The Hungry Wolf opens on Milligan Highway

Published 8:17 am Friday, February 14, 2020

Though the restaurant that used to occupy the space has left the Milligan community, the spirit and passion for food has not truly left, and another chain has stepped up to give the community a place to have fun, relax and enjoy good food.

Jacob Johnson, executive chef of the Hungry Wolf, said the new restaurant has experienced a steady, large selection of customers since their opening day just a few weeks ago.

“Our goal is we want to bring as natural and homemade food as possible,” Johnson said.

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The restaurant is the latest in the Mad Greek chain from Johnson City, situated where the old Aunt B’s was located along Milligan Highway. The restaurant experienced some power issues in the first few days after they opened at the end of January, but Johnson said they have resolved those issues and have been good to go since.

“The reason we had a rough start was because we were surged with customers,” he said. “They made lines down the street.”

The Hungry Wolf serves a wide variety of local delicacies, from burgers and sandwiches to soup and BBQ.

“I feel like everybody wants the same thing,” he said. “They want to sit down somewhere and feel comfortable.”

This attitude towards a relaxing environment boils down to the items on their menu. He said everything available is something he knows will work because family members have made it before.

“It is the thought that takes the ingredients and makes it taste like a meal.”

Johnson came into Mad Greek after his time in Texas, where he worked for a catering business. A North Carolina native, he said he wanted to return to the mountains, but found Tennessee provided a better environment.

“I get to make this menu around what I do best,” said Johnson.

An example of an item he will not make is brisket. He said the shelf life is so low, no one is going to take it outside the restaurant, which defeats half the point of the Hungry Wolf’s location.

“We want to feed the community,” he said. “People want to eat some good food.”

Johnson said his passion for food comes straight from his family.

“I was raised in a kitchen,” Johnson said. “I am happier in a kitchen than sitting at home.”

As the business only gets more and more popular, Johnson already has plans to expand their scope, from offering discounts to law enforcement personnel to creating a lounge area for college students.

He said he wanted to thank Mad Greek for giving him the opportunity to run the Hungry Wolf.

“They do not stop doing stuff,” he said. “Becoming stale is what kills us.”

The Hungry Wolf is currently open from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. every day except Sunday, when they are closed all day. The business is located on 1436 Milligan Highway.

Johnson said they plan to have breakfast starting on Monday, March 2.