Restaurant owners return to their local roots
Since 1993, “the log cabin” has been a part of the Alden community. It was in January of 2009, when the original owner decided to sell it and Joel Barry and Tom Szopinski took it over.
Growing up in Alden and graduating in 2002 from Alden High School, this gave Barry and Szopinski a new opportunity. They had a chance to run their own business, a business they both knew so well.
“I worked here since I was a kid washing dishes and then I started cooking,” remarked Barry. “After college, the [former] owner asked if I was interested in keeping this going so Tommy and I have been friends for a long time and I didn’t want to do it on my own so I asked him if he wanted to join me and he did. He worked here also. We both worked here through high school.”
Barry said he put a lot of work into the restaurant and he wanted the chance to continue to the business and grow it.
“I think it is the greatest restaurant in the world,” smiled Barry. “It is a family diner and we serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is a big menu. We also offer daily specials.”
Customers can enjoy a variety of sandwiches, diet plates, and seafood and pasta plates, salads and hot off the grill buttermilk pancakes or French toast. For the little ones a kid’s menu is available.
“We have homemade soups,” said Barry. “That is one thing people really like here. We get a lot of compliments.”
Also, Barry and Szopinski have added several new menu items such as the Pittsburg steak salad, wraps, and different specialty burgers. They also offer fish frys on Fridays.
As hands on owners, Barry and Szopinski are at the restaurant almost every day helping where they can in the kitchen or in the dining room. It is a lot of hard work and takes a lot of determination, but working alongside great people and getting to know customers makes it all worth it.
“I guess the best thing is getting complimented on the food,” commented Barry. “Also, it’s not like someone is telling me to do it, I do it because I want too.”
When they first purchased the restaurant, Barry said they refurbished the mantle and added decorations to the dining room. Future plans include putting new carpet in the dining room and re-upholstering.
“We’re going to try to expand and remodel the place,” Barry said. “We want to continue to make it homey, but new.”
Lastly, Barry said a challenge has been getting people to drive pass Town Line Road to come to the restaurant.
“There are so many restaurants in Lancaster and Cheektowaga,” he commented. “It is tough to get people out here, but when people do come they usually do come back.”
Town and Country Family Restaurant caters to all ages and family sizes and is opened from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. It is located at 12701 Broadway St., Alden. To contact the restaurant call 937-6521. The restaurant offers a 10 percent senior discount for those 65 and over and starting in the winter, kids eat free on Mondays.