From Brain Trauma to Business Owner, One Man's Journey
2/21/2013 (Updated 10:53:38 PM)(Source: Jason Weinstein)
Bryan Kelly is lucky to be alive. Four years ago he was in a motorcycle accident in which he broke his hip, neck, all of his ribs, tore knee cartilage, and suffered traumatic brain injury. Then...
"About 90 days after that accident I ended up in a car accident. I got more broken bones and more head trauma. I don't remember the second one," said Kelly. "There are chunks of time that are now gone. I often repeat myself nowadays. Friends let me know if I repeat myself. And I don't even realize I said anything to begin with."
But after the Flood of 2011 Kelly stumbled upon an opportunity. The flooded-out remnants of the old Cosmos restaurant on Riverside Drive in Johnson City were for sale. Kelly bought the business.
"If anybody remembers the tiki bar before there were plenty of nutshells everywhere because they used to throw them on the floor. We had a lot of animal problems so it took us a while to get rid of all of them," said Kelly.
After a lengthy rebuilding he renamed the operation The Corner Bar & Take Out. He opened the take out six months ago and the bar three weeks ago.
"Once you have a head trauma it's tough to keep your focus at all times. That was one of the biggest challenges to try to stay focused and get the project done," said Kelly.
Kelly had a strong support system around him but it hasn't been easy.
"Your family will probably get frustrated with you a little bit but they have to understand it's not necessarily your fault if you don't understand some things. Your brain, especially if you've had trauma, is learning ways to rethink. And in the process you become frustrated," said Kelly.
But business is going well and says there's a big reason why the experience has been a positive one.
"The people have been great. I met a lot of nice people when I opened the carryout and they come over here and we have a good time. The community itself has been my biggest surprise. They've been great," said Kelly.
***In Johnson City, Jason Weinstein, Fox 40 HD News***
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