The name of the restaurant is Granny’s Grab ‘N’ Go.
Because of the building in which it’s located, however, to some people, it will always be Holsomback’s.
Owner Becky Troxell — a.k.a. the new “Granny” — doesn’t mind so much. She’s happy to be part of the Holmback’s legacy. She’s kept the same wallpaper on the walls and the tradition of serving tiny hamburgers, a food item as closely associated with the property along South Maple Street as fries and ketchup, or peanut butter and jelly.
“It needs to be carried on, really,” she said of that legacy. “The old Holsomback name should really be carried on. I can’t carry it on, but I can make their burgers real close to it.”
This incarnation of Granny’s Grab ‘N’ Go, under Troxell’s ownership, has been around for about two-and-a-half years. The name itself has been around longer.
“I helped a lady named ‘Granny’,’the one who had it the first time they renamed it Granny’s Grab ‘N’ Go,” said Troxell, referring to Faye Burton; Dustin Brumley owned it the first time. “And then whenever she got ready to give it up, I just took it over.”
The restaurant space has a long and storied history however, predating Granny’s Grab ‘N’ Go by decades. The original Holsomback’s Lunch Room was opened by George Holsomback in July of 1922. George sold burgers and lemonade from a small shack, torn down in the ‘80s, just south of the current building. In 1925, George moved to a slightly larger concrete structure, and 1937, George had the concrete building razed, and a brick-faced structure was built in its place to house his booming business, complete with a few seats inside for customers. This is the building which now houses Granny’s.
L.B. Guffey ran the restaurant from 1947 to 1951, briefly changing its name to L.B.’s Lunch Room. But in 1951, George’s children — Elbert Holsomback, Zelma Hayden, Raymond Holsomback, and Raymond’s wife, Mae — took over the reins of the family business once again, keeping the Holsomback’s tradition alive in downtown Somerset through mid-1973. In 1986, Doug Holsomback, George’s grandson and Raymond and Mae’s son, reopened Holsomback’s Lunch Room. After the turn of the millennium, the building housed a similar restaurant, Lynn’s Lunchbox — which kept selling slider burgers — followed by Mammie’s Kitchen and then Granny’s Grab ‘N’ Go.
But the name Holsomback’s hasn’t left the collective consciousness of Pulaski County just yet.
“Yes they do, they say ‘Holsomback’s,’” she said when asked if people still associated the space with its earlier inhabitants.
Troxell herself has been in the restaurant business “a long time,” by her estimation; she used to work at the old Western Sizzlin’ steakhouse, serving as assistant manager — she worked there about eight years.
Troxell is humble when asked about the experience she’s gained in the difficult restaurant business over the years. “It’s just feeding people,” she said. “It’s nothing hard.”
Though downtown is more flush with businesses now than it was perhaps a decade or two ago, the Granny’s location has remained fruitful, even as other businesses have seen leaner times. It’s currently located right across from the Pulaski County Judicial Center, and is always open for Somernites Cruise events downtown.
“It’s a pretty good spot,” said Troxell. “We have regular customers who come here. We get some (from the courthouse).”
She added, “When the car show’s here in town, we’re swamped. ... I love it.”
As for what the restaurant offers, the sliders remain popular — “(People) say they’re the closest to Holsomback’s that they’ve ever been,” said Troxell. In the wintertime, warm food like pinto beans, fried potatoes, and chili are available. Also on the menu are chili dogs, nachos, tenderloin sandwiches, spicy chicken, and smoked sausages.
“We just wait until the wintertime and then we make bigger meals, because people don’t really want the big meals when they’re hot,” said Troxell.
And though the burgers are popular, “I’ve got a lot of people that like my homemade chili sauce,” she observed.
And although she adopted the name “Granny” as a sort of title passed along with the business, it suits Troxell.
“I’ve got two grandkids, but I’m ‘Granny’ to a lot of people,” she said. “They’ll come in here and holler, ‘Granny!’ ... I don’t want to change (the name). I want to keep it Granny’s Grab ‘N’ Go.”