PLANT CITY, Fla. - A popular Plant City restaurant began in a gas station in the 1950s.
Elton and Evelyn Johnson established a Plant City tradition of family dining and southern hospitality in 1954. Evelyn cooked family meals for her husband children in the gas station. It wasn’t long before friends and passers-by would shop up to enjoy her southern cooking.
Eventually, with the help of Aunt Evie and Aunt Pearlie in the kitchen, the gas station was converted to the first Johnson’s Restaurant. Fred and his wife, Tammy, carried forward the same traditions in 1998, opening the first Fred’s Market Restaurant.
So began the legacy of slow food, fast, as Charley pointed out. In 2003, Grand’s BBQ recipes were revived by grandson Owen Johnson, who perfected the rubs and served up authentic sauces at Johnson Barbeque next door in Plant City. Today, the legacy continues with their sons, Owen and Michael Johnson.
Charley headed out to see the result of the strong family heritage, values and good ole’ southern cuisine. It was also Evelyn’s 90th birthday celebration!
Fred’s Market Restaurant
1401 W. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Plant City, FL
2120 Harden Blvd. Lakeland, FL
6501 US HWY 301 S Riverview, FL
835 Currency Circle Lake Mart, FL