Noli Truck first opened its windows in Johnson City in 2014, serving “good food done right,” as owner Jason Howze, says. On the concise menu are items from fish tacos to hot chicken sandwiches using a lot of locally grown ingredients, cooked right on the truck.
Currently, the restaurant has tentative opening date in spring at 105 S. Main St. in Erwin.
Howze said he started the search for a space a year ago. He explored locations around the region until he settled on one is his hometown of Erwin. The location is a large, old rectangular building with original brick and “a lot of character” that Howze said he is looking forward to transforming into exactly what he wants.
“We’re trying to create a modern, casual elevated dining experience. In order to do that effectively in Erwin, we needed a place that could speak to the people that have been in the community for years and have watched downtown grow and enter this news phase of growth,” Howze said.
This will be a big change for the business. Since it opened, Howze and his employees have been doing everything in a 160-square-foot space. He said one reason they’re adding a store location is to make it easier on him and his employees.
The stationary restaurant will alleviate some of the many difficulties that come with running a food truck, like working in the heat, winter lulls and tight spaces.
“I’m looking forward to being able to turn around without running into one of my employees,” Howze said.
Howze said that while other locations would have been great, people in Erwin from the Economic Development Board to the building inspector were so welcoming and supportive.
“They have completely bent over backwards to make sure Noli comes to Erwin,” Howze said.
Though Howze considers Johnson City his home base, he said he is very confident his customers will follow.
Before anyone mourns the loss of a beloved food truck, Howze made sure to say the Noli Truck will not close. It will still be around the region and at festivals and he has plans to revive the catering aspect of the business.
“I don’t think there’s ever going to be a time I’m not going to be on the truck a couple times a week,” Howze said.
To keep up with news on the business and locations for the truck, visit Facebook at www.facebook.com/nolitruck/ or Twitter @NoliTruck.