts of a “complete sports tavern experience,” and invites prospective patrons to enjoy more than 50 large screen, high-definition televisions and activities ranging from fantasy league drafts and cornhole to karaoke and poker games.
Mincher, who spends some time in the North Carolina highlands, said previous trips to Johnson City helped convince him it was a good market for an initial East Tennessee footprint.
“With the university growing and expanding I find it a very attractive market,” Mincher said. “It’s the kind of market where our restaurant does well. We’ll continue to use that as a base to grow out of in East Tennessee.”
Mincher’s family-owned Battleground Restaurant Group, which also operates the Tripps chain, is adding two to three new Kickback Jack’s a year, he said. Company president Tom Mincher Jr. runs the real estate and construction side of the house, which includes an in-house construction company.
Mincher said the restaurant’s broad menu includes everything from standard sports bar fare such as wings to pizza with scratch-made dough and sauces, salads and steaks. He said that has allowed it to attract a broader age demographic than some competitors. “We really do draw from across the whole age and income spectrum,” he said.
Property records show T&J Properties of Greensboro purchased the 2.64-acre plot at 3026 Hamilton Place for $1,000,000 Nov. 1, 2018.