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The Mad Greek heads South: Popular Bristol eatery to open J. C. location

An award-winning restaurant with deep roots in the Tri-Cities will soon be opening a second location, in Johnson City.
Georgia Georgiou Schnell told the Elizabethton Star she has purchased the business and the building once occupied by the Atlanta Bread Company and most recently by the Paragon Diner, located at 2010 Franklin Terrace Court in Johnson City, and will open a second location of The Mad Greek later this summer.
Established in 1988, the restaurant has been very successful in Bristol, earning the People’s Choice Award.
“We’ll be doing extensive renovations to the building in order to compete with the many other restaurants in the area,” she said.
Featuring Mediterranean specialties, including their famous pizza, Schnell said The Mad Greek uses all fresh ingredients — something she is passionate about.
“As I watch what I eat, I know others do as well,” she said. “We want to provide healthy food with fresh ingredients, so we use local produce and fresh meat. We never use anything that has been chemically processed.”
Plans for the new restaurant include a large dining patio, and herbs grown on-site will be used to flavor their entrees.
Schnell said a three-day opening celebration and open house is planned for August. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week and will offer a food bar with pricing she says she hopes will be attractive to families and students.
The Johnson City location will be the first of three new restaurants Schnell has planned, with two more Mad Greek restaurants in the works for the surrounding area.
“We will serve as the exclusive franchisers with all rights in Tennessee,” she added.
Schnell, born in Cyprus, said she opened the Mad Greek restaurant in Bristol out of her passion for serving Greek/Italian cuisine. Growing up in the Mediterranean, she learned about the food — a combination of island cooking and Greek, but modified.
“We bake instead of fry,” she noted.
Creating special dishes and serving them is something Schnell says she continues to enjoy and she plans to keep improving the menus at The Mad Greek to bring good quality food to the tables of her patrons.
“The best joy for me is seeing people come in and enjoy the food,” Schnell said.