Leanna & I rented our Chevy Cruise and drove up into the Tennessee hills towards the Loveless Cafe, highly recommended by our trip consult, Trip Advisor. When we set our eyes on the Cafe, it reminded us of some sort of compound with the Cafe in the middle and little shops and stores built around it.
Outside the cafe, people were playing old-fashioned games, while waiting for their tables.
Motorcyclists are obviously welcome at the Loveless Cafe. There were quite a few of them.
Prior to entering the cafe, Leanna and I began our frequent trip activity of photographing signs.
(Occasionally, we included a picture of ourselves!)
A hidden gem–Shimai Art—beautiful pottery, wall art, sculptures, & woven loveliness! Just some wall art that caught my eye! The Place of Weaving? The Smokehouse
We explored all of the shops surrounding the cafe and discovered the wonderful Shimai Art shop (pottery, gifts & wearable art); one of those place you walk into and find the most unique treasures. I would have bought one of everything, if I could have gotten it onto the plane! Leanna and I loved the gorgeous pottery. We acquired two coffee mugs and two tea mugs–such beautiful colors, molded with a unique life symbol. The artist had also created some unusual, wax-etched flower tiles of vibrant colors. Some neat leaf iron trivets were calling my name, but might have prevented the plane from getting off of the ground! The artist of the Shimai is Becca Ganick. In the back room, VickieVipperman displayed her absolutely beautiful hand-dyed woven cotton, silk & bamboo blankets, scarves, etc. from the Vickie Vipperman Weaving Studio in Kingston Springs, Tennessee–so unique and once again, the variety of colors were so rich. Vickie packed up our pottery for the plane and was so cordial and helpful to us.
The Loveless Cafe was originally known as the Harpeth Valley Tea Room, serving famous fried chicken and biscuits in 1951, owned by Lon & Annie Loveless. They served travelers from the front door on Highway 100. Later, they changed their home into a restaurant, adding country hams cured, smoked and carved on site. They added 14 hotel rooms to serve guests. Different owners acquired the diner and it continued the Tennessee tradition of serving southern food with homemade biscuits. In 1982, they started the Hams & Jams mail order business began and in 1985, the hotel rooms were changed to retail space. The diner was closed for remodeling and restoration in 2003, opening as the Loveless Cafe with the huge following of today. When Leanna & I were called to our table, we ordered a huge brunch breakfast of all of the advertised favorites of the Lovelace: fried chicken, fried okra, flaky biscuits with the most wonderful peach preserves, salad, etc. This was definitely comfort food! What a charming place out in the Tennessee hills.