ON THE MENU — The Feed Store feels like eating at Grandma’s house
PORT NECHES — From the interior design, to the wholesome atmosphere, The Feed Store tucked away in the back of Port Neches strives to provide the Mom-and-Pop environment like the building’s previous owners.
Jonathan Barnett, who owns The Feed Store, remembers coming to the location with his grandfather when it was Paul’s Diner.
Those familiar with the former eatery can still find memories around The Feed Store.
Barnett kept the original bar stools, with stickers on the bottom from the 1920s.
“I really tried to preserve the history,” he said. “When I redid it, it had vinyl siding. (The wood that is in the restaurant) was on the outside. We didn’t stain it or anything… I want this to be like you are having dinner at Grandma’s house. That is why we don’t have TVs. I encourage people to put their cellphones away and just eat and visit. This place comes alive while we are open.”
Even though The Feed Store has only been around for five years, walking inside can feel a bit like a time machine. The relatively young restaurant has regular customers, General Manager Jamie Lane said.
“We have people that come in four or five times a week and will come for breakfast and lunch,” she said. “We had one guy that recently passed away. He would come in every day.”
Lane said the eatery would expand some in the summer to help with the high demand.
“I want to get numbers bigger and better numbers,” Lane said. “I know we are pretty much functioning at full capacity every day. There are times where I have to say no to catering just because I know it is going to interfere with what we have here.”
Lane said the kitchen size would increase, which may cause The Feed Store to shut down for approximately a week.
The GM said the daily specials are always a hit.
“Each day we have something different,” she said. “Monday is meatloaf. Tuesday is pork roast. Wednesday is beef tips. Thursday is fried pork chops. Friday is fried chicken and grilled catfish with a lemon butter cream sauce. I don’t eat fish, but I love the sauce.”
The Feed Store is open for lunch on Monday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. On Tuesday-Friday, it is open from 7 – 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. On Saturday, The Feed Store opens for an extended breakfast from 7 – 11 a.m.
Lane said the staff helps drive home the warm ambience.
“We have a family feel with everyone, including employees,” she said. “Everyone knows everyone. We talk to our customers. We ask them how their day is and if they had to work hard. They are going to open up and hang out. It makes them enjoy it just a little more. Even if someone is having a bad day, talking to them a few minutes makes them feel better, especially if they leave with a full belly.”
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