Hoping for a ‘Resurrection’: Junior’s Grill Closes its Doors

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This isn’t the first time Junior’s Grill has had to shut its doors, and owner Tommy Klemis is hopeful that it won’t be the last. 

“All I’m asking for is for someone to help me find a way to keep Junior’s going for another 37 years, so I can be around when we celebrate our 100-year anniversary,” Klemis said. “I would be a part of any initiative that gets us there.”

The grill has a long history of being “resurrected” — as Klemis likes to say — in the 1960s and again in the 1990s, which is why he is hoping for one more miracle.  

In early April, Klemis came to the conclusion that he couldn’t afford to keep Junior’s open. April 21 was the “break-even” day in terms of the restaurant’s expenses and revenue, so his intention was to quietly close and make a formal announcement to the campus community.

But news got out. Although Klemis wanted to avoid the publicity that would come with a public closing, he now thinks that the outpouring of support from Tech’s community may be for the best.

Klemis has been an important member of the Tech family for most of his life, said Georgia Tech President G. P. “Bud” Peterson. 

“Through the way that he related to thousands of students, faculty, staff and alumni over the years, he has become a cherished part of the Junior’s tradition,” Peterson said. 

According to Rich Steele, acting executive director for Auxiliary Services, conversations will soon get under way with Klemis to decide the future of Junior’s.

For now, Klemis’ first priority is ensuring that his former employees are taken care of.  

“Then, maybe I’ll start a weekly card game with [former Junior’s icon] Anne, or I would love to be a greeter at Chick-Fil-A,” he said. “But even as the doors to Junior’s close, there’s always hope that it will come back. We’ll just have to wait and see.”



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Amelia Pavlik
  • Created:04/29/2011
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016