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New Life for La Feria Landmark

Charles Johnson invites new customers to TJ’s Bar and Grill. Photos: Bill Keltner/LFN

“Bigger and Better” promises Charles Johnson

Bill Keltner

Charles Johnson has opened his new restaurant at a location that has been a La Feria Landmark and gathering place for generations of local citizens. Lots of memories were made at the old City Market. Johnson promises to carry on the tradition, and make it bigger and better with his personal technique for turning out a special southern style of Bar B Que and authentic Mexican specialties from both sides of the border. He calls it TJ’s Bar and Grill located on South Main street.

Charles is originally from Selma, Alabama. He learned his restaurant trade from a generation of Southern cooks in his family. “It began with my grandmother, Lottie McMillan, and others,” he said. “That woman was a wonderful cook and taught me all she knew, and it shows up in my Southern style of cooking.”

City Commissioner Eric Hoff welcomes Charles Johnson to La Feria.

How about you, Charles? How did an Alabama man wind up with a restaurant in South Texas? “It was this way,” he said. “I was managing a WalMart store in Houston for years, then I was transferred in 2001 to be General Manager of the Harlingen WalMart. I did that for several years, but wanted to do something more creative for myself, so I left Walmart and created and produced my own Television show for NBC 23, Channel 23. I was the ‘on-air’ talent for five years with that successful television show.”

After that experience, Johnson decided to go back to college and complete his Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA).

With all that behind him, He decided to fulfill a dream he had since leaving Alabama:

That was to own his own restaurant. And, as he described it, “when this opportunity in La Feria presented itself, I jumped at it. My wife, Anna Johnson, agreed, and now, it’s my dream come true.”.

Tell us about what you offer at TJ’s Bar and Grill: “Glad to,” he said, adding, “we’ll feature a daily buffet featuring my grandmother’s style of Southern Bar B Que, combined with authentic Mexican specialties using recipes from both sides of the border. We’ll have beer and wine to accompany the food for those who want it. You can enjoy it all in our newly remodeled restaurant while you are seated on our beautiful new furniture.”

Late this month, Johnson will be opening something new: An “after hours” session with live entertainment. The party features an “in-house” Disc Jockey for your enjoyment. “Watch for our announcement,” he said.

Then on Thursdays, TJ’s Bar and Grill will feature Karaoke for your enjoyment. The restaurant will be open Monday through Wednesday from 11 am until 2 pm. Thursday through Saturday from 11 am until 9 pm. They will be closed on Sundays.

“Come check us out, we’ll be waiting.” he said with a big smile.


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