A good idea turned sour when the owners of Good Eats Cafe were forced to close shop Feb. 12, 2012, at their previous location along Broadway Street in Lenoir City.
James Vineyard, co-owner and chef at the restaurant, said a "bad location, a "bad building" and "no parking" were partly to blame for the entrepreneurial bust.
One year to the date, however, Good Eats was poised to reinvent itself with a new location and new digs along Highway 321 next to Advance Auto Parts.
Co-owner and Vineyard's sister Jeanie Hopkins said the closing and opening dates were not planned and simply a coincidence.
"She's still trying to figure out how I convinced her too do this," Vineyard said.
"I haven't woken up yet," said Hopkins, who got into the restaurant business when she found herself out of a job after being employed at the Levi's jean manufacturing plant in Powell.
"I actually lost the job, and that's when he called and told me he was getting that place down there," Hopkins said about the Broadway location.
The restaurant's current location has seen numerous businesses come and go, the last being Captain Ernie's Fish House.
Vineyard said he was hopeful the restaurant could turn that trend around.
"We have great parking here," Vineyard said. "The space and this building is in excellent shape. The landlord of this building is really great. He's doing a lot to the building. He's remodeling the facade and new parking lot, so it's going to make a big difference."
Ed Lloyd, who owns the building and the nearby Landmark Storage, said he is renovating the roof, the parking lot and adding about 2,000 square feet of office space. He said a new salon had already signed a contract to rent part of the building next to the restaurant. Construction on the site began about three weeks ago, and renovations should be complete in about 45 days.
"It's a good location," Lloyd said. "It just needs some updating to make it competitive with the market demands."
Vineyard and Hopkins, who work in the restaurant with their parents and other family members, have attracted many of their local customer base who seem happy to make the drive to the Highway 321 location to enjoy what Vineyard described as "Southern comfort food."
"I'm James' number one fan," Lenoir City resident Brian Best said with a laugh. "... Better than two."
Best, who visits the restaurant two to three times per week, said the restaurant was aptly named.
"All I can tell you is it's good, man; it's just good," Best said. "I don't know how to word it better. I like the atmosphere. Like this morning, the biscuits, they were fresh. They weren't hard."
The restaurant is open 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on weekends.
Vineyard said he plans to open other Good Eats locations in Townsend, Kingston and Knoxville. The restaurant has daily specials, which are posted on the store's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/goodeats.cafebakery
"To me, it reminds me of going to my grandmother's house or going to your mom's house for breakfast on Sunday," Vineyard said about his food.
After a lengthy stay at the restaurant and a full and satisfied stomach, Best was ready to check out.
"Come back when you can stay longer," Hopkins said jokingly.
"It's been an hour and a half almost this morning," Best said.
For more information, call 865-816-3281.