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Continuing with the second of three stories in this series of the old Cumberland Road stagecoach stops and the tradition of providing food and rest for travelers and local folks, the focus this week is on the Good Old Days Catering and Banquet Hall at 365 W. Cumberland Road.
It is just a short distance down the road from “Twin Pumps,” the original stagecoach stop, which offered fresh water, food and rest for the horses and travelers. The stop was so named for the two wells that were fed by the same vein of water.
Good Old Days
Sisters Tara Pruett and Gina Nesbit both love to cook and decided to combine their mutual enjoyment into a family affair, which ranges from their mother to the younger children, nieces, nephews and other extended family. As Tara talked about their business, their mother, Chris Hill, was busily rolling out noodles … made from scratch.
Sunday Dinners Like Grandma
Used to Make
They serve up “Sunday only” dinners “like Grandma used to make,” with virtually everything made from scratch.
A typical Sunday menu includes fried chicken (always), mashed potatoes, other varieties of potatoes, chicken gravy, noodles, green beans seasoned with bacon, corn, broccoli and other vegetables.
Another meat or meat dish – such as meatballs, ham or beef – is also always offered, but the fried chicken is a favorite with many.
Also served are fresh, crisp salads with your choices of toppings and homemade desserts, offered buffet-style.
Iced tea, ice water, coffee, and soft drinks are served with the meal, with youngsters floating around to refill glasses. It is a refreshing experience to see family members of different ages working to provide efficient service.
The sisters opened the business on Nov. 11, 2011, and word soon got around about their “Sunday only” dinners, with some of the Sunday regulars driving several miles every week to enjoy the meal.
Tara and Gina may serve in the building on Sundays only, but if someone wants to make an appointment with them for a special meeting (club, group, etc.) in the building, they will try to accommodate you.
Catering to Their Customers
They also have a catering business that keeps them busy. Their motto for the business is “Your place or ours.”
The Sunday dinners help them to know what dishes people like, and that helps them with the catering business, which also began in November.
“We cater weddings, dinner parties, Christmas parties, etc., and we also rent out the hall,” Tara said.
“Also, the Sunday dinners allow people who are thinking about having a dinner catered. They come in and taste the food.”
“Our main things are the homemade noodles and mashed potatoes, and everybody likes our green beans.” she said. “Everything we make is from scratch. Nothing comes out of a box that we heat up,” she said.
“It is a family thing. We use our kids – they love being out there with the customers and our customers love them.
“If the kids aren’t here, the customers ask about them. One couple always asks about them if they aren’t here.”
Gina has two children, Blake and Kim Murphy, and Blane and Jordan Pruett are Tara’s children. “Jordan especially likes to visit with the customers,” Tara said.
Gina had worked in restaurants for 15 years and Tara also worked in them for several years.
“We always liked the idea of having a restaurant,” Tara said.
“Gina likes the catering idea best and I liked the restaurant part best, so we decided to go ahead and combine it,” Tara said.
Gina is a substitute mail carrier, and Tara works for F & W Transport as a dispatcher, locating loads for drivers.
The Sunday dinner hours are 11 a.m.-2 p.m. or until the food runs out, which happened by 1 p.m. a couple of times.
One wonders if the Sunday dinners (fried chicken, real mashed potatoes and homemade noodles) were the regular fare at Twin Pumps stagecoach stop.