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Chef Tim Hontzas, whose family founded Niki’s West, opened Johnny’s Restaurant in downtown Homewood in September 2012, and it has quickly become a local favorite of many. Based upon the original Johnny’s Restaurant in Jackson, MS, which was owned by Hontzas’s late grandfather, Johnny Hontzopolous, and considered a Jackson institution for decades, Johnny’s remains true to its roots in its new Birmingham location. Serving classic meat-and-three style fare along with Greek specialities, Johnny’s brings a fresh, modern approach to the traditional meat-and-three culinary experience.


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The Place

Open for lunch only Monday through Friday and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m, Johnny’s is located on 18th Street in the old Out Takes location. Order at the counter, receive a number for your table and the staff will bring your food to you. Drinks are self serve. Chalkboard menus and old time signage line the walls giving the place a bright and cheery atmosphere.

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The Johnny’s motto, “We prepare food for the body, but good food to feed the soul” is inscribed on the chalkboard wall behind the counter. Image via fb.

The People

Chef Tim Hontzas is married to SB friend and photographer, Beth Hontzas and they have an adorable daughter, Athena. Tim frequently circulates among the tables saying hello to customers and making sure everything is to their liking. Patrons at Johnny’s range from businessmen, families, Homewood shoppers taking a lunch break and the like.

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The beef brisket chili served with toasted cumin seed creme fraiche is a seasonal delight. Image via fb.

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Catfish is lightly breaded and fried to a golden crisp. Image via fb.

The Food

Johnny’s has quickly earned a reputation for consistent, high quality food, blending Greek style with familiar Southern flavors. Everything on the menu, except for the sliced bread, is made from scratch. Using the freshest locally sourced ingredients means the menu changes with the seasons. Daily specials, as well as standard menu items, showcase the best that Alabama farmers have to offer, as well as fresh gulf seafood. Lunch plates, which come with a choice of cornbread (our favorite!) or a yeast roll, start at $8.50. 

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Savory chicken pot pie with a perfectly golden flaky crust. Image via fb.

Pastitsio, a greek style lasagna is a customer favorite. Image via fb.

Pastitsio, a Greek-style lasagna, is a customer favorite that makes a menu appearance several times throughout the year. Image via fb.

The Fans

Evident by the long line and hard-to-find empty tables every day, Johnny’s has become a local favorite of many with a slew of regular customers. Renowned chefs like John Currence, who Tim trained under in Missippippi at the City Grocery, and Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club, have dined and tweeted about the amazing food served up at Johnny’s. Stop by during lunch hour any day and you will be met with a line of fans waiting to indulge in Johnny’s goodness.

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The meatloaf is served with a chipotle bbq sauce. Black eyed peas, turnip greens, macaroni and cheese are just a few of the vegetable options offered daily. Image via

Who’s hungry for lunch?

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