All Posts By


Build your business in Downtown Johnson City

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Connect Downtown Johnson City, the Chamber of Commerce of Johnson City/Jonesborough and Sync Space are partnering together to offer CO.STARTERS, a nine-week cohort based program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action, and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving endeavor. The program is for aspiring or seasoned entrepreneurs looking to launch a new product or service.

Participants of the CO.STARTERS program work with a small and supportive group of like-minded people who are all trying to start their own businesses. Working together, participants identify their assumptions about why and how their respective businesses will succeed and talk with customers to validate their ideas. The process enables the entrepreneurs to rapidly uncover issues in their proposed businesses, find practical solutions quickly, and leave the program with a deeper understanding of how to launch a successful business.

The next session begins April 13 at 6 pm in Johnson City.

Cost of registration is $125 per person and includes a CO.STARTERS workbook. Registration deadline is Thursday, April 8. Registration is limited to 12 people.

Besides the incredible business tools and insight the participants will be receiving, there will be the opportunity for participants to pitch to receive several benefit packages, including cash prizes and a one year membership to the Chamber of Commerce.  

Connect Downtown Johnson City, through a grant from Tennessee Main Street, will be looking for a business owner to open a retail incubator in downtown. If a participant is selected for this grant, they would be eligible for up to $30,000 in funding towards a marketplace business. There are also grants available for pop up shop options at a lesser amount.

“The Johnson City Development Authority and now Connect Downtown Johnson City, our Main Street accredited program, have been hosting CO.STARTERS since 2016, said Executive Director Dianna Cantler. “We have been able to assist entrepreneurs develop and discern their ideas, some have opened businesses, and some have realized through the program, that their idea needed to be more developed. That is one of the benefits to CO.STARTERS, it makes you take a look at the idea to make sure it is a good investment of time and money.”

“I would recommend opening a business in downtown Johnson City 100 percent, says Hannah Dederick, the owner of Blue Willow Bridal. “There is a community in downtown where everyone supports each other. I would not have made it this far or done this well, if not for the support of the other business downtown.”

The DowntownNOW retail incubator and DowntownPOP programs have a timeline, with the goal to begin opening at least one location by July. Connect Downtown Johnson City will work alongside the chosen entrepreneurs to ensure a successful business launch.

CO.STARTERS came out of The Company Lab, a Chattanooga, Tennessee organization that offers programs and events to support local startups and innovators in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. The program takes the lessons learned from working with thousands of local, creative entrepreneurs and combines that knowledge with the lean business modeling methods used by high-growth startups.

For more information or to register for the program, go to

Wildabout Walkabout Scavenger Hunt

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Animal sculpture scavenger hunt installed in downtown Johnson City

Fifteen bronze animal sculptures have been installed in various locations throughout downtown Johnson City. Art students in the East Tennessee State University Department of Art & Design designed and fabricated the sculptures under the direction of professor Travis Graves. Connect Downtown Johnson City and the Johnson City Public Art Committee coordinated the project, and a group of educators and a librarian from the Johnson City Public Library created a scavenger hunt entitled “Wildabout Walkabout” by developing clues for the location of each sculpture. Scavenger hunt clue cards are available at various downtown businesses and through curbside pickup at the Johnson City Public Library. The clues may also be accessed on the Downtown Johnson City website at

“The creativity found in the animal sculptures is outstanding, and we hope this scavenger hunt will draw families downtown to enjoy for many years to come,” said Nancy Fischman, Johnson City Public Art Committee chairwoman.

“The clues were designed to introduce the animals to the kids and were written for different age levels,” said Dianna Cantler, executive director of the Johnson City Development Authority. “Some will be more difficult than others, but we anticipate that all ages will learn a bit more about animals that are indigenous to our region.”

The sculptures are located around the Johnson City Public Library, in and around King Commons, and along Main and Market Streets. The mural in King Commons entitled “Wildabout” inspired the types of animals that were selected for the sculptural works, and nearly all of the animal types chosen for the sculptures are also represented in the mural. Animal types utilized in the sculpture designs include the black bear, beaver, osprey, turtle, rock bass, ladybug, and cicada, among others.

