Two months is a long time to wait for the best pizza in town, but Tierra Collie and her family were forced to do just that when the Italian Pizza Pub closed in April due to storm damage.
“There’s no other place in Johnson City that has pizza like this,” said Collie who has been a customer at the Pizza Pub for several years. “All the food is just delicious and we’re so used to eating here. We couldn’t wait for it to reopen.”
The Italian Pizza Pub, located on West Walnut Street, has been owned and operated by Burt Kordamiri for the past 27 years. It reopened for business July 1. Kordamiri, an Iranian immigrant, moved to the United States when he was 22 years old and attended East Tennessee State University. He worked as a server at Skoby’s restaurant in Kingsport before purchasing the Pizza Pub.
Kordamiri was forced to close the business after April’s storms left his building with $35,000 worth of damage. The strong winds tore through roofing tiles and broke windows while the heavy rain caused major flooding and floor damage. Kordamiri spent his lag time sopping up water, trying to get the building ready for construction.
“I was expecting to reopen sooner but because of the weather we had to wait for the roof to be fixed,” he said. Kordamiri did a lot of the fixing up first-hand, including the installation of a temporary roof.
At least 10 people in Northeast Tennessee were confirmed dead following a violent series of storms that devastated areas of Washington, Johnson and Greene counties in April in what meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Morristown said was the most severe weather to hit the state in nearly 40 years.
Although Kordamiri was not injured by the storm, it caused him a lot of financial grief. He said he is glad to be back in business after receiving countless phone calls from frequent customers wondering when he would reopen.
“It’s so nice to reopen it again,” said Kordamiri. “My customers are really happy.”