Peanut's Mecca Lounge
Peanut’s Mecca Lounge may have moved from its longtime location at the corner of East Main and Buffalo streets, but the iconic downtown Johnson City bar is still serving up ice-cold beer and good times at its new, bigger location along Spring Street.
“After 37 years almost, I’m kinda glad I made the move, because there’s more room. I have more space and I like the location much better,” said co-owner Nancy Mack, who runs the bar with her daughter, Chanda Hughes.
The Mecca made its move to 117 Spring St. and had its grand reopening Friday.
The new space is four times the size of the original Mecca, which means the bar will have more room for live entertainment and other events.
The Mecca got its start as a restaurant during the 1940s. In 1976, Mack’s mother, Melinda Rhea, turned the cafe into a bar.
Rhea, who recently turned 90, retired from the business in October.
Mack and Hughes took over the business after Rhea’s retirement, but decided to keep the Mecca tradition downtown after finding out they were going to have to relocate.
“If I’ve got a chance to move and do better for myself and the family and still do my mother proud, I want to keep my mother’s name and her bar respected. Since my daughter and I have taken over, there’s going to be a few changes but Peanut’s Mecca Lounge will always be respected,” Mack said.
Hughes said her mother refused to move the business anywhere other than downtown.
Mack added that being a part of downtown Johnson City is all part of the Mecca Lounge’s identity.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to relocate and business is good. People know we’re here. I’m looking forward to Blue Plum. I just thank God every day for my faithful customers and the entertainment world that has supported me,” Mack said.
With all the development that’s taking place in the downtown area, Mack said she’s excited to remain a downtown institution that is working to keep a family tradition alive.
“I’m going to thrive on that. I’m going to keep the Mecca going strong as long as God grants me the strength. We’re going to keep on keeping on,” she said.