From the outside, it looks a bit like a cross between a barn and a roadhouse. A verandah wraps around the front, and leads to the 1,900 square foot covered deck. Inside, there are tables and chairs, booths, a bar and two pool tables.
The restaurant, Johnny and Tammy’s of Newborn., opened in space once used by Bess’s Place in early March. The menu features burgers, steaks, wings, BBQ, meat loaf — just, what kitchen manager Lee Fox calls, good ol’ down home country cooking.
“Everything is fresh,” he said, adding that the meat is never frozen, everything is prepared to order, and their pizza is baked in a brick pizza oven. The restaurant offers, he said, “good food, good times and good hospitality.”
In addition to the food, Johnny and Tammy’s hosts karoke nights on Wednesday open to all ages, and live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Owner Johnny Adams says that they try to hire local talent, and that Drew Parker will play the outdoor stage on Aug. 28, and Gannon Adams on Aug. 29. Beginning Sunday, the restaurant will be serving all-you-can eat catfish.
Adams said they really had expected to build up the restaurant clientele slowly. They were surprised and pleased that a slow build up wasn’t necessary. The majority, about 70 percent, of the diners are repeat customers from the local area, he said, “but every week we see new people coming. We’ve had customers from Grayson, Logan and beyond come.”
One woman, Fox said, comes from Monticello at least twice a week just for the pizza.
On average, there are between 50 and 120 people on Wednesday’s Karoke nights. That number has swollen to as many as 300 when local musician Drew Parker performs.
The 16 members of the staff are considered family, Fox said. The restaurant’s success is due to their hard work.
Special events are also hosted, including a breast cancer awareness day last weekend, and a veteran’s awareness day in May. A local farmer brings a truck and offers hay rides, and the special events have been successful. Adams said they hope to hold between four and six special events at the restaurants a year.
Fox said that during the Veterans Awareness Day in May, veterans of all ages were asked to sign a “We Support the Troops” flag hanging over the stage. “All current and former veterans are invited to sign the flag when they come.”
Adams said Newborn Mayor Gregg Ellwanger and city hall had been a great support to the restaurant over the last few months. Both Adams and Fox like the idea of the restaurant being a gathering place for people in the community. Running the restaurant is a lot of long hours and hard work, Adams said, “but the best thing is all the people we get to meet.”
Fox agrees. “We are people people,” he said. “We’re working on being a center of the community.”
Johnny and Tammy’s is located at 4027 Highway 142 in Newborn, Ga. For more information, check out the restaurant’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/johnnyntammy.