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Forks Country Restaurant is now under new management — sort of.
Rosella Bays and Teri Cheek have taken over from G. M. Bays, who started the restaurant on Aug. 28, 1984. However, if you are a regular customer, you know these two ladies. Rosella Bays is G. M. Bays’ wife and Teri Cheek is his daughter.
“We’ve both been here for 27 years,” commented Cheek. “It’s still family owned.”
And, family owned by the same family.
Forks may be a bit hard to find, although you can’t help but see it. It gets its name from the fact that it’s right at the spot where Big Island Highway forks off from Forest Road but you may not know what that building is. The back of the restaurant faces the fork, itself. The front faces the DMV office instead of the the road. Nevertheless, lots of people seem to find it because the parking lot is usually full.
“It’s a real good location,” commented Cheek, who said that they have a steady clientele with 90 percent of their customers coming in every day.
The two ladies are making some changes.
“We are taking credit cards now,” said Bays. She and Cheek said that this decision was made based on customer requests, as a convenience for them.
“Customers would pull them out and we couldn’t take them,” said Cheek.
The restaurant’s interior got a general renovation with new booths and tables and a redesign of the way it’s laid out. They are also now open on Sundays, a change that took effect on Sept. 9. The two ladies said that they made this change because a lot of people told them there was no place to go that had the same style of cooking.
“It’s home style cooking, country cooking,” said Cheek.
The cooking has a menu that includes fried chicken, roast beef, pork loin and turkey and dressing. The fried chicken is available every day. They will rotate the other meat dishes to guarantee that they are fresh. They said that what they serve on any given day was cooked that day.
Some meat dishes are part of an expansion of the menu. Bays said that they kept the dishes they always had, and have added new ones.
Forks is open from 6 a. m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a. m. to 3 p. m. on Sundays. Breakfast is served every morning. Bays and Cheek said that they’ve set the hours based on what they know they can handle. One of the two ladies is there whenever Forks is open, a practice that means they always see everything that happens. They also make sure customers leave happy, “if at all possible,” said Cheek.
They said that they know what customers like. For example, Cheek said that Delegate Lacey Putney has been a frequent patron. His favorites are country style steak with pintos and cabbage or fried chicken with big white limas and cabbage.
“He’s actually the one who took me to register to vote,” said Cheek, who has worked in her father’s restaurant since she was a teen.
Having a good staff also means a lot to them.
“We’ve got good help right now,” said Cheek. “Most of our help have been here for a long time.”