Tonya Hawes, who owned Kiss My Grits in Hayden previously, said she was looking for a new location but hadn’t settled on one, when she got a call from her friends at Nail Connection about an open restaurant space in downtown Warrior.
After the call, Hawes said she jumped at the chance to open a restaurant in Warrior when the spot on Main Street opened up three months ago.
“They didn’t even have a chance to put a ‘For Rent’ sign in the window,” Hawes said with a laugh.
Then she had to put her own twist on the restaurant, which she decreed would be “funky.”
“You can walk into some places and there is no personality,” Hawes said.
That wasn’t what she wanted, instead painting and adorning the walls to make them as colorful as the owner, complete with old records and and posters that reflect the “groovy” vibe.
The menu also isn’t like anything the area is used to, she said.
The regular menu features three types of chicken salad—one “old-fashioned” with onions, one with grapes and pecans and another that’s listed as “honey almond” alongside the pimento cheese—all made fresh and from scratch.
If you’re looking for your typical deli meat sandwiches, you won’t find them here. The club sandwich features fresh turkey breast and ham and the Philly cheese sandwich is made from shaved ribeye.
“It took people some getting used to,” Hawes said. She said she finally realized people were used to things being prepared the easy or quick way, instead of from scratch, but the customers have come around to her way of thinking about the food now.
The wings (which are brined for days ahead of time so they don’t even need sauce) have become a popular menu item as well as the chef’s salad, featuring three meats—brisket, ham and turkey.
The burgers are also larger than most and can be customized (Hawes says a lot of people add the pimento cheese to the burger for a special treat).
And those are just the regular menu items, Hawes changes things up when the mood strikes her to offer uniques specials like a special Irish menu for St. Patrick’s Day or a variety of soups when it’s cold out.
She also features unique breakfast items like stuffed French toast, home fries and more for breakfast on Saturdays.
The dessert menu is no less interesting, but is always changing. pineapple cupcakes share the case with chocolate chip peanut butter pie, fudge cake and even a strawberry margarita cupcake that her Nail Connections ladies requested.
“If you can come up with a flavor I can make it,” Hawes said with a laugh.
But get there early for dessert, because Hawes said that no matter how much she makes, they seem to sell out.
The restaurant is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. They are closed Sunday and Monday.
You can find Groovy Grub Cafe on Facebook for more details about the daily specials available.
The do offer deliveries to local businesses and schools (for the teachers).
This story originally ran in the Spring 2019 edition of North Jefferson Magazine.