Rick and Judy Baugh bought R&J Café in September of 2017. They wanted to spend more time together, and they live two doors down from the restaurant. Rick retired from Lozier after 31 years, and Judy retired from Maples after 28 years. The two decided they wanted to try owning and operating a restaurant, and they decided to go for it.
Judy’s aunt and uncle previously owned the restaurant. Judy said many of her family members work there, as well. She said they were ready to retire and try something new.
Judy’s mother is 90 years old, and now Judy can go help her out whenever she can. Also, she and Rick spend their days together now, which they never did before. The couple said there are lots of good things about running R&J Café. They have gotten to meet tons of new people and they are close to home.
R&J Café’s biggest draw is its lunch buffet. The restaurant offers the lunch buffet Monday through Friday and on Sunday. Rick said running a restaurant with a buffet is much more work than people think. They have to keep everything moving and the food fresh.
It takes a great deal of management. On Thursday night, R&J Café has a wing buffet with several different types of wings, side vegetables, salad bar and homemade desserts.
On Friday nights, they have a BBQ buffet with ribs, chicken, pork chops, pulled pork, sausage, side vegetables and homemade peach cobbler. Rick said if people have never been to R&J Café, Sunday afternoon is the time to come try it out. They have catfish, chicken fingers, ham and all their home cooked sides like turnip greens and chicken and dressing.
Everything at R&J Café is fresh and never frozen. Judy said trucks come in three times a week to make sure everything stays fresh. Rick said they sell a ton of Philly cheesesteaks Philly chicken sandwiches. Their burgers and chicken are also a popular menu item. Rick said they have a large menu for a hometown restaurant. R&J Café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.
Rick and Judy said the restaurant stays busy the majority of the time. They said they never know how a day is going to go, and they have to plan for anything and everything. Last Saturday, they said it was nonstop at R&J Café.
Judy said they try to stay involved in the community as well. They donate food to school and church functions, and they want to give back as much as they can.
“We appreciate all the business and support the community gives us,” said Judy. “They support us well and we’ve made so many friends here.”
R&J Café is normally open from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and Saturday. They are open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. During hunting season, they open an hour earlier. To place an order, call 256.587.3431. To see specials and for more information, visit R&J Café’s Facebook page.