“In the time that it was closed down, it was almost like living in a ghost town,” Torres said.
When Fanning and Torres bought the restaurant in 2015, the couple decided to assume responsibility for the location’s legacy of Southern food and community, a tradition that began over half a century ago in 1968.
Torres and Fanning said the restaurant is filled with stories about how its regulars from Leiper’s Fork have embraced The Country Boy’s revival, with children being dropped off to eat breakfast in the morning while they wait for their bus, certain community members eating there every day and even finding out a regular has passed away because they stopped showing up to the restaurant.
“It’s like a lifeline for so many people in the area,” Torres said. “One of the things that I fell in love with about this area is that everyone looks out for each other.”
Along with the staple foods every good diner has on the menu, The Country Boy also has a full breakfast menu and serves up Southern classics, such as biscuits and gravy, fried catfish, fried green tomatoes, country fried steak and collard greens.
While the restaurant retained some of the recipes from its previous owner, Fanning said the current iteration of the menu was redesigned after a month-and-a-half taste-testing process with a focus on using fresh ingredients and making dishes in-house.
“We do everything as fresh as we can,” Fanning said. “Our prep kitchen is the foundation of this restaurant because everything that’s made down there, we take a lot of pride in.”
Fanning and Torres said they have no plans to sell the restaurant or take it out of Leiper’s Fork, and they are enjoying running an establishment they believe the community loves.
“We have no intentions to leave because we love it here,” Fanning said. “We just want it to be here because it’s a place for the locals to come.”
The Country Boy
4141 Old Hillsboro Road, Franklin
Hours: Tue.-Wed. 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Thu.-Fri. 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-2 p.m., closed Mon.