Image credit: Lindsay McReynolds; Miniburger employees Megan Maynard, Rose Johnson, owner Rhonda Bates and Ashley Maynard celebrate the restaurant's 50th anniversary Monday.
BY LINDSAY MCREYNOLDS of Herald-Citizen
It's one of a handful of restaurants that's stood the test of time in Cookeville. Miniburger will celebrate its 50th anniversary Monday.
The restaurant that opened March 16, 1970 on the corner of Broad Street and Willow Avenue still has about 20 regulars who come to eat daily.
"Every morning, they come in, and we practically know what they want to eat," owner Rhonda Bates said.
But Bates said over the last year they've seen more new faces showing up.
"One person yesterday said they'd lived here for 18 years, and it was the first time they'd been here," said employee Rose Johnson, who's worked at Miniburger for 42 years.
"I always like my job," Johnson said about why she's worked there so long. "I love my people. They're like my family."
In addition to traditional breakfast like eggs and bacon, Miniburger continues its namesake burger along with chicken and corn dogs.
And while there were few restaurants in Cookeville when Miniburger opened its doors 50 years ago, they've managed to maintain their foothold in the city's food industry.
"Getting to know the people and treating them like family," Bates said of their secret to success. "I enjoy getting to know the people."
Bates, who inherited the business from her late husband, Jack, said she'll retire "someday."
"I'd like to see a younger couple take it and still be Miniburger," she said. "I'd hate to see it not be Miniburger."
Miniburger will be selling hamburgers for 50 cents Monday in honor of their 50 years in business.
They're open from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday at 310 W. Broad St. in Cookeville.