From Rubble To Revival, Lookout Mountain’s Café On The Corner Reopens

Thursday, December 10, 2015 - by Claire Henley

From being burned to rubble to being rebuilt brick by brick, Lookout Mountain’s Café on the Corner reopens on Thursday.  

The café has been closed since May 2014 due to an accidental gas fire that set the building ablaze, causing the roof to collapse. Owner Ruth Oehmig gave a sneak, complimentary peak to some community members on Tuesday and Wednesday to reacquaint them with their café favorites and to prepare staff members for Thursday’s grand reopening.

Cars filled the business district’s parking area and lined Scenic Highway Wednesday night as people strolled into the café. String lights hung over the front patio, illuminating the freshly restored white brick building. 

In the early 1900s, Café on the Corner operated as the town grocery. Ms. Oehmig and her son, chef Sven Lindroth, turned the corner building into a contemporary southern bistro in 2009, serving dishes like the fried green tomato BLT, crispy crab cakes, and the roasted vegetable lasagna.   

The café instantly became a hit among Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga residents. The fire that destroyed the café in 2014 came as a blow. However, Ms. Oehmig was determined to get her restaurant back up and running.

Wednesday night the café exhaled life as white-shirted waiters and waitresses hustled on the hardwood floor to and from the kitchen, while customers dined at slate-colored tables in the dining room and cocktail area, tasting the different wines and trying out the night’s specials.

The complimentary menu included one appetizer per table and one entrée per person. Sweet, butter-topped cornbread served in a miniature cast iron pan commenced the dining experience. The appetizers to choose from were pimento cheese and hummus, fried chicken strips with honey mustard, gumbo, and flatbread topped with a tomato, zucchini, garlic, and lemon basil goat cheese spread.

Among the entrées, the shrimp and grits, red beans and rice, and pasta crudo—fixed with chicken, angel hair pasta, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, capers, lemon, wine, and pesto—made the cut for the bistro’s sneak peak.       

Ms. Oehmig walked around each table, greeting everyone and asking how they enjoyed their meal. Many smiles and much laughter burst from the café owner’s guests who expressed to her their deep enthusiasm for the café’s reopening.

Heads turned from every table when a server carried out an aesthetically crafted dish from the kitchen.

“This is amazing. Here, try it,” one guest said to another as she shared a bite of her shrimp and grits, prepared with chorizo cream, Andouille sausage, peppers, onions, and stone ground grits.

Oldies like “Stand by Me” played overhead and modern art hung from the cream-colored walls, creating a beautifully-blended atmosphere of the then-and-now.

Located at 826 Scenic Highway, Café on the Corner is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. It is open on Sunday for brunch, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A couple looking to eat dinner at the café should expect to spend around $50 for beverages, an appetizer, and two main courses.

Based on the excitement and energy of the crowd at Wednesday night’s preview, it appears Café on the Corner will have no trouble picking up where it left off.    

 

 



Dunkin' Donuts Removes Artificial Dyes From Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts is kicking off 2018 with news declaring donuts now sold at restaurants nationwide are no longer being made using colors from artificial sources. As part of the company’s ongoing efforts to offer guests great-tasting, high-quality products and cleaner menu labels, Dunkin’ Brands Group, the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, previously pledged ... (click for more)

Chick-fil-A To Officially Break Ground For East Ridge Restaurant

Chick-fil-A’s Tennessee expansion continues with a groundbreaking event soon at the site of its new East Ridge restaurant, the second of six locations the chain expects to open in Tennessee this year. It will be near the Bass Pro Shop. Chick-fil-A representatives will join community leaders at the site of the chain’s East Ridge location at  639 Camp Jordan Parkway at Jordan ... (click for more)

Ivy Johnson, 23, And Cordarrius Johnson, 26, Shot Early Sunday Morning On Lillian Lane

Ivy Johnson, 23, And Cordarrius Johnson, 26, were shot early Sunday morning.   Chattanooga Police were notified at 4:39 a.m. of two people arriving at a local hospital with gunshot wounds. Upon arrival, police spoke with the two victims who were suffering from non-life threatening gunshot wounds. The victims arrived at the hospital via personal vehicle.   ... (click for more)

From Green Window Shutters To Forks And Spoons, Mount Vernon Restaurant Up For Auction

From the green wooden window shutters to the forks, knives and spoons, the landmark Mount Vernon Restaurant is up for auction. Marc Gravitt, of Gravitt Auction, said there will be an online auction starting Thursday morning and running through Saturday at noon. It will be handled as a "staggered close," he said. The first item will go first, then the second 30 seconds later, ... (click for more)

DACA Or Amnesty To Become The Majority?

As we have the political drama that we see in D.C. let’s be honest about what DACA is all about. We understand as the liberal policies of abortion, dependency on the government and an anti-American globalist / progressive agenda that many have come to realize these policies no longer represent their core beliefs and have left a certain party. Without an influx of new dependency ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What’s The ‘Super’ Done?

The headline on Jan. 10 in the Times Free Press read, “Report shows Hamilton County students still lagging behind Tennessee peers.” In smaller type underneath, the sub-head added, “Less than 33 percent of county elementary, middle school students read at grade level.” Then, just seven days later, this on Friday, the same newspaper bannered, “Hamilton County Schools superintendent ... (click for more)