The “Wildabout Walkabout” is the perfect activity to enjoy during upcoming spring breaks and beyond, as the sculptures are permanently installed downtown.

To learn more about the Johnson City Public Art Committee and Connect Downtown Johnson City, visit and

Downtown Wagon Wheel Mural Recognized by Old Crow Medicine Show!

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

We all know the hit single, Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show.

What you may not know, is where this story begins. Ketch Secor, Co-Writer of Wagon Wheel, and Lead-singer of Old Crow Medicine Show shares how Johnson City, Tennessee, and Northeast Tennessee share a special place not only in his heart but in his lyrics.

A #1 music hit across the globe, shares the fame with Johnson City, Tennesse! You too can spread the fame of Johnson City, Tennessee by visiting downtown’s Wagon Wheel themed mural located in the Downtown Square Breezeway (216 E. Main Street).

-Stand in front of the mural

-Place your hand on the wheel

-Look back at the camera, smile, and wave as your “headed to JOHNSON CITY, TENNESSEE”

–Tag @downtownjctn and #WagonWheelJC

Mural by: Marci Berkhimer (@festivmotha)

**find more info here:

*don’t be alarmed if you hear people singing “Wagon Wheel” in the breezeway, we all love JOHNSON CITY, TENNESSEE here!

Johnson City Development Authority

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Johnson City Development Authority

Meeting Notice

The Johnson City Development Authority will have their monthly meeting on June 19 at 8 am.   This meeting will take place electronically, pursuant to Executive Order 16, issued by Gov. Bill Lee. There will not be a physical location in order to protect public health, safety, and welfare. There will be limited public access, however, a recording of the meeting will be available at within 2 days.

The agenda for the meeting can be found here: 06.19.20 JCDA Packet

To listen to the meeting:

To access the recording from the previous meeting, please email Dianna Cantler at

Holiday Sip, Shop and Stroll

By | Dining, Downtown Merchants, Fashion, Featured | No Comments

The shopping event begins at 5 pm.

You can pick up your insulated tumbler and passport at one of three locations. Depending on where you park, you should find a pick up location close by.

If you park in the Cherry Street lot, pick up at Blowtique.
If you park in Downtown Square lot, Downtown Yoga on Spring Street.
If you park at either the Pavilion or Market Street lots, check in at Trek.

Pick up ends around 6:20 pm.

Each of the businesses are offering refreshments and many have extra specials just for you! Please stop by as many as you can. You might discover something new. In order to be entered into the door prize drawing, you must visit at least 6 businesses. Door prizes will be drawn at 9:20 pm at the after party at Go Burritto. Please make sure you drop your passport there by 9:15.

Music will be in Downtown Yoga and on the street at Barley Waters. You can find a map of participating businesses on the back of your passport, they will also have glowing balloons in front of their entrance. Remember to check out as many as you can, there are surprises waiting for you at many locations!

Ticket sales end at noon online, but will be available for purchase at locations above.


Below is a map with all the participating businesses highlighted in red. The ones with the yellow stars are the 3 pick-up/entry locations (Trek, Blowtique and Downtown Yoga Center)

List of Participating Businesses:

 Artisan’s Village


 Azlinn Hope Boutique

 Badl Axe Throwing

 Barley Waters

Bernina In Stitches


 Blue Willow Bridal

 Boomtown and Co.

 Charlotte’s Florals

C.S. McCullough’s

 Downtown Yoga Center

 Go Burrito!

 Into the Fire

 It’s In the Details

 Johnson City Brewing Co.

