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JoEllen's bringing something new to downtown Tallahassee

JoEllen's offering southern comfort food with a side of love
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Posted at 5:30 PM, Aug 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-19 17:30:13-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Southern comfort food inspired by the love a mother had for her son. That’s how JoEllen's came to be.

Tallahassee native Teresa Nix felt something was missing from the downtown Tallahassee culinary scene.

“We just thought that this was the ideal location for the type of food that we wanted to provide,” said Nix.

Teresa and her husband Joe own Catering with Care on South Monroe Street. The idea to open a second location downtown started about 3 or 4 years ago.

“We’ve done some research and there’s nothing around here that provides that type of food,” said Nix. So we thought that it would go well with this location.”

There aren’t a ton of options when it comes to eating in downtown Tallahassee. But the addition of JoEllen’s right in Kleman Plaza could mean a boost for other businesses in the area like the Challenger Learning Center.

“We get asked all the time where can we go eat?,” said Alan Hanstein, who is the Executive Director of the Challenger Learning Center. “We have 50,00 kids a year that go through our center from Florida, Georgia and Alabama. So lots of folks coming into the center. But then we also have a commercial IMAX theater. When people come at night, they want a dinner offering. When they come during the day, they want a lunch offering. So we’re super excited about JoEllen’s.”

Stephen Birtman is with the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority. He says more opportunity, more variety brings more traffic.

“We’re going to have people coming in from FAMU and FSU games for the Fall,” said Birtman. “If they can come downtown see the museums and walk around and experience downtown and a great restaurant. I think we’re all winners.”

JoEllen’s location in Kleman Plaza makes it the only black owned restaurant in downtown Tallahassee.

That wasn’t the reason, the Nix’s chose this location. But they hope their journey will inspire other entrepreneurs.

“I hope that it provides the fuel to whoever might need to go ahead and move towards those dreams,” said Nix. “It’s certainly possible. We’re living proof of that.”

JoEllen’s is located in Kleman Plaza in Tallahassee. The address is 215 West College Ave.

They’re open for from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday. They also serve brunch on the weekends.