Surveying the food options at the buffet at Spainhour’s restaurant is like checking out the dishes of freshly prepared food in grandma’s kitchen before tucking into Sunday dinner, but with a slight twist.
Individuals will find the traditional favorites like meatloaf, chicken livers, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and succotash, along with more exotic offerings such as Thai chicken.
The style of food comes from co-owner Randy Spainhour’s cooking background.
His grandparents Mary and Frank Spainhour taught him how to cook traditional Southern favorites from a young age, he honed his technique for cooking chicken livers while working at the Golden Skillet in high school, and later learned how to cook for a diverse range of taste buds as a cook in the United States Coast Guard.
“It’s based on what my grandma taught me, so it’s foods that you would get at grandma’s house,” Randy said. “We also do different styles of food (such as) Thai chicken, something a little different to get everybody’s tastes in there.”
Randy and his wife Sharon have recently opened the South Boston restaurant at 2217 Wilborn Ave. in the Hupps Mills Plaza, with their sons Jared and William offering up their cooking skills in the kitchen.
The restaurant’s grand opening was Monday, a special day for the couple because it’s Randy’s grandmother Mary’s birthday and the nine-year anniversary of the opening of the couple’s first restaurant — Spainhour’s Diner in Scottsburg. Although Spainhour’s Diner is no longer open for traditional business, the restaurant still offers catering services.
“We’ve always wanted to find something in town, and we felt like God had the doors open and everything fell into place,” Sharon said.
The Spainhour’s aim to create a “relaxed, home-style atmosphere” for customers, said Randy.
Spainhour’s offers a hot bar for the lunchtime crowd with freshly cooked meats and vegetables and a “dessert of the day” in addition to a salad bar. Sandwiches also are on the menu. At suppertime, Spainhour’s offers a veggie hot bar, salad bar and meats cooked to order. Customers have the options of ordering a one-trip hot bar, salad bar only or all-you-can-eat buffet. Customers can dine in the restaurant or fix a box of food to go.
Randy is known for his famous Brunswick stew and considers soups and gravy his specialties. His chicken tortilla soup is his wife Sharon’s favorite. Randy learned how to cook soups and sauces from his grandfather Frank, who was a cook in the Conservation Corps during the Great Depression.
Randy’s desserts also are a customer favorite.
“My carrot cake is one of the big sellers,” Randy shared. “We also do a creamy rice pudding that sells out every time.”
Spainhour’s will serve up lemon icebox pie and strawberry pie seasonally, as well.
Spainhour’s is open for lunch from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and from 4 until 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The restaurant plans to expand its hours to serve breakfast at a later date.
For more information, call Spainhour’s at 434-454-6022.