Interview by Abernathy Cochran Realtor Ricky Lewallen
Meet Kim Johnson! Kim and husband Bruce Johnson are the owner and chef of At the Tracks restaurant in Lula.
We want to thank Kim for spending time with us recently and telling us more about her life and love of Hall County.
Question: What led or inspired you to open At the Tracks?
Answer: “We just happened upon it and we were looking for another restaurant to open. We had a restaurant in Helen, but then we decided Helen was just not the place for us. We happened upon this, and just fell in love with it. Lula has done so much to beautify itself. It used to be kind of a little rundown, but now it’s a beautiful little town. We are rich in history, and we love the trains, and so we wanted to go with that theme.”
Q: On your menu, what are the customers favorites?
A: “I would say our burgers are really popular, as well as the wings. Of the burgers, the two most popular are the Route 75 burger, and the Lula Burger.”
Q: How long have you guys been in business now?
A: “A little over two years. It while been two and a half years in a couple months.”
Q: What is your favorite place in Hall County? And what do you love about Hall County?
A: “I’ve lived in Hall County since 1991 and I just love Hall County. It has grown a lot since I moved here, but I like that you can still get away from the big city. The outskirts of Hall County are beautiful. We’re in the Northeast Georgia mountains, it doesn’t get better than that.”
Q: How long have you worked in Hall County?
A: “Since 1991. Several different jobs, but all around Hall County.”
Q: Who is the most interesting person you have met in Hall County
A: “Julius Techard. He was the owner of Cafe Julius, where I got my very first job in Hall County. He was the most amazing man, he was a wonderful boss. I aspire every day to be more like him, more than anybody else. He was such a mentor to me. He was an amazing person to be around, very much loved by the community and his employees. He was my favorite person.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
A: “I would love to go to the Mediterranean. I love that area, I think it’s beautiful, and I really would love to train with some chefs over there and learning how to cook authentic Mediterranean cuisine.”
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: “My favorite movie is very silly, it is ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail.’ It’s just so funny and so silly. British humor is hilarious.”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “Be patient. We’re all here for the same reason, so just be patient. I think it can be found more here than metro Atlanta, because the impatient driving down there is a little nerve wracking.”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “Skydiving. I’m afraid of heights. I’ve never done it, but I’ve done parasailing. That was on my bucket list, too.”
Q: What is your favorite music? Top three bands?
A: “I have an eclectic taste in music. I was raised in a musical family. My father was a member of Spanky and Our Gang, which was a folk group in the 60s, so I like a little bit of everything. But my favorite band is Sister Hazel. They are kind of a folk group. I also like Nightwish, which is a strange heavy metal opera goth group. I love anything that has a symphony in the background, the string instruments, because I play violin and bass. I’m drawn to that kind of music.”
Q: What is something unique about Hall County that you love?
A: “I think it’s the fact that you have city and country mixed together. We have the North Georgia mountains, but then again we’re only an hour from Atlanta, so there’s a lot of culture in Hall County. The arts are very prevalent in this area. You’ve got some amazing artists here, and musicians. You also have people who do pottery, folk art, things like that. So that’s a draw.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?
A: “Right here. We love it here.”
Q: What is something about you that most people don’t know?
A: “I don’t know how to answer that question, I really don’t think I’m all that interesting. I’m just kind of a normal person. Well here’s something interesting, I don’t really like to go out and eat very often, because I like to cook.”
Q: What three words mean Home to you?
A: “At the Tracks. My husband and I have a running joke that this is our home, and we just go to our house to take showers and naps. But no, I mean Hall County, Gainesville, North Hall, that area, that’s home.”
Q: If you had to be in a major motion picture, who would you choose to be your costar?
A: “Bruce Johnson, because he would be as bad as an actor as I would be, and he’s the love of my life. I like spending time with him.”
Q: If you had a full time staff member, that was fully paid for, would you choose a chef, a housekeeper, a driver, a physical fitness trainer, or a nanny?
A: “A housekeeper.”
The Faces of Hall County is a project to showcase the amazing people that live or work in our community. If you would like to nominate an interesting person to be featured please email email@example.com.