Johnson City Mexican Restaurant Dubbed “El Kroger” for Close Proximity to Grocery Store

East Tennessee State University students hide their cell phones underneath their desks as they create a group chat with friends asking if the lunch plan for “El Kroger” is still on.

This lingo is not foreign to students, who have unofficially nicknamed the Johnson City, TN Mexican restaurant, El Charolais, due to its being next to a Kroger near campus.

El Charolais has served jumbo margaritas and house-made quesadillas since the owner, Jose Luis Jauregu, opened the regional restaurant chain in Johnson City.

Jauregu has operated restaurants since 2004.

El Charolais is open 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays, stays open until 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and closes early on Sundays at 9:30 p.m.

Sport Sticky Fingers at The Wild Wing Café

The Wild Wing Café in downtown Johnson City, TN hosts band performances every weekend.

Sarah Goodpaster, the sport bar’s marketing and promotions manager, runs the show from Knoxville and ensures guests have live music and can leave with a good experience.

Bar-goers mingle with friends carrying a bucket of beer, shaking hands with acquaintances with sticky fingers from the smothered chicken wings.

The Wild Wing Café stays open Monday through Sunday 11 a.m.- 2 a.m. and welcomes walk-ins and offers take-away plates.

Johnson City Coffee House Serves Live Music and Hot Mochas

Hungry for live music? The Willow Tree in Johnson City, TN is a coffee house and bookstore by day, but by night, the stage sets for musicians, singers and bands from the region.

Every Wednesday night, the talent can sign up for a time to perform, and the audience keeps busy browsing books and drinking coffee before the show.

The Willow Tree’s coffee beans are roasted at The Coffee Company in Elizabethon, TN.

During the day, guests savor homemade quiche or chicken salad while losing themselves in a book off one of the shelves.

The Willow Tree stays open every day of the week.