By Shayla Menville - Staff Writer
April 10, 2013 — A love of family, history and food inspired Dave and Judy Bowling to open their new restaurant, Dave and Judy’s Diner on US 60 east at the base of Poppy Mountain.
“He always wanted a business like this and at first I tried to talk him out of it, but he didn’t listen,” said Judy, laughing.
“I was born and raised in the area and raised my family here so I always wanted to have a family-friendly business and give back to the community,” said Dave.
The couple has been married for 28 years and brought different talents to create the new eatery.
Judy has managed the Kroger deli for 34 years. Dave has worked at Kentucky Electric in Ashland but has been an antique collector all his life.
They based the menu on foods they, their family and their employees like to eat. Large amounts of the menu are homemade and are Judy’s creations.
“I guess I’m a pretty decent cook. I learned from my mom who cooked for all of her children and all of our friends,” said Judy.
“Decent cook, she is a wonderful cook…I mean look at me,” said Dave, jokingly.
Some of their special dishes include barbecue ribs, fried banana peppers (made a little differently), baked chicken alfredo, apple dumplings, and breakfast specials all day.
The diner is decorated with local history and includes “The Showroom” which displays vintage cars, appliances, newspaper clippings and a phone booth from the 1950s.
“I’ve been fooling with this kind of stuff all my life, they just made things better back then,” said Dave.
“I’m not as interested in antiques as he is but he knew right away that was how he wanted the restaurant to look and did most of the decorating himself,” said Judy.
The couple wants the atmosphere to be welcoming to families because the business is a family endeavor.
“We have six children and seven grandchildren and told them early on that we would need their help and they are always stepping up to make sure things are running well,” said Judy. “We hope that we are able to pass it onto our children and grandchildren so that they can serve the community.”
“It isn’t just going to be the restaurant, eventually we will be hosting car and bike shows, music, fishing competition, and pig roasts because so many young people don’t have good, clean fun and that is what we are all about,” said Dave. “This is a family place and always will be.”
Dave and Judy said they are still working through the kinks of a new restaurant but welcome feedback. They plan to host a grand opening event in late spring with music, giveaways, kids games and antique appraisal.
“We’ve been told some of our food is the best customers have had and we have people who already come back regularly,” said Dave. “But we want to do what is best and gives the best experience possible.”
“There have been things that work and things that don’t work, we are always open to suggestions because I know how I want to be treated in a restaurant and we want to provide that and more, because we are so community and family based,” said Judy. “I know we can’t make everyone happy but I’m going to try and if I can’t make them happy, I can at least make it right.”
The diner is open seven days a week, Sundays, 8 a. m to 8 p.m.; Monday through Thursday from 6 a. m until 9 p.m.; and from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The couple said they hope to meet new friends and welcome anyone and everyone to try the food and enjoy the local history.
Shayla Menville can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.