 Reclaimed Inspired Goods

 Trek bicycle Shop

 West Main Antiques

 Wild Wing Cafe

Small Business Saturday in Downtown Johnson City

By | Dining, Downtown Merchants, Fashion | No Comments

Specials/deals being offered by local Downtown Johnson City businesses:


Albert’s Pawn:

Albert’s will pay the sales tax on any purchases

Artisan’s Village:

Coffee and chocolate samples

Each person who spends $50 or more will be entered to win a $25 gift card

The Art of Escape:

 $20 tickets/gift certificates


10% off your purchase

The store is staying open till 8:00 PM

Azlinn Hope Collection:

Spend $100 save 10%

Spend $200 save 20%

Badl Axe Throwing:

$2 off Axe Throwing per person

Barley Waters:

$1 off pints

Bernina In Stitches:

Bernina Merry Swissmas Savings for sewing and embroidery machines and accessories, Buy 2 yards of fabric get one free

Body, Health & Mind Center:

20% off all AVEDA products and Blue Ridge Hemp

Boomtown & Co:

10% off All Apparel + Fun Giveaways all day via Social Media. 

Campbell’s Morrell Music:

20% Off Storewide (USA Martin and Taylor Acoustics 10%)

CrossFit Hatch:

Free t-shirt for any new member who joins and commits to at least 3-month membership

Dos Gatos Coffee Bar:

Bring in any receipt form any Downtown business and get 20% off any drink

Their holiday gift box with a LaPella mug, 12oz bag of Counter Culture Coffee, and $10 gift card; regularly $56 on sale for $50 PLUS they’ll add an additional $5 gift card on SBS

Go Burrito:

They will be giving away 20 in store & 20 online BOGO coupons for burritos

Everyone else will get 10% off their meal on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday

Fleet Feet Johnson City:

Free gift with $200 purchase while supplies last. Up to 50% off select shoes & apparel items in store, while supplies last

Holy Taco and Cantina:

10% off food all day

$2 Dos Equis Lager

Johnson City Brewing Company:

Half off your first pint

Free logo pint glass with a purchase of $50 or more

JRH Brewing:

20% off merchandise including growlers and glassware

Little Animals Brewery:

Open House: from 2-6 PM come by and check out their soon to open brewery/tasting room

T-shirts and glasses will be available for purchase & a free sticker for stopping by!

Local Motion Cyclery:

Helmet Trade-In: Bring in any helmet & receive 20% off any in-stock helmet

In-stock Mountain Bike Tire Sale, BOGO 50% off (exclusions apply)

Rental bike sale, limited quantities, and models

All in-stock Fuji Bikes, 35% off list price

Mid City Grill:

10% off all Saturday

Olson’s Martial Arts Academy:

They are offering 2 free weeks of lessons + a free uniform when you make an appointment for your first class

Open Doors Coffeehouse:

10% off all drinks

Owls Nest:

50% off all day, plus free hot coffee in the morning

Quantum Leap sports Arena:

$3.00 off 1 Hour jump or $2 off Laser Tag

Reclaimed Inspired Goods:

20% off plus…

For every $100 spent, name entered once into a drawing for (3 winners):

1st winner gets $150 GC

2nd winner gets $100 GC

3rd winner gets $50 GC

They will draw winners on Monday at 12PM via Instagram story

Roddy’s Flowers:

10% off purchases, Apple Cider and treats

Sea Biscuit Metal Designs:

25% off any online purchase at: & free shipping using promo code “SMALLBUSINESS”

Spark Plaza:

50% off Flavor Inc. Seasoned Salt


Dollar off our beer special of the day

Trek Bicycle:

Every Trek bike is on sale:

$25 off up to $299.99

$50 off $300-$999.99

$100 off $1,000-$1,999.99

$200 off $2,000-$3,999.99

$400 off $4,000+

Plus, 20% off accessories

The Willow Tree Coffeehouse and Music Room:

Shop local Artist Market from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

West Main Antiques:

Store Wide minimum of 10% off

Select items up to 50% off

Local author book signing from 2:00 – 4:00 PM L. Thomas Roberts author of The Postcard History Series of Johnson City

What’s the Scoop:

Purchase a $25 gift card & be entered to win a $25 gift card. Drawing on 11/24. 10% off total purchase, excluding gift cards.

