Recent Posts

Spudnuts, Made from Potato Flour, Once a Popular Delicacy May 14, 2012 Eateries - Lewis Brown, an occasional contributor to my column, asked me if I was familiar with a former Johnson City business known as the Spudnut Shop.  “Many years ago when I joined the Optimist club,” said Lewis, “John Roach (former parts manager for Tennessee Motor Company, 401 W. Market Street) told me about a donut shop… Continue Reading
What was the Name of This 1950s “Mom and Pop” Eatery? February 13, 2012 Eateries - In 1953, Johnson City had 62 mostly “Mom and Pop” restaurants in the Johnson City area. Most were located within a short distance of the downtown Fountain Square area for the convenience of shoppers and workers. Two of my family members owned restaurants in the early 1950s. I mentioned one, The Green Bean, at 514… Continue Reading
Mystery Solved: Additional Facts Identify Location of 1904 Tip Top Restaurant July 4, 2011 Eateries - I enjoy walking the streets of downtown Johnson City when everything is relatively quiet and peaceful, allowing me to reflect on the thousands of stores, from pre-Henry Johnson days to the present, which were once open for business. If the storefronts could talk about all their previous owners, they would say that many were highly… Continue Reading
Gurney Burgers, Once a Bounteous and Succulent Family Tradition May 25, 2009 Eateries - I have been a hamburger connoisseur my entire life. My favorite burger in the late 1940s was cooked by Bill Lawson at his small 302 W. Market Street cafe, The Sandwich Shop, just west down the road from our apartment. After Bill closed his business, my taste buds promptly migrated west to the Apex Barbecue… Continue Reading
Clarence’s Drive-In in Unicoi, Known for Fabulous Food, Tall Tales April 20, 2009 Eateries - In 1985, former Press writer Tom Hodge wrote about a restaurant that he occasionally patronized. Located in Unicoi, it was Clarence’s Drive-In, owned and operated by Clarence Tapp who opened the popular eatery in 1969. It is still going strong 40 years later. The signature meal, according to current owners, Jerry and Teresa Collins, is… Continue Reading
Ed’s Town House Was a Refreshing Lunch Break for Columnist December 29, 2008 Eateries - The downtown Johnson City I fondly remember in the 1950s-60s was a lively place especially on Saturdays. Between 1962 and 1964, I was a full-time student at ETSU with a part-time job at Frick’s Music Mart (403 S. Roan). I planned my campus schedule each weekday so I could finish my classes by early afternoon… Continue Reading
World Series Player Board Was a Popular Event in 1926 December 1, 2008 Eateries - The 2008 World Series has come and gone. Area residents mature enough to remember the Oct. 2-10, 1926 event may recall it for what happened in Johnson City rather than what transpired in New York and St. Louis. The Yankees and Cardinals squared off in a seven-day contest that concluded with the Gateway City taking… Continue Reading
Memories Just Keep Flowing for the Late Dutch Maid Drive-In June 9, 2008 Eateries - My two previous Dutch Maid columns evoked additional responses from readers. The first came from Mike Burgner, nephew of the late Otto (nicknamed Ott): “Your article brought back many memories for me as I used to work for Uncle Ott. I wish that he could have read your article. I miss him and the Dutch… Continue Reading
1908 Time Machine Journey To Pardue’s Quick Lunch Counter May 12, 2008 Eateries - I haven’t operated my Yesteryear Time Machine lately so let me crank it up and take us on a voyage to 1908 in downtown Johnson City, a municipality of about 7500 inhabitants. The sole purpose of the trip is to dine at Pardue’s Quick Lunch Counter at 239 E. Main. Take your heavy coat along;… Continue Reading
Reader Provides Additional Information About the Dutch Maid Drive-In April 21, 2008 Eateries - I received a note from John Salyer saying that my recent Dutch Maid Drive-In column made no mention of his family’s involvement with the restaurant. Mr. Salyer agreed to help me with a follow-up column. He sent me some written material about the restaurant and asked artist Jerry Honeycutt (“Cruising Down Memory Lane”) to furnish… Continue Reading