CHATSWORTH — Going to the Village Cafeteria Sunday afternoon following church was tradition for Kelly Charles and her family when she lived in Murray County.
“It was always a community in there,” said Charles, now a resident of Adairsville. “You knew other people in line. You talked to the same people in there.”
For many residents, going to the Village is a tradition they are ready to resume. They’ll soon have the chance as the cafeteria-style Southern restaurant is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday at 11 a.m. A grand reopening will be Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and there will be free drinks with the purchase of a meal.
The popular restaurant, which had been open for 27 years, was forced to close in April following a strong storm that ruined the building on Second Avenue. The roof on next-door El Pueblito Restaurant blew off and damaged the Village’s roof, leaving the restaurant exposed to the rain, said owner Teresa Morrison.
“I didn’t expect to be closed for four-and-a-half months,” Morrison said. “The water came in so it totally destroyed everything. It was in standing water. It destroyed me.”
Seven-year-old Mason Stinnett, who lives in Chatsworth, has visited the Village often with his grandparents, Diane and Gary Stinnett.
“I’ve been missing it a bunch,” he said. “I get the same thing every time — chicken, gravy, potatoes and two rolls.”
Mason said he plans to eat at the Village several times before school starts back on Sept. 3.
Charles plans on making a trip from Adairsville to eat at the Village soon.
“I’m glad they were able to remodel everything and get it reopened,” she said. “I’ve been saying, ‘At the end of the month we will be sure to make a trip up there to eat.’ My daughter (Natalie Sparks) is 14 and that’s her favorite place to eat, too. ... There are several country-cooking places nearby, and every time we try one we say, ‘It’s not the Village.’”
Morrison said the menu — which includes six to eight meat choices (depending on the day), 23 vegetable choices, five homemade cakes and eight varieties of homemade pies daily — will remain the same. But the interior has had a complete makeover.
“I got a whole new place,” she said. “Insurance paid some, and then I had to refinance my house to pay the rest. Everyone needs good insurance. I thought I had better insurance than that.
“It’s going to be beautiful. From the roof, the walls, the floor, tables and chair are all brand new. The food’s going to be great.”
The Village also offers catering and short orders, such as hamburgers.
Morrison said she is ready to be open again.
“I want people to come back,” she said. “I need to get open and get busy again. I have missed the customers. I’m ready to see my customers. I’m ready to get back to work so bad.”