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Bomba’s, Ghost Town Diner close their doors

Two local restaurants have closed in Jonesborough, both last week.
Bomba’s Fresh Italian, located at 125 E. Jackson Blvd., served its last meal on Oct. 19, and Ghost Town Diner, 137 E. Main St., closed its doors on Oct. 15.
The owners of both restaurants, however, don’t appear to be giving up and say they are looking ahead to the future.
While disappointed they had to close, Bomba’s owners Alex and Breelyn Bomba appear to be on track for some new opportunities.
“We hated to close, but we just reached a point where the volume wasn’t sustaining the overhead,” Alex Bomba said. “It was strictly a business decision.”
But he says his passion for fine food is a motivation for him to continue looking for new ways to work in that arena.
“We have a handful of ideas of things we can do, but nothing that is going to roll out in the next week or so,” he said. “We’re taking a look at what’s successful and we’ll make our decisions based on that.”
While Bomba doesn’t have anything specific in mind, he said the restaurant’s success with monthly wine dinners has encouraged the couple to consider continuing those, perhaps in The Old Quarters on Main Street.
He also has been approached with requests to serve course meals for small groups in private homes.
Bomba, who has served as the chef for the annual Farm To Table dinners in town, said that is his favorite meal he cooks every year. Because of its popularity, he said, he may also consider doing something like it once a month on a smaller scale, giving people a chance to have a nice meal more than once a year.
“We want to thank the community for giving us a chance to try this (restaurant),” Bomba said. “Everyone has been very supportive of Breelyn and me and we appreciate it. We know we can count on their support in the future.”
Ghost Town Diner owners Robb Phillips and Kathy Shephard have only been in the restaurant business since late April.
It was a first-time restaurant venture for the pair, but not their first business in Jonesborough. Their eatery, was located at 103 E. Main St.
Unlike the Bombas, the decision to close was not of their choosing.
“The owner of the building decided not to renew our lease so we had no choice but to leave,” Phillips said.
For now, the two will continue to operate their other business, East TN Ghost Tours, 121 W. Main St., where they organize ghost tours and operate a small coffee shop.
They are already making plans to open another restaurant, probably in the spring, Phillips said, and are looking at locations.
“When we open again, there will be some changes to the menu,” he said. “There were things we learned from our time on Main Street, what to do and what not to do. We’ll keep our most successful things.
“We’ll stick with barbecue and country cooking and we’ll have the best hamburgers in town.”