We have always had a dream of operating a family cafe in Cookeville. With over 26 years operating I-40 Dairy Queen, we have built relationships with our customers that will last a lifetime.
Our goal is to bring you healthy, homestyle cooking with our own hint of southern flair.
Operating the only homestyle cooking drive thru in Cookeville, we are sure to be a healthy, convenient option for all three meals of the day. Stop by and grab a quick lunch to go, or grab a family meal when there just isn’t enough time to cook dinner.
We welcome you to come in and let us treat you like our own family!
Leonard and Lo Smith
READ THE RECENT ARTICLE ON OUR CAFE PUBLISHED IN THE HERALD-CITIZEN:
A special thank you to Megan Trotter and Ty Kernea from the Herald-Citizen
The Bourne-Smith family stands outside their new restaurant, Family Traditions Cafe. Pictured, from left, are John and Amy Bourne, co-owners; two-year-old Caden Smith, being held by Leonard Smith, co-owner; Tiffany Smith; Lolita Smith, co-owner; and Brandon Smith.
Photo: Ty Kernea | Herald-Citizen
COOKEVILLE — Anyone driving by the little building beside the Cookeville Mall Flea Market that has housed a Dairy Queen since 1986 may have noticed that the business has been replaced by Family Traditions Cafe. The building is still owned by the same family, who has owned local Dairy Queen businesses for generations.
“We’ve always wanted to do something along the lines of home cooking,” co-owner Lolita Smith said. “We all enjoy it and usually can draw a crowd if we’re cooking for people.”
The family restaurant business started in the mid-1950s when Lolita’s grandfather, Carl Bean, purchased the Spring St. Dairy Queen, which he later sold to his son Herman Bean and his wife Rebecca in 1972. They worked in the businesses with their three children. The family purchased the Dairy Queen next to the mall in 1986 and purchased the Dairy Queen in Smithville in 1997. “That gave us one (business) for each child,” Lolita said.
Now she, along with her husband Leonard Smith, her sister and brother-in-law Amy and John Bourne, and her brother and sister-in-law Bruce and Sherri Bean, have closed the Dairy Queen near the Cookeville Mall Flea Market and opened Family Traditions Cafe. It is what is known as a “meat and three” restaurant — a place where diners can pick one type of meat and three sidedishes from the menu.
“More than anything, I think, we wanted healthy alternatives,” Lolita said. “It’s hard to find meat and vegetables at night. Working at Dairy Queen, we could never eat at the ‘meat and threes’ because by the time we could leave the store, the ‘meat and threes’ were closed.”
Now the family will not only get to enjoy “homecooking with a southern flair,” they will also get to share it with the community. Their menu includes items such as barbecue, chicken and dumplings, fish, meatloaf, cornbread, Salisbury steak, rubens and other sandwiches and desserts, as well as breakfast foods, and more. They also plan to still offer decorated cakes, both baked and ice cream, and also hope to add a full service bakery in the future.
The restaurant is open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and from 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays. The drive-thru is still open, though it is suggested that those using it call ahead at 931-526-4111 to place their order so as to reduce waiting time.
Each day’s specials are placed on the restaurant’s Facebook page, which can be found by searching the restaurant’s name, and their full menu is available at familytraditionscafe.com.