By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal
PLANTERSVILLE – Ever since Greg Driskill was 19 years old, he’s wanted to run the little convenience store that’s about five minutes from his house in the Union community between Plantersville and Nettleton.
And today, he does.
Driskill, 47, opened the Country Store and Restaurant in December 2009 and has met with great success, especially on the weekends.
“I think this store was built in 1970 by Lamar Pettigrew and his father, and it’s had four or five other owners,” he said. “So, I’m No. 5 or 6. But I’m the only one who has done a restaurant.”
Driskill serves traditional breakfast fare – sausage and biscuits, bacon, eggs and toast – in the mornings, and then a plate lunch Monday through Friday. But it’s the steaks and catfish on Friday and Saturday evenings that have drawn all the attention.
“That’s what we’re really getting popular for,” he said. “That first weekend, I bet we had 400 people come through, and we fed 350 of them. We weren’t expecting that big a crowd, but it really took off.”
The catfish he serves is raised in Yazoo City, and the steaks are Black Angus.
“Our best-seller is the 8-ounce rib-eye with all the fixings for $9. We have steaks up to 17 ounces on the menu, but the largest steak we’ve cooked so far is 32 ounces, and that was for Brandon Presley. That boy likes to eat,” he said of the public service commissioner for the Northern district.
Driskill said he always wants the customer to be happy.
“We’ll bring a Black Angus beef loin out to your table, and you can point with your knife and show us how thick you want us to cut that steak and we’ll do it,” he said.
When Driskill took over the store in December 2009, it was in bad shape.
“This place had become an eyesore in the community,” said Peggy Booth, Driskill’s mother. “It took a while to clean it up.”
Driskill has added some antiques to the place to give it some atmosphere.
A whiskey still in the back corner came out of the old Buford Pusser Museum by Shiloh Park in Tennessee. Driskill had loaned it to the Lee County Sheriff’s Department where it was on display until Sheriff Harold Ray Presley was killed in July 2001.
He’s also collected an old cow milker, a school desk and an old clock.
And then there’s “Grandmaw.”
“There’s this old lady – I don’t know her name, everybody just calls her Grandmaw – who is in here every night we’re open for supper,” Driskill said. “When you come in here, you’ll know her. She sits in that rocking chair. She’s about 90 years old and tiny, but feisty. I call her my security guard.”
But it’s likely the food that draws the customers.
“We’ve had people from Booneville, Oxford, Aberdeen, Baldwyn, Fulton, Amory, Tupelo and Pontotoc,” he said. “Businessmen, laborers – we get everybody in here.”
Booth, who sometimes runs the cash register, said the family atmosphere is another reason people are drawn to the restaurant.
“If you need mothering or pampering, all you have to do is come in here,” she said. “I’m one of those that if I don’t know you when you come in, I’ll know you before you leave.”
Country Store and Restuarant
WHERE: 3451 Highway 6 East, Plantersville
(next to Pettigrew Cabinets).
WHEN: Monday-Thursday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.;
Friday-Saturday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
FOOD: Breakfast fare; plate lunches and
pizza; steaks, catfish, chicken on weekends.
CALL: (662) 591-2900.