By: Madison Clabough
On Wednesday morning I interviewed Mendy Shackleford, who is the daughter of the now-deceased owner, who first started working here in 1972, then later purchased it as her own 7 years later; it’s been a staple of this community and operated by the same family since. Scotties has excellent customer reviews and is ranked 4.7 stars on Yelp.
So you’re probably wondering how Scotty’s got its name? So to answer that question I asked Mendy, and she says that Scotties has always been Scotties; meaning that when her mom started working here in 1972, the name was already in place. Her mom later decided to buy the business 7 years later, in 1979. Mendy has always tried to convince her mom to change the name to Willies, but she never followed through with it.
Scotties has been here since 1967, but family owned and operated since ‘79; and is also the original location. Mendy’s favorite part about the company is the homefeel and closeness of it, and she loves how this community is so tight knit and if someone is in need, we all come to their aid in a heartbeat. She also loves this community and the family feel; especially how this place is a hangout for everyone. “The community feel and connections we have with the regulars is my favorite. The customers are basically a part of us and this business now. People always say this, “Come here more than 2 times and we’re all up in your business.’’ But people love it of course. Mendy says she really enjoys the summer when some of the football players from Grace, Powell, and surrounding areas come to hangout for break times. She has been working here for 40 years, ever since she was 13 years old. “Technically I didn’t even apply. I was pushed in here,” she says jokingly. “My mom initially made me come work here as a punishment, to pay a high phone bill since I called out to Claxton- which was considered ‘long distance’ at the time.” I also love how this community contributes to the diner. Everyone knows everyone; After the first time you come here, you’re already a part of our family in some way.” If I had to give one piece of enticing info for people who have never eaten here before, I would tell them it’s our cheap food and wonderful customer service that attract people. “The people have definitely kept us afloat. They always keep us here and are the reason we’re so popular.” I asked Mendy what her favorite menu item was, and she said that her 1st personal favorite is the Cheeseburgers. And 2nd is the Biscuits and Gravy; so 3rd would be the Grilled Honey Buns most definitely.
David Booch enjoying his fresh cooked bacon, toast, and Scotties special “limited supply of gravy”
After I got done interviewing Mendy, I interviewed a man named David Booch, who's been a regular here almost everyday for 10 years. He says, “Every time I come in here I get treated like family and the food’s always been awesome. My wife and grandma are the only women that can cook better than the ladies can here.” I then asked him what his favorite food item from here was. David said that it was the gravy by far. The thing about the gravy is that when it’s gone- it’s gone, so if you want to eat some, then you better get here early enough so that they won’t run out. He says the thing he loves about Scotties is that for all the years he’s been a regular here, he has always been treated like family. “The environment is wonderful. I’m always treated like family and I love being able to laugh with my children and wife here. Instead of us waiting on my wife to cook, we can all come here instead. Both of my sons graduated from Powell so I’ve always loved this community”
Pictured: Mike (left) & Phillip (right) eating their delicious breakfast that they enjoy almost every morning.
The second table that grabbed my attention sat Phillip and Mike; who've been regulars for more than 45 years combined. Phillip says, “I’ve been coming here since the 70’s or 80’s regularly.” Mike and Phillip both testify, “We both love the environment and have never eaten a bad meal here. For the price it’s the best place to eat, especially for the quality too.” Phillip says. Mike mentioned that he lives in Farragut and has tried many places around here, but has yet to find something that compares because ‘nothing compares to Scotties’. I asked both of them what their favorite menu item was; “Any of the breakfast. Period. Oh, and they have great burgers too.” Mike also mentioned he loves Scotties because they are one of the only places he knows of that still offers ‘Loaded fried taters’ (as he calls them)
Scotties’ Hall of Fame wall in the back of the restaurant
Another thing I found pretty interesting was that Scotties has a “Wall of Fame wall” for all of their regulars. This cork board is situated towards the back of the restaurant, and displays all ages ranging from young to old, and even some former athletes of Powell High that used to come here during breaks.