Peanut’s Mecca Lounge closes after decades in business, owner optimistic about future

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – A decades-old business in downtown Johnson City has just closed its doors, the property was deemed unfit to operate by the city.

The owner of Peanut’s Mecca Lounge tells us the ceiling, which leaked for years, finally collapsed.

“Ever since we’ve been here we’ve had problems with the roof leaking. It finally got tired and gave out,” The Mecca owner, Nancy Mack said.

She says the leaky ceiling would often force her to cancel events, causing her to get behind on rent.

“If we’ve had something scheduled we wouldn’t be able to do it that weekend because of the weather and the conditions,” Mack said.

The lounge has a rich history that dates back over 40 years.

Nancy’s mother is known as “Miss Peanut” and she started the business in 1976.

The Willow Tree Café is one of a handful of downtown businesses working to help The Mecca preserve their rich family tradition and move to another location.

This Sunday, a fundraiser is planned at the Willow Tree to help them with that goal.

“When I walked in and saw what she was facing, it just broke my heart. Based on all of the interest we hope it’s going to be enough for security deposit and rent,” The Willow Tree Café owner, Teri Dosher said.

Johnson City’s Chief Building Official received the frantic call from Mack the minute her ceiling caved in.

“This is a relatively unusual situation, we’ve got a roof that basically needs to be replaced,” Chief Building Official, Jim Sullivan said.

Sullivan said it’s the only commercial space in the city that’s currently deemed unfit.

Mack is grateful for the community support, and hopes it can help her move to a new storefront.

“I just want to thank everyone for their love and support, I just hope to get The Mecca back up and running,” Mack said.

The city says the landlord has 20 days to file an appeal to the city’s action. News Channel 11 has reached out to the landlord for comment but we have not received a response, the city has also not received a response.

 

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