Red Chili seeking location change to Bonnie Kate Theater

Published 4:08 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2018

As work continues on the Bonnie Kate Theater to focus on the performing arts, an open space at the facility could soon be the home of a downtown Elizabethton mainstay.

City leaders will look to enter into a lease agreement with Mia E. Ward, owner of Red Chili, to allow the restaurant to shift its location from their East Elk Avenue location to the dining/cafe area of the Bonnie Kate. The lease agreement will be voted upon by leaders Thursday and, following approval, would go into effect April 1, and was recommended by the Bonnie Kate Board.

According to the RFP provided by city officials, Red Chili would be able to utilize 2100 square feet of space inside the facility with a bevy of inventory items. Various tools, including grills, stoves, seating and other items that could be used to help the restaurant, make a seamless transition.

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The area has been scouted for businesses since April following the closure of Sugar Love Bakery.

Red Chili will join a facility that is in the process of renovations and currently offering various performances under the direction of Bonnie Kate Events Coordinator Marcia Ross.


Following the decision of Jerome Kitchens to retire from the post as city manager, City Council will take Thursday’s meeting as an opportunity to seek out an interim city manager.

Kitchens was named interim manager in 2013 following the retirement of former manager Fred Edens Jr. City Council went through a selection process months later following Edens Jr.’s retirement and elected to remove the interim title from Kitchens.

In a letter addressed to City Council members, Kitchens was quick to thank the city employees for their work during his time at the helm.

“I would like to take this last opportunity to thank the city employees for the hard work they do that makes this city a great place to work. We can always do better but that is just the definition of improvement and my wish for all is steady improvement over time,” Kitchens stated in the letter.


In other business, City Council will look at approving a lease agreement to allow Elizabethton City Schools/Boys and Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County and the Elizabethton Soccer Association to use property located off Rogosin Drive for a potential soccer practice field. Before any work could occur, an environmental study would need to be performed. Another item to be addressed by Council is approving a motion of support for renovations at T.A. Dugger Junior High. Both Council and ECS have agreed to do work at the school until bonds on the half-cent sales tax offer a favorable outcome for both parties.