Hometown cookin’: Town and Country Restaurant opens in Hartselle
By Constance Smith
Tina Sampson and her husband JR opened a new restaurant this year, named Town & Country. It is located on the north side of Hartselle on Highway.
Running a restaurant isn’t a new thing for the Sampson family. JR’s mother, Wilma Sue had a restaurant with the same name many years ago in Arab. She was a feisty lady who inspired the family to open another restaurant in Arab three years ago. Town & Country is Wilma Sue’s legacy and that restaurant was their only location until this year.
Tina’s daughter Amber Kugler and her husband both live and teach here in Hartselle. And with the grandbabies being here, Tina and JR found themselves spending lots of time in Hartselle and the family asked them to open a second location. After much debate and prayer, they decided to go for it.
The Town & Country restaurant features homestyle, country cooking. In addition to the full menu, they offer classic plate lunch daily specials that include a “meat and two” or a “meat and three” with dessert and the drink. Some of the most popular offerings are the Hamburger steaks, catfish or Tina’s personal favorite, the chicken salad. But the Chicken and Dressing, Tina makes that herself with her own special recipe.
The homemade cakes are made fresh, and you can see a variety of them in the dessert case out front, like Lemon Cream, Butterfinger or Red Velvet.
The Hartselle location is decorated with a similar style as the original location in Arab. From the front porch seating to the interior, it has a welcoming atmosphere that is family friendly. The walls are adorned with signs to inspire and uplift with positive quotes. One customer told her she had been having a really bad day and when she looked up at the decoration over her table, that the quote was just what she needed at that moment.
While the Sampsons were nervous about opening a second location in Hartselle and knew it would be a great deal of work, they knew they wanted to try. Tina says she has the sweetest workers who are simply amazing. That if it wasn’t for them, she wouldn’t be able to do this.
What really blew her away though, was how kind and welcoming the people of Hartselle are. She said there’s just something special about small towns like Hartselle, “there’s a lot of good people here.” And she couldn’t believe that after only a few weeks of being open, the restaurant already had “regulars.” The restaurant has already been recognized as a “Best of the Best” in the Hartselle Enquirer.
Town & Country also offers a banquet room for private parties and events, in addition to their dining area. There has already been class reunion gatherings, baby showers and other family parties there. Contact them to reserve the room for your event.
Town & Country is located at 2100 Highway 31 NW, Hartselle.