Local eateries busy for a reason

Published 10:47 pm Friday, March 19, 2010

Clanton residents have often bemoaned the lack of food choices here, especially if you’re looking to sit down somewhere for dinner.

Indeed, there is no Ruby Tuesday or Longhorn Steakhouse, as can be found minutes north in Alabaster or minutes south in Prattville.

But there are many establishments to choose from in Clanton, especially if you’re into traditional Southern cooking prepared by people you know by name. Lessie’s, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, is one such restaurant.

Owner Rochelle Smitherman took over the business after her aunt, Lessie Martin, passed at age 85. Martin poured her heart and soul into the food at Lessie’s, and Smitherman is continuing the tradition.

Most of the folks that walk through the door at Lessie’s know Smitherman and each other. They’ve been eating there for years, and may even come back for their second—or third—meal of the day at the same table.

Lessie’s, and other long-standing Clanton establishments, may not have the flashy sign and corporate backing of chain restaurants, but they do have food and an environment that keeps customers coming back for more.