Creating a Sense of Community Throughout The Appalachian Highlands

Downtown Johnson City

What was started in the 1850s, as a depot stop along the railroad path from Knoxville to Virginia, has become a burgeoning downtown with a happening nightlife. Downtown Johnson City, an area neglected for years, is experiencing a revival of epic proportions and one that is certain to offer something for everyone. Anyone who loves food, gathering with friends, homegrown food, the outdoors, and music will surely love what is happening in Johnson City.

Founders Park offers the “Founders After 5” music series in the summer and fall and downtown Johnson City is home to not one, but three summer festivals that draw thousands of people from the Tri-Cities area. Every Wednesday and Saturday draws crowds downtown for the Farmer’s Market and any sort of food-faire can be found downtown as well. Come experience the resurgent downtown Johnson City area and spend an evening eating, walking the dog in Founders Park, listening to free concerts, or enjoying a summer festival. New retail, craft breweries, and local restaurants continue to open downtown, as more foot traffic and incentives are available. Downtown Johnson City awaits you!


Our locally owned store is much more than your grandmother’s fabric shop.

At Bernina In Stitches, we have top quality quilting fabric, thread, zippers, patterns, books, buttons and all those nifty notions to make your sewing and crafting easier. Even better, we have classes to inspire and teach you how to make your own quilts, pillows, smocked baby clothes, machine embroidered monograms, purses and so much more.

You will find a large selection of fabric from names such as Moda, Riley Blake, Art Gallery, Fabric Finders, Cotton & Steel and more.

Our pre-cut fabrics – fat quarters, jelly rolls, charm packs, mini charms and layer cakes – are customer favorites for quick, fuss-free projects.

We’ll help you bring your ideas from Pinterest to life by finding just the perfect fabric, thread, trim, lace, buttons, etc.

We sell Bernina and Eversewn sewing machines for all budgets with interest-free financing available for many machine purchases. Our shop offers year round sewing, quilting and machine embroidery classes for adults. Sewing camps for kids 8 and older are available during the summer.

We service all makes and models of sewing machines and sergers.

Visit our online store at for our newest fabrics and find some great bargains at our eBay store at http://stores.ebay. com/institchestn

The Rugged Lab

The Rugged Lab is a custom woodshop located at 314 E Main Street in downtown Johnson City, TN. Upon visiting their space, you quickly see the origin of their name. Their black lab, Lulu, will greet you immediately from the window or at the front door. The Rugged Lab works closely with clients to design and create furniture and shape interior spaces for the home and business. The owner, Reuben Robertson, has a background in engineering and woodworking. During college, Robertson apprenticed under an award winning violin maker, where he was able to learn and develop traditional woodworking techniques. After working as an engineer for a few years, he decided to make a change and pursue woodworking full-time. The Rugged Lab has been the product of that decision. “We make most of our pieces to order,” explains Robertson, “and that means we get to work in multiple styles.” It also means that they’re constantly challenging themselves to learn new techniques and methods for getting their client exactly what they want.

In addition to working with individual clients, The Rugged Lab has had the opportunity to collaborate with other local makers to work on larger projects in downtown Johnson City and the Tri-Cities area. One such craftsman is Brian Scotka of Rustic Renderings, located in the historic Tree Streets district. Scotka’s background in metal working allows him to create unique designs using both wood and metal. Whenever possible, he enjoys using reclaimed materials for his projects. “I really appreciate the history and story that reclaimed pieces have to tell. All the dents and dings in a reclaimed piece are the result of a lifetime of use. I love the idea of giving something new life that might otherwise be thrown out. Keeping an open mind about incorporating reclaimed objects has helped me to stay creative in my designs.”

These two local craftsmen have enjoyed playing a small role in some of the revitalization efforts in downtown Johnson City. Both The Rugged Lab and Rustic Renderings have developed working relationships with other local businesses. Some of their clients include the Johnson City Brewing Company, Dos Gatos Coffee Bar, and the Gypsy Circus Cider Company.

If you are interested in starting the conversation about having a piece custom made, you can contact these guys at and view some more of their work at

Reclaimed Inspired Goods

Reclaimed Inspired Goods is a quaint little shoppe located downtown Johnson City. We believe that “Reclaimed” is more than a buzz word for repurposed things. Here, it’s a process. Because great homes are never done and the best gifts are always being discovered. We are constantly curating our gift collection for the best gift giver (you know who you are). We want you to have a new experience every time you walk through our doors and we definitely want to help you up your social game. Think of us next time you’re looking for a celebratory, a thank you or our personal favorite…a “just because you’re you” gift.