Local Music Spotlight – Annabelle’s Curse

By | Music | No Comments

Northeast Tennessee is well-known by tourists for its beautiful scenery, charming cities, rich history, and its flourishing live music scene. Local music in our region has made an impact in not only the smaller, local communities of the region, but also on a larger scale influencing and leading the way in worldwide music trends. Northeast Tennessee and Virginia are major staples in the development of modern country and bluegrass music; East Tennessee State University is the only 4-year university in the world to offer a comprehensive bluegrass music program. Northeast Tennessee is renowned for its undertaking and celebration of their local music scene with local festivals, concert series, and venues embracing and honoring local bands and artists. Each band has their own unique sound and personality.

Annabelle’s Curse is a 6-piece band rooted in Bristol, TN/VA. This indie-folk band has made a name for themselves across the southeast and mid-Atlantic region. They have played at multiple festivals and been supporting acts for big name artists, such as Anderson East, Humming House, The Black Lillies, Birds of Chicago, and HoneyHoney. The 6-piece band consists of Tim Kilbourne (vocals, banjo, guitar), Carly Booher (vocals, mandolin), Zack Edwards (guitar), Travis Goyette (percussion), Tyler Luttrell (bass), and Kirk Bagnall (auxiliary percussion).

Where did your members go to high school/college?
“Tim went to Science Hill and Saudi Daisy, Carly went to John S Battle, Tyler went to University High, Travis went to Gate City High, Kirk went to Virginia High, Zack went to Carroll County High.”

Where’s your favorite local place to perform?
“We love playing at Wolf Hills Brewing and The Willow Tree, our favorite festival/show of the year is Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion.”

Can you describe our local music scene?
“The local scene is super supportive and full of some of the best bands you will ever hear. It’s definitely a community that has helped us grow.”

How have you seen our local music scene adapt and change over the years?
“It has become much more diverse while also embracing the heritage of the traditional music that put our area on the map.”

Can you describe your sound?
“Most people would probably place us in the Alternative or Indie Folk genre, but we’ve been pushing our boundaries outside of those boundaries the last few years.”

What makes your band unique?
“We are just some normal people playing music that we like. At the end of the day we are just a combination of other music and hopefully we put our own spin on it.”

What region/area is the members of your band from?
“Travis, Carly, and Kirk are from Bristol. Tim was raised in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Johnson City, Zack is from Galax, Virginia, and Tyler is from Johnson City.”

What’s your favorite part about living in this area?
“Definitely the natural beauty. We are all nature lovers and the outdoor opportunities are endless around here.”

What local bands have inspired or motivated you?
“That’s a tough one because there are so many good bands here. We’ve got tons of friends that we’ve shared stages and tours with but to name a few Virginia Ground, Amythyst Kiah, Folk Soul Revival, 49 Winchester, Adam Bolt, and Beth Snapp. Again, it’s hard to pick favorites but those are a few we love.”

Lastly, if you could spend a day doing anything in this area where would you go and what would you do?
“Probably just go hike to the top of a mountain or a waterfall. The natural world never seems to get old.”

Grown & Gathered – a farm to table experience

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

The Downtown Johnson City Foundation is fusing farm fresh food with a good cause for their annual farm-to-table experience. Grown & Gathered was a sellout event last year and features an intimate dining setting. Proceeds from the event will benefit Downtown Johnson City Foundation’s efforts towards downtown improvements.

Grown & Gathered will take place on Thursday, October 10. The dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails and passed appetizers. The family style served dinner will be in the Pavilion at Founders Park.

Grown & Gathered is a seasonal feast prepared by Jamie Dove and Elise Clair and their team from The Main Street Pizza Company and River Creek Catering. The dinner will feature the bounty from 30 local farms and producers. Each year this team provides an exceptional menu of delicious items, and this year will be no different.

