The Annex opens downtown in former Duck Duck Goose location   

By Greg Miller
star staff
 gmiller@starhq.com

The Annex, owned by John and Lisa Bunn, opened June 16 at 515 E. Elk Ave., in the location of the former Duck Duck Goose Cafe.
  Chad Huffman, the manager of The Annex, describes the restaurant as a fine European deli.
  "We do a build-your-own-sandwich," Huffman said. "We have choices of breads, meats, cheeses and spreads. We also have some 'house sandwiches,' which include a chicken salad croissant, Reuben, and meatball sub. These sandwiches come with a side item." Available side items include freshly-made cole slaw, German potato salad, red potato salad and a fruit tray.
  The Annex serves a variety of salads. "The most popular salad right now is the summer salad," Huffman said. The summer salad includes Mandarin oranges, smoked Gouda cheese, walnuts and croutons over mixed greens with Caribbean mango dressing.
  The chef salad includes ham, turkey, cheddar cheese, croutons, tomatoes, bacon, olives and red onion over mixed greens with choice of dressing. The craisin citrus salad includes craisins, croutons, almonds and cheese over mixed greens with craisin citrus dressing. The grilled chicken Caesar salad includes grilled chicken, red onion, croutons, and parmesan with lemon-lime Caesar dressing.
  Chef Irene Wanner prepares a number of items. "She was a chef and baker over in Germany," Huffman said. "She brings a lot of neat homemade items from Germany. In the mornings, she freshly makes our German potato salad, which is really good. We're going to try to pick up more things. She's going to start making a special ham-and-cheese quiche, and the cheese is imported from Holland. It's a different texture, a different flavor. It's really good, though."
  While The Annex currently features more American-style food, Huffman hopes that the restaurant will eventually serve more European-style items. After the decorations have been completed, "We want to lean more old-style European, so it will kind of have the feel," he said.
  Huffman says the number one goal at the restaurant is "to serve good quality food in a short amount of time."
  Huffman says he is pleased with the community's response to The Annex. The restaurant did twice as well as expected during the first few days of operation. "Word of mouth in Elizabethton is amazing," he observed. "It's a very tight-knit community. Word travels real fast, and I guess everybody wanted to support either John and Lisa in their new restaurant endeavor, or just enjoyed the food..."
  On one recent day, the restaurant reached a sales goal that was not expected to be reached for about 1-1/2 months. "We actually had to turn people away a little bit yesterday as well," Huffman said. "They ended up going to the Coffee Co. I'm very pleased with how we've opened up, and we haven't advertised at all yet."
  The Annex currently has five employees. "We may pick up a sixth here in a month if things keep going as big as they have been," Huffman said.
  Huffman describes the atmosphere at The Annex as "very friendly. I've been blessed with the hiring process, in that the ladies that we have hired so far are incredibly friendly and outgoing."
  A graduate of Sullivan South High School in Kingsport, Huffman earned a B.S. degree in physics from East Tennessee State University. He previously managed The Comet Bakery & Coffee Shop in Johnson City. His wife, Jennifer, is a financial advisor for Valic.
  The Annex is open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. For more information, call 543-4474 or e-mail theannex@juno.com.