June 1, 2014

Town Square Cafe carries on Powell’s tradition

The sign above the door at 116 W. King St. may be different, but many of the faces inside remain the same.

Jenny Lynch, owner of the Town Square Cafe, said she has retained many of the staff and even some of the recipes from Powell’s Country Kitchen, which had been a downtown Dalton landmark in the building since 1979.

“I have two cooks here,” said Lynch. “One of them, Angel, has been here 30 years. Another one, named Linda, has been here, I think she said, 21 years.”

Lynch owned Jenny’s restaurant on East Morris Street for many years. She sold it in 2000 and went into graphic design.

“I went to work for Controlled Products and worked there for many years. But shortly after I left in March, I went to Parker’s and Darrell Powell was in there and told me the place was for sale,” Lynch said.

Darrell and Elaine Powell sold the restaurant in 2011, retiring after 35 years in the business. But the two retained a keen interest in the business and wanted to see it continue operating.

“When you have something in your blood like that it doesn’t go away,” Darrell Powell said. “I still dream at night about coming into work and what I could do to make it better.”

Lynch talked to the owners and quickly made a deal to buy the restaurant. She has been open about six weeks now.

“I wasn’t looking to get back into the restaurant business. I had thought about it over the years, but never seriously pursued it. But when it sort of fell into my lap, I couldn’t turn it away,” she said.

Lynch said she has two daughters who have come to work with her in the restaurant and the chance for them to work together has been a major benefit to getting back into the restaurant business.

The have put their own stamp on the restaurant.

“We repainted it and tried to give it a more uptown look,” she said. “We changed the menu a little bit. We still have our meat and threes. But we’ve added some soups and salads and deli sandwiches. Things like that.”

Lynch says that she’s had tremendous support from the Powells.

“They have been my biggest supporters. They’ve been helpful in so many areas. Darrell even comes in and makes biscuits every now and then,” she said.

Many of Powell’s former customers have already started making the restaurant a regular stop again.

“They were here the first day we opened. In fact, some of them were here before that. When we were remodeling, they’d come in and ask when we were reopening,” Lynch said.

But the Powells say they want all their old customers to know they stand behind Lynch.

“You really have to have the desire and the heart to serve people if you are going to run a restaurant. She’s got it,” Elaine Powell said.


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