Music for the event will be provided by Cory Jeter. This year’s menu will celebrate the legacy of farming in our community as part of Johnson City’s Sesquicentennial Celebration. An added component will be recipe cards featuring handed down recipes from the community. To submit your family’s favorite, go to Downtown Johnson City’s Facebook page.

Tickets for the farm-to-table dinner will be $75 per person. Since last year was a sellout, we recommend getting tickets early. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite,  or in person at the JCDA office, 300 E. Main Street, Suite 406 (4th floor of the King Building) Monday through Friday from 9am – 4:30 am.

The Downtown Johnson City Foundation is a 501(c) (3) responsible for raising funds for downtown projects and improvements. For more information,

The event is sponsored by Ameriprise Financial Services – The Torbett Group

ALL. OUT. BIZ. Workshops

By | Downtown Merchants | No Comments

The Johnson City Development Authority is organizing a series of four business based workshops tailored towards Downtown Merchants. There will be one workshop a month; each workshop will be focusing on different techniques and features that Downtown Merchants can use to reach their target audience and expand their brand. Each workshop will be taught by a different instructor, who is proficient in the subject.


3. Grow with Google

Google My Business is an easy way to make your business more discoverable in your local market across Google Search & Maps. This workshop offers a walk-through step-by-step of everything you need to know about setting up and optimizing your Google My Business profile. Google My Business allows you to drive customer engagement through Google, give customers more ways to reach you and find out how many people are connecting with you through Google. In this workshop you will learn how to: Create or claim your Google My Business listing. Mange your business information across Google Search and Maps. Use Google My Business to connect with potential costumers.  Create a free website using the information from your Business Profile. Training by Dave Delaney, Grow With Google. SPACE IS LIMITED…REGISTER HERE:  Eventbrite


Monday, October 28th | 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Northeast State – Downtown Center, 141 E. Market Street, garage located on Buffalo Street


4. Get Your Store Ready for Shop Local

This workshop is geared towards helping local, small businesses get their storefront ready for Small Business Saturday on November 29th. You will learn the proper marketing and display methods and tools needed to reach your desired customer throughout the holiday season.

Monday, November 18th | 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Northeast State – Downtown Center

Readers’ Choice 2019 Nominations: Downtown Businesses

By | Dining, Fashion, Food for thought, Music | No Comments

It’s the 16th year for the Johnson City Press’s annual Readers’ Choice: Best of The Best Competition. Downtown Johnson City dominated the competition this year with over 40 Downtown Johnson City businesses getting to the voting stage of the competition. From brewery’s to shops to restaurants to massage studios to family-fun activities Downtown Johnson City has it all. Below is the list of all the Downtown Johnson City businesses that have made it to the voting stage of the competition and what categories they are nominated in. Voting ends on August 14th! The link to vote is

