CHIMNEY CORNER, WV (WOAY) – Many were saddened to hear about the closure of the Red Oak Grill in Downtown Oak Hill, but the owners, Beth and Thomas Burdette, were able to find a new venture as they have now taken over the Chimney Corner Cafe
As their sales began to dwindle after the stay-at-home order, the Burdettes didn’t think their Oak Hill restaurant would survive through the pandemic, so they took up an offer they were given in February to take over the lease of the cafe just outside of Gauley Bridge.
“That’s kind of what solidified it, the pandemic and knowing it was going to be hard to recoup,” Beth Burdette said. “This was here, and it was turnkey. All we basically needed to do was come in and clean and get it started, so that’s what we’re doing.”
Burdette believes the key to success there will be the increased tourism in the area, the unique venue with its outdoor seating and live music stage and its location nestled in between Route 60 and Route 16.
It has been a little over a year since the cafe has been up and running, but as the owners of the cafe, the Chimney Corner Store and the Chimney Corner Cabin, Jim and Debbie Campbell wanted to lease it to local restaurant owners.
They found the perfect fit as the Burdettes not only bring in restaurant experience, but Beth has strong family ties to the Gauley Bridge area.
“It’s got a lot of memorabilia for us, so it’s classic West Virginia. That’s the best way I’ve heard it described,” she said.
With that, you can expect some of the classic menu items from the Red Oak Grill like burgers, hot dogs and fried chicken with tentative plans to do steak and ribs on the weekends.
The new owners are shooting for a June 13 opening date as they’ve booked the whole day full of live music.
Being able to provide this and so much more to an area that means so much to her family is what Beth looks forward to the most.
“It is probably one of the most beautiful, one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been to regardless of the traffic noise that you hear but you know what, traffic is good because that means business in West Virginia, so this, along with the running stream beside of us, it’s very peaceful, so I guess I just look forward to being here.”
Exact times for the all-day grand opening celebration that will take place on June 6 have not been determined. Once they open, they plan to be open for lunch and dinner Monday-Sunday.