Fountain Grill a reminder of years gone and years to come

ABERDEEN – While finishing up a late Friday lunch, Justice Court Judge Robert Fowlkes retraced a snippet of his youth a table or two away from where his teenage counterpart frequented the Fountain Grill.
“There were three dairy bars in Aberdeen, but this was the main one for teenagers to come eat and socialize. Before the high school was built, the Fountain Grill was really popular, but after it did open this was the place to be after ball games and school,” Fowlkes said.

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNALABERDEEN ICON – Fountain Grill owner Kymberly Moore stands beside the sign out front of the Aberdeen restaurant.

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNAL
ABERDEEN ICON – Fountain Grill owner Kymberly Moore stands beside the sign out front of the Aberdeen restaurant.

In the heydays of cruising, the Fountain Grill was the center for social order for teens in Aberdeen while Knight’s Drive-In was the place to be in Amory. As time passed and those 57 Chevys started to rust, the Fountain Grill gravitated more to a family setting.
These days, muddy Z-71s may line the curb after hunters come out of the woods for breakfast and work trucks take up half the spaces under the awning for lunch.
“On my Facebook, I’ve had people from as far away as California, Georgia and Florida sending me messages about putting the cues of pool sticks in the brick walls or memories hanging out here,” said owner Kymberly Moore, who moved from Sulligent, Ala. to take over the restaurant after it was null for four months.
Since taking ownership in 2006, Moore has seen ups and downs with the economy and rising price of food, but tragedy struck May 9, 2012 when the Fountain Grill’s interior was charred by an electrical fire.
“I couldn’t even come to town after that because people were always flagging me in the middle of the road asking when it was going to reopen,” Moore said.
After nearly seven months of interior work that produced a completely different kitchen, fresh paint, new bathrooms and the same motif it’s maintained for decades, the Fountain Grill reopened to droves of diners.
“The wait from lunchtime until dinner was sometimes was almost an hour and it’s never been that busy,” Moore said.
Since purchasing the restaurant more than six years ago, Moore has stayed consistent with the menu Monroe County has been accustomed to for years.
“We’ve been told we have the best fish in town and the sweetest tea. Even this time of year, we sell so much ice cream and malts, milkshakes and sundaes,” Moore said.
All of Moore’s cooks have been on her staff have been with her since day one of opening. One has been employed at the Fountain Grill for more than 17 years.
Knowing she had inherited an Aberdeen icon with her business, Moore takes customer service very seriously.
“I sit down with them and have gotten to be on a first name basis with them. I know what they want to drink when they come in and know what they want on their cheeseburger. I’ll take food out to the handicapped customers’ cars and even have done home deliveries for some of the elderly customers. I spoil everybody,” Moore said.
Name: Fountain Grill
Owner: Kymberly Moore
Number of employees: 10
Address: 303 Hwy 145 N., Aberdeen
Telephone: 369-2361
Hours: Mon – Fri, 6 a.m. until 9 p.m.; Sat. 6 a.m. until 2 p.m.

About Ray Van Dusen

I've been with the Monroe Journal since Aug. 2009 as a staff writer, but took the role as news editor in late 2012. I'm always looking for interesting story ideas from around Monroe County. You can reach me via email at ray.vandusen@journalinc.com.