Mister Henry’s comes under new ownership
A restaurant that is a staple to many in Hartselle is now under new ownership.
Mister Henry’s, a meat-and-three diner located on Nance Ford Road, has been in operation under several owners and names since the 1970s – most recently Hugh Henry and family, who have been the proprietors since the ’90s.
When Mister Henry himself wanted to retire, he set out to find the next owner of the restaurant on Facebook.
The new owner is no novice to the restaurant industry, either. She is Janie Fletcher, owner of Kountry Kitchen in Moulton, a restaurant similar in menu, style and patronage. Fletcher has more than 20 years’ experience in the restaurant business.
Fletcher’s son Justin and daughter-in-law Faith live in Hartselle, so when Mister Henry’s became available, she was one of the first to hear the news.
“She thought it was a good idea and thought, ‘I could give him a restaurant, and each of my kids would have one, and since he lives there in Hartselle, it would work out great,’ Faith said.
Janie previously owned Steak and Biscuit in Moulton and operated it along with Kountry Kitchen simultaneously.
Faith said even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kountry Kitchen has continued to prosper, and she believes the same will happen for Mister Henry’s under its new ownership. Loyal customers and long-standing employees are what Faith said is behind that success.
The new owners of Mister Henry’s retained all of the restaurant’s employees when they took over Jan. 1, Faith said.
“For some of our employees, this was the only job they’ve ever had. Our employees are the fixtures of Mister Henry’s,” she said. “A lot of our customers know the employees by name and wanted to make sure we had kept their favorite waitress they’re used to seeing daily because a lot of our customers are repeat customers who come daily, even if it’s for a cup of coffee.
“On our first day open Jan. 2, we had only met two employees, so I think it took a lot for them to have faith in us that we were going to pick up and make it work,” she said. “I guess you would say it took a lot of faith from us that they would be able to live up to our standards and produce the quality we expect from our restaurant as well.”
Faith said the menu at Mister Henry’s has been tweaked a little.
“I think we got the menu down from about six pages to four, but Mister Henry’s was known for its ribeye special on Friday nights and its all-day breakfasts, so those will be continued,” she said. “Plate lunches have also been popular.”
Faith said the prices are where customers will see the biggest change. For example. to add an egg to a meal now costs 75 cents instead of $2. The goal? To keep price points low enough to work for everyone and get some customers back who have stopped visiting because of increasing costs.
“We’re hoping to be more affordable to everybody, especially the ones who have a fixed income that visit every single day,” she said. “Reducing these costs opens up a lot of their buying power – for not only more food in the restaurant but for other things in their daily life as well.”
Mister Henry’s is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. Fridays and 6 a.m. until noon Saturdays.
The restaurant is located at 701 Nance Ford Road.