Known for its famous Ranger Burgers, the Four Winds Restaurant in Cusseta, Ga., will reopen today after about a month of renovation and a change of ownership.
Susan and Donald Cox opened the restaurant known for its burgers about 35 years ago. After Donald Cox died unexpectedly this summer and Susan Cox's mother, a waitress, died less than a month later, Susan Cox was overwhelmed and having a hard time.
In stepped Mark Jones, who owns Mark's City Grill; Black Cow; Aspen's Mountain Grill; Hunter's Pub and Steakhouse; and Ready, Steak Go.
He currently holds the lease on the Four Winds with an option to buy, said Cox.
Jones said he didn't want the restaurant to close.
"With me growing up in the area, I would hate to see a landmark like that go by the wayside," Jones said. "I've updated it a little bit. I wanted to see the tradition go on."
And one of those traditions is the Ranger Burger.
"The Ranger Burger will always be there," Jones said. "Some of the specialities from the other restaurants are now on the menu. There's more to come. But the Ranger Burger will be prominent."
Cox is grateful that Jones lets her go to the restaurant to chat with both regular and new customers. She's also grateful that he kept the entire staff including the wait staff and cooks, while adding more wait staff.
Cox saw tens of thousands of soldiers come and eat at her restaurant.
"In fact, the third generation was there before I left," she said. "Soldiers that came through in the 1980s and their sons came in the 1990s and their grandsons are coming through now. They've got a lot of stories to tell me."
The Four Winds Restaurant will be open from noon to 3 p.m. Thursday, when a free traditional Thanksgiving meal will be served.
Jones wanted to make sure that soldiers who weren't able to go home for Thanksgiving got a meal. Then he thought about the less fortunate in Cusseta and wanted to make sure they were fed, too.
Now he says anyone can go to the Four Winds for a Thanksgiving meal.
Meals will be served until all the food is gone. He's hoping to feed about 300 people.
Call 706-989-3401 for more information.