·       Atlantic Ale House

o   Bar

o   Happy Hour

o   Pet friendly Business

·       Barley Waters

o   Bar

o   Places to Buy Beer

o   Sports Bar

·       Label Restaurant

o   Bar

o   Happy Hour

o   Brunch

o   French Fries

o   Hamburger

o   Sushi

o   Steakhouse

·       Tipton Street Pub

o   Bar

o   Pet Friendly Business

o   Late-Night

·       Wild Wing Cafe

o   Wings

o   Live Music Venue

o   Bar

o   Happy Hour

o   Sports Bar

·       JRH Brewing

o   Micro-Brewery

·       Johnson City Brewing Company

o   Micro-Brewery

o   Pet Friendly Business

·       Sabores

o   Happy Hour

o   Business Lunch

·       Into the Fire

o   Custom Artwork

·       Cross Stitch and Crafts

o   Craft Store

o   Sewing Supplies

·       Bernina In Stitches

o   Craft Store

o   Sewing Supplies

·       Shellshead Ballet

o   Dance Studio

·       Skillville Community Workspace

o   Date Spot

o   Over 50 Date Night

o   Birthday Party Venue

·       The Art of Escape

o   Date Spot

o   Escape Room

o   Fun for the Whole Family

o   Tourist Spot

o   Over 50 Date Night

o   Family Entertainment

o   Take the Grand Kids  

o   Children’s Entertainment

·       StudioWed

o   Event Planner

·       VENUE at the King’s Centre

o   Event Venue

·       The Gallery: Wedding Venue & Special Events Facility

o   Event Venue

·       Quantum Leap Trampoline Park

o   Trampoline Park

o   Over 50 Date Night  

o   Birthday Party Venue

o   Fun for the Whole Family

o   Family Entertainment 

o   Children’s Entertainment  

·       Capone’s

o   Live Music Venue

·       Down Home

o   Live Music Venue

·       The Willow Tree Coffeehouse and Music Room

o   Live Music Venue

o   Bagel

o   Coffee Shop

·       Founders After 5

o   Local Event

·       Little Chicago Downtown Music and Arts Festival

o   Local Event

·       It’s in the Details

o   Party and Event Supplies

o   Rental Store

·       Trek Bicycle

o   Bicycle Store

·       Local Motion Cyclery

o   Bicycle Store

·       White Duck Taco Shop

o   Pet-Friendly Business

o   Mexican

·       Shamrock Beverage & Tobacco Shop

o   Tobacco

o   Pet-Friendly Business

o   Carry-Out

o   Hotdog

o   Ice Cream

o   Deli-Sandwiches

o   Iced Tea

·       Lotus Farm and Garden Supply

o   Lawn and Garden Store

·       Select Seven Credit Union

o   Credit Union

·       Edward Jones

o   Financial Planner

o   Investment Firm

·       Herndon, Coleman, Brading, and Mckee

o   Lawyer-Personal Injury

o   Lawyer-Family

o   Law Firm

·       Cakebuds Bakery

o   Bakery

o   Cupcakes

o   Dessert

·       The Firehouse Restaurant

o   BBQ

·       Southern Craft BBQ

o   BBQ

o   Chicken Wings

o   Fried Chicken

o   Ribs

o   Caterers

·       Dos Gatos Coffee Bar

o   Vegan

o   Coffee Shop

o   Breakfast

o   Gluten Free

·       Open Doors Coffeehouse

o   Breakfast

o   Coffee Shop

o   Vegan

·       Wok & Hibachi

o   Buffett

o   Carry-Out

o   Asian Restaurant

·       Red Meze Downtown

o   Business Lunch

o   Vegan

·       Mid City Grill

o   Carry-Out

o   French Fries

o   Hamburgers

o   Gluten Free Menu

o   Late-Night

o   Vegan

·       Swirled

o   Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt

·       The Main Street Pizza Company

o   Pizza

o   Late-Night

·       Johnson City Farmers Market

o   Local Produce Stand

·       Ole Guacamoles

o   Mexican Restaurant

·       West Main Antiques and Variety

o   Antique Store

·       Atomik Comics

o   Book/Music Store

o   Gifts/Collectables

·       Atlantis

o   Boutique

·       East Tennessee Hemp Company

o   CBD Oil Supplier

·       Mountain Roots Hemp Dispensary & Café

o   CBD Oil Supplier

·       Owls Nest Clothing & More

o   Thrift Store

o   Women’s Clothing

o   Baby Clothes

·       Downtown Yoga Center

o   Yoga

o   Over 50 Date Night

·       Silverball City Arcade

o   Over 50 Date Night

·       Townview Senior Living  

o   Retirement Community

·       Olson’s Martial Arts

o   Martial Arts

·       Curt Malyar’s USA Karate

o   Martial arts

o   Birthday Party Venue

o   Local Business Website

·       Crystal Massage Studio

o   Massage Studio

·       Samadhi Healing arts Center

o   Yoga Studio

·       WJHL

o   Local TV Station

·       The High Road Agency

o   Local Advertising Agency

·       The Net360

o   Local Advertising Agency

·       Johnson City Chamber of Commerce

o   Local Business to Business Organization 

·       Johnson City Family Skate Center

o   Birthday Party Venue