1982 – Our Roots
Our roots of what is now Pine Mountain Grill & Gifts started in 1982 when Don and Peggy Childers opened the Sugar Shack in West Whitesburg. Our menu boasted some of Peggy’s best recipes like meatloaf, chicken & dumplings and spaghetti. Everything was made from scratch. On the sweet side, we offered birthday cakes, fresh desserts, and hand-dipped ice cream. Of course, if you ask local folks what they remember most about those early days, they’ll mention the fresh hot donuts made nightly. All the delicious food, plus the good ole Gulf gasoline, made the Sugar Shack a community gathering place where customers would talk across the dining room like they were in their own homes.
1996 – 1997 – Growing Up
By 1996 the Sugar Shack was producing all the food it could from its tiny kitchen, and the sixty-five seats in the dining room were full most of the time. So after much family discussion, we decided to build a new Sugar Shack at Pine Mountain Junction. The new 11,800 square-foot building took almost 9 months to the day to build. We were lucky enough to have some of the finest craftsmen in the area to build the structure, lay the stone, design beautiful fireplaces, and install the large expansive trusses.
We opened our doors for business at the new location on October 22, 1997. Our new kitchen alone was larger than the old building that the restaurant once called home. Our dining room could now hold 250 folks and our meeting room could accommodate up to 300. We even had enough room to add a little gift shop in the front.
The biggest change for us was not the size of the building but the growth in our staff. At the original Sugar Shack we had an amazing staff of 12, most of whom had been there for years, even as far back as the first day. At the new location we have an amazing staff of 60, including several original staff members.
Though the location, menu, and staff looked new, and some things changed (Donuts made from scratch were a thing of the past, and the new location did not have ice cream cones), the heart of the Sugar Shack remained. We were at the foot of Pine Mountain, and we still served awesome home-cooked food. That was how the name Pine Mountain Grill came to be. It was affectionately called “The Grill” by locals, and folks continued to gather here.
Today, more than a decade after the relocation, we are cooking up those delicious dishes with our original recipes. We make as much as possible from scratch as in our beginning. We stock our freezer with fresh green beans so we can spoil you all winter long. We slow cook our roast beef all night every night. We offer ONLY the freshest highest quality food we can find. We strive everyday to give you the best food, with the best service in the best atmosphere possible.
Our gift store offers University of Kentucky apparel and accessories, holiday decorations, purses, jewelry, and home decor. You’ll find what you need in our cozy atmosphere. Our staff can help you pick out a perfect gift.
So, whether you are having dinner for two, hosting a reception for 200, or needing a gift for a bridal shower, we are here at the foot of Pine Mountain at the Pine Mountain Grill. Oh, and by the way, we no longer sell gasoline!