Marguerite Cline: The boss of Keithsburg Cafe
by Marguerite Cline
November 25, 2011 01:16 AM | 4066 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This might be fodder for Ripley’s Believe it or Not. According to Keithsburg Café owner Coy Adair, one of his customers, an average sized lady, eats a Keithsburg Omelette every day and never seems to gain an ounce.

To better appreciate this you need to know what is in the omelet. The menu at the Keithsburg Café says it contains four meats, three eggs, three kinds of cheese and three vegetables. Those of you who are omelet lovers may be just a little envious of that lady.

Sometimes you see an older building along the side of a road that obviously was once a “filling station” and country store, but is now used for something else. That is the case of the Keithsburg Café. The restaurant is now in what some remember as Keithsburg Store.

Coy grew up in the Atlanta-Stone Mountain area. Orphaned when he was 7, he knows well the hardships of growing up in the streets.

He worked in restaurants and drove a truck for years. Working at Atlanta restaurants like Barry’s Barbecue, the Buckhead Grill and Shoney’s prepared him for owning his cafe.

He was at the Waffle King in Woodstock when Canton realtor Everett Porter assisted him in finding his Keithsburg location.

Coy obviously knows what draws in loyal customers. Whether you call it country cooking, comfort food, soul food or southern cuisine, it is for folks like me.

So are the prices on the menu for a big breakfast, a hotdog, grilled cheese sandwich or a meat and three vegetables for lunch.

Owner Coy makes no secret about who is the boss. It is his wife, Linda. He says he doesn’t want to “stir her up.” He also said that it tears him up if he disappoints her. Coy has simple advice for making a marriage work. He says you must try to get along and overlook some things. There should be no name calling and nothing physical when you disagree.

When you step in the door of the restaurant, you immediately know that Coy Adair is a University of Georgia “Bulldawg.” Red and black memorabilia is all around. Some of it is items for serious collectors.

He likes to interact with his customers and jokes that Gators and Yellow Jackets are not welcome. The first time I was there, I was wearing black and yellow. He let me eat anyway.

Once, when I was at the Keithsburg Café, Coy was not mingling with his friends. I could see him working in the kitchen. One of the cooks had not come in, so Coy was cooking. Take it from me, he is a good cook.

He can do every job that needs to be done — from taking out the trash, making brownies and cooking the 105 dozen eggs served per week.

Like many of Cherokee County’s older communities, Keithsburg has its legends. It was named after the local Keith family. They had one of the oldest plantations in the area.

One source wrote, “During the Civil War, the Keith family buried its valuables and suspended its food in trees in order to hide it from the approaching Union army. The soldiers found the food and, as vengeance for the family’s deception, burned their house and hanged the family patriarch from a tree.”

As the story continues, “However, his life was spared by the knot in the rope getting caught and failing to break his neck.”

Some say the Keith Plantation house and outbuildings are still standing, but are in need of repair.

Family names associated with early days of the community include Hendrix, Carnes, Pitts, McFarland, Henson, Hicks, Spears, Weatherby, Dunn and Perkins.

Like many older communities, Keithsburg is near a river — the Etowah — and a train track. Businesses like J. P. Haynes Lumber Company were there prior to 1947. Interestingly, when the business began, the mill was powered by a Buick automobile engine.

Everything at the Keithsburg Café moves fast. There are only 30 seats, but the turnover rate is quick. The people who eat there have things to do. Rarely does anyone linger.

Although most days Coy and Linda are at the café, when they do have time, they are on their pontoon on Lake Weiss, baiting their hooks with chicken livers and fishing. On working days, Coy likes an afternoon nap on the couch.

Another of Coy’s favorite things is watching people. When he is not in the kitchen, he has plenty of people to watch. Theirs is a thriving business.

When you go to the Keithsburg Cafe, be sure remember something, Coy said. Linda is the boss and, like Coy, we do not want to, “stir her up.”

Marguerite Cline is the former mayor of Waleska.
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