Jan Halle, who helped co-open Johnny’s in Carrboro over four and a half years ago, reveled in her horoscope printed in the Independent earlier this week. “It said, ‘You’re going to jump out of a plane. You’re going to start a new life.’ It was fantastic.”
When I spoke with Halle earlier today, her new life was well under way. She was drinking iced coffee in an unusually empty and quiet Johnny’s, and answering the door for neighbors and customers who came knocking to find out more about the business’ close earlier this week.
According to Halle, the business had become too much for co-owner Brian Plaster, who has been busy with Frosty Trading Post, a similar venture in Pittsboro. Plaster will continue to oversee that operation, and Halle will put her energy into reopening Johnny’s. “It’s sad that it closed but it will rise again. I’m dedicated and determined that it will,” she says.
Halle, a doctor at UNC for 37 years, has had several inquiries about the store and hopes to find the right person to help carry it forward. “I’m a physician, so what do I know about business?” she asks with a laugh. “I have to figure out my role.”
Halle can’t confirm an exact date for the reopening, but promises a place with the “same flavor” that Plaster created. “I love this place and I love what he’s done with this place,” she says.
In the meantime, some aspects of Johnny’s will carry on as usual. On Saturday, Jody Argote of Parlez-Vous Crepes will be with her truck in its normal spot at the side of Johnny’s lot. “We’ll be there with our regular menu at the regular time and we’ll be selling cold beverages. The only thing missing will be going inside,” Argote says.
Or as Halle puts it, "It's like someone's gone fishing for a week or two."
Halle co-owned the former Johnny's building, but not the business. Thus, when Halle reopens the 901 W. Main Street space in Carrboro, it will operate under a different name.
Johnny's will continue at Plaster's newest venture, Frosty's Trading Post in Pittsboro (2143 Jones Ferry Rd., Pittsboro). Plaster's fiance, Courtney Buley, says that Plaster has not finalized a name for the business, but she anticipates something like Johnny's at Frosty's.