Picture this: a hearty country-style breakfast with freshly-brewed coffee, cooked in fullview in an immaculate, cheery kitchen and served by a friendly waitress.
Add to this, your table is next to a window, allowing full access to a real country scene of sunflowers and zinnias, an area with green grass bordering a grove of trees, on which hang bird feeders.
For entertainment while sipping your coffee, you have a choice seat to watch nature’s show, as various little wild birds fly in and out to the feeders, and a comical, determined squirrel is trying his best to gain access to the seed in one of the several feeders. His antics can’t fail to bring a smile to your face.
If you aren’t sitting by a window, you can still enjoy your surroundings, as the Waltrips brought the simplicity of nature’s beauty inside the building that they designed and built.
The interior walls are smoothly planed boards from trees that were harvested in Fayette County and prepared by a nearby sawmill operation.
All of this serenity and beauty, plus good food, is found at Waltrip’s Corner in Post Oak, provided by Joan and Steve Waltrip and their family.
An Added Bonus …
… is that they whole-heartedly support Fayette County, with all lumber used in the building is from Fayette County trees and provided by the local lumber mill.
Also, all of their meats, groceries, produce, etc., are purchased in Fayette County.
Meet the Waltrip Family
The inhabitants and owners of Waltrip Corner are Steve and Joan Waltrip, who designed and built the country-style restaurant building, complete with its front porch with benches on which to sit and visit or just enjoy the outdoors.
Other members of the family and workers at the restaurant are: their daughters, Kim Baron and Katie Poe, who cook, wait tables, etc., and Kara Waltrip, who works at County Market and delivers the groceries; sister-in-law, Monica Gumm; and Yvonne Waltrip, Steve’s mother, who does the interior decorating of the restaurant.
Joan Waltrip, (a sister to Mary Ann Oldfield of Mary Ann’s Restaurant in St. Elmo), sai=d ‘”Steve’s mother, moved out here several years ago, and we thought then, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a little place to feed the PetCo (petroleum company) workers ? .
Joan grew up in O’Fallon, and when her parents died, she moved here to be with her sister, Mary Ann. She worked at Brockway for 32 years.
“When Brockway closed, I prayed a lot and asked God what I should do with my life. I just felt like he said I should follow my dream. I took out all of my retirement money and we built this,” she said.
“Dallas Durbin built it for us, and Steve and the family helped on the inside,” Joan said,
“We really wanted to give the PetCo workers a place to cool off in the summer and get warm in the winter. We were surprised at how many people showed up, and they are here every week.”
Joan appreciates the PetCo workers and brags about their conduct in the restaurant. “They are all nice, and they even pick up their own dishes, and wipe off their tables.”
Steve grew up in Auburn. His parents moved down here to Timberline Lake. Joan said, “We met in town, fell in love and got married.” Steve is a custodian/maintenance employee for Brownstown schools.
He claims to be the “dishwasher,” but Joan and their daughters said that he supervises, and at closing time, he tells them to get the place “cleaned up.” “And he keeps us in line,” they added.
It seems that he is a stickler for neatness and cleanliness,no doubt related to his “day job” at the school.
He also claims to be a “silent partner,” but Joan gives him more credit. “He is a lot of help,” she said.
“When we first opened, we had no restaurant experience and we had to learn. We cut our own fries, so we were working over 200 pounds of potatoes a week by hand. His fingers were bleeding, so he and Dustin Sefton came up with a device. Justin welded some rods together, so we can wash our potatoes on the grill as they turn in a bucket.
Waltrip’s Corner in Post Oak is located about six miles north from U.S. Route 40 on the Avena Road. It is a pretty, scenic, drive and you will pass several well-kept homes and buildings as you approach Waltrip’s Corner and the restaurant.
Joan said, “Originally, I wanted to name it “Faith Restaurant,” because my husband would say, ‘How do you know this is going to work?’ and I would say, ‘Just have faith.’”
“So we kicked around different names, then one of our neighbors said, ‘I always tell people to turn at Waltrip’s Corner.’
“Steve’s grandparents lived in Matoon and there is a place up there outside of town, his grandparents’ farm, called “Waltrip’s Corner.”
It is the picture of peace and tranquility, as many of us remember from childhood. This is exactly what the Waltrips want for their customers – away from the hustle and bustle of our busy, but often so necessary, modern times and lifestyles.
The Waltrip family appreciates their customers and strive to please. We try to make everything as fresh as possible,” Joan said.
They have lunch specials every day, such as the tenderloin special with choice of macaroni and cheese, fries or chips with drink, which is literally “written in stone,” in chalk on a stone placed in a rustic log holder.
Its hours are 7 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday through Saturday; they are closed on Sundays.