We’re passionate about helping you fill your home with what you love…

We believe that enviornments influence behaviors, so because of that, we create irresistible environments in your home where your family wants to run to and where the strength in your relationships can be cultivated.

We can help from paint color selection to finding the best sofa for your family, from lighting in your kitchen to flooring finishes in your master bath. We can help you dream up a new build and even restore and reclaim an old one and we’ve even been known to load up a van full of home goods from our shoppe and style all of the “I’ll-get-to-that-eventually” spaces that you’ll never actually get to.

It’s the pulse of our passion, watching everything come together and walking away while you rest easy and happy in your new space fit for a magazine spread. More importantly…a space that where your family can’t wait to get back to. Your home should be your sanctuary. Let us help you fill your home with love, call us at 423.328.WISH.

Atlantic Ale House

Atlantic Ale House has quickly become a staple in Downtown Johnson City. Originally the structure that houses the ale house was a brewery and also a café.

The name is an homage to the brewery which originated in Atlanta, Georgia as Atlantica Ice and Coal and operated out of this very location. The Sevier Café served at this location until early 2000. The original bar is still being used and pictures on the wall from the past adorn the walls inside.

Atlantic Ale House serves local and regional beers and provides a community for craftbeer drinkers and friends alike. On any given day that they are open, you will find local food trucks serving food to the patrons of Atlantic Ale House. The patio and other outdoor seating area is quaint and is also very pet-friendly. The outside area is also full of activities and games, such as cornhole and a life-size Jenga game you can enjoy with your old friends and the new friends you are sure to make while enjoying the atmosphere at this wonderful downtown establishment.

OverMountain Outdoors

Named after the regional Overmountain Victory Trail that the Overmountain Men traced in 1780 from Abingdon, VA to Kings Mountain, SC; OverMountain Outdoors highlights a piece of Appalachian history to appreciate while hiking area trails. Blending the old with the new, OverMountain creates a specialty retail experience with a unique feel. Locals and visitors can find something new at the outdoor specialty store located in Downtown Johnson City.

Established in 2015 by Johnson City local and ETSU graduate Matt Whitson, OverMountain Outdoors sprung from his passion for the Appalachian Mountains and his experiences of visiting local outfitters throughout the South and Northeast United States.

Matt knows all too well the challenges of getting outdoors and finding the right gear, as an outdoor enthusiast and experienced whitewater kayaker. One of his biggest accomplishments as a kayaker is landing a 70ft waterfall in Chile. Flyfishing, hiking, and getting out with his three dogs are also top on his outdoor playlist when there’s free-time. Although OverMountain isn’t carrying fly-fishing gear or boating equipment currently, it is not ruled out in the future.

O.M.O. has some of the best, hard-to-find clothing pieces and essentials for finding adventure on the trails. “We plan on staying a specialty outfitter by carrying select product, but as we grow we’re keeping an open-mind and listening to our customers,”says Whitson. Some of the brands OverMountain carries include: Rab, Mountain Hardwear, Woolrich, Ruffwear, Sherpa Adventure Gear, Fayettechill, Howler Bros, The North Face, Gregory Packs, Astral Footwear, Smith Optics, Leki, GSI Outdoors, Adventure Medical Kit, Mountainsmith, and more.

Behind the storefront there’s also a passion for conservancy and wilderness protection at O.M.O. Whitson explained,“ We strive to participate in, support, and host wilderness clean-ups as well as educate customers on the importance of leave no trace ethics. We plan to continue forming working partnerships with conservation groups and the forestry and national park service. We believe that our natural resources whether recreational or otherwise are extremely important and warrant protection from those who use them the most. Being a source for helping get people outdoors is also the best place to educate those who are newcomers to the outdoor hobbyist community and that’s what we hope to do more of.”

Combining love of all things outdoors, excitement for the ever growing community and passion for Appalachia, OverMountain Outdoors strives to be a fun place to shop for the tools and essentials needed to enjoy the exceptional natural recreation available to our region. ‘We enjoy hearing trail stories, and upcoming trip plans from all of our customers, meeting new people and welcoming them to the beautiful area we’re fortunate to call home.’


• Highly Talented Cake Decorating Company and Bakery

• Any occasion cakes from birthday parties or reunions and weddings

• No need is too big or small, too extravagant or simple. We can cater to any event or budget

• Deluxe flavors and fillings for all tastebuds

• Check out our Downtown Storefront with Daily Menu Changes

• Inside seating that allows you to enjoy a cup of coffee with our fresh made cake pops, cupcakes, cheesecakes, pies, and more

• Everything is hand made, fresh, and custom in our store

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