Restaurant News

Popular Southern Dining Restaurant Closing March 31st

This family restaurant serves some of the finest southern cooking in Middle Georgia.

A popular restaurant in Bolingbroke announced that it would be closing its doors to the public at the end of the month. Mrs. Elaine Thomas confirmed in an email  that they would be closing the Bolingbroke location after dinner service ends on Saturday, March 31st.  Elaine Thomas, owner of Miss Hattie's, issued a statement to Gateway Macon this past Saturday:

"Being raised a southern woman, I realized early in life that in the south we nurture through good food. When we celebrate such as weddings and holidays, we focus on the meal and when we mourn, we comfort by taking food to the family experiencing loss.

When I was 6 years old, my parents lost a baby boy at birth. While my mother was still in the hospital, I tried to comfort my father by making him pancakes for breakfast. As you can imagine, not many 6-year olds can accomplish the task of cooking pancakes. I was no exception. My pancakes were raw on the inside and burned on the outside. Like any good father, my dad told me how good they were. I was so proud that hopefully through my pancakes that I had eased some of his grief.

My most prized Christmas gift was probably my Easy Bake Oven that Santa brought me. I can still remember how good those tiny cakes smelled when they came out of the little yellow oven. I’ll always remember the sound of Andy Griffith coming on while I stood in a chair at the stove and fried fish sticks. Anytime I hear the finger snaps and whistle of that beloved TV show coming on, I still think about frying fish sticks. Those were my earliest memories of the beginning of my love and passion for cooking. I’d like to think that I’ve come a long way since the day of those first pancakes.

My mother has been my only cooking instructor and taught me everything I know about cooking. My husband nor I have ever worked in a restaurant, so when I turned 50 years old, I thought I must be losing my mind to even consider opening a restaurant with no formal culinary training or restaurant operations experience. However, since I felt God’s leadership, I decided put caution to the wind and give it a shot. I decided to step out on a limb of faith, since I’d always felt God had another plan for me in life. What I lacked in experience, I gained in faith and trust of following the good Lord’s will.

When the opportunity for Miss Hattie’s came along, we were not seriously looking to open a restaurant. The day before I knew that the restaurant was for sale, I envisioned “IF” I had a restaurant what I would name it, what kind of food we would serve, the type of location, and how I’d set up the menu. The very next day, I found out that this restaurant was for sale, being exactly the type of setting and location that I had pictured for my day dream restaurant. I prayed about it and told God that this was far bigger than me and that if it was something he wanted me to do, that I was putting it in his hands and he would have to work it out. After all, what crazy person would give me a loan for a restaurant at 50 years old when I’d never worked in a restaurant before!

Everything fell right into place. I’ve never felt God’s will in my life so strongly as I did about this restaurant. I knew then that the details that I’d envisioned the day before regarding the type of food, name, menu, etc. was not just a day dream, but a message from God. I knew that I had to stick with these details from my daydream; the baby was named before she was birthed. My work at Miss Hattie’s has seemed everything but work. It has been the hardest and most time-consuming thing that I have ever done in my life, but it also has been the most satisfying and rewarding thing other than my family. I told my husband when we considered buying the restaurant, that we needed to realize that this venture would be everything that we eat, breath, and sleep. It has been exactly that, but she was our baby and we loved her dearly. We have put our heart and soul into Miss Hattie’s to make it the best it could be for two people who had NO restaurant experience.

However, on July 9th, we discovered that there was another baby coming into our life that pushed Miss Hattie’s to second fiddle. At the moment that we learned that we would become grandparents in February, something inside me flipped and I realized that my restaurant baby was too time consuming for me to be a grandparent and for me to have the opportunity to get to know our coming granddaughter. We are older and much more tired than we were 7 years ago. Two weeks ago, when Miss Marley Kate entered this world, I knew where our priorities lay. When she was a week old and looked into my eyes with her big dark eyes and smiled at me, I realized that she was the one thing that could make me give my restaurant baby up. Even after the long 12-14-hour work days and aching joints and pain at night, I still loved Miss Hattie’s and couldn't’t bring myself to part. However, I know that my family needs me most. My mother needs me more at this time in her life and I sure want our new princess to know that I’m her grandma. Therefore, it is with bittersweet mixed emotions that I tell you that Miss Hattie’s last day of business will be Saturday, March 31st.

We will be open our regular hours until then and hope that you will use these next 3 weeks as an opportunity to experience the finest in southern cooking one more time. I’m thinking I might take some time to write that cookbook that everyone is always asking about and still take in some baking from home. Therefore, those delicious cakes and oatmeal cream pies are not lost forever. Any outstanding gift certificates will be honored for the next three weeks, so make sure to get on in and redeem those while you still have time. We have met so many wonderful people over the last 7 years and can never express our gratitude for your support, customer loyalty and friendship. I am thankful that now I can become an old lady and know what “was” instead of always wondering what “might have been”.

And if you decide to take a walk out on that limb of faith, I know a great little place in Bolingbroke for sale." 

Elaine Thomas
Miss Hattie's Kitchen & Bakery