By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – When Gene Dunn says he is going to open a family restaurant, you can take it either of two ways.
“It can be either the Dunn “Family Steak House” or the “Dunn Family” Steak House, he jokes. “You are liable to run into just about any member of our family there.”
Dunn, an 18-year veteran of the food service business, recently purchased the Water Valley Café from Bill Rotenberry. He believes that Water Valley needs a good family steak house. “You can bring your family to our restaurant and everyone can find something they like,” he said.
Along with steaks, the menu will include fish, sandwiches and country plates. The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week and breakfast every day but Sunday, Dunn added. He also plans to make the restaurant available for parties and special events.
Among his goals is to offer take home service that is more than standard carry out. “When someone needs ham steaks for six, for example, they’ll be able to get everything they need for a complete meal.”
Dunn brags about the quality of his built-in staff. Among the family members involved in running the restaurant will be his mother, Margaret; his wife, Loretta; daughters Gena and Sissy; and six-year-old Benson – better known as “Peanut”.
One of the things Dunn emphasizes is the family atmosphere he plans to maintain. “We are going to make beer available,” he says. “We feel that we’ll need to have it on our menu to attract the customers who have been lost to the out of town restaurants. But, it will be controlled.”
The business is scheduled to re-open next Sunday. The full menu is expected to available early next year. Regular hours will be 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.