Meghan Hudgel is restaurant manager at Mason Jar Eatery and Catering Co., located across the street from Jackson Elementary. David Grace photo.
KINGSPORT — Mason Jar Eatery and Catering Co. has opened for business at 604 Donelson Drive, across the street from Jackson Elementary School in Kingsport.
Restaurant manager Meghan Hudgel and her family moved to Kingsport from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., three years ago “for a change of pace and scenery,” she said.
Hudgel met her fiancé, Joshua Holman, last May and soon discovered that his mother, Kimberly Winkle, was a wonderful cook.
Meanwhile, Hudgel’s mother, Heather Whittle, had always dreamed of starting her own restaurant, so Hudgel and Holman introduced their two mothers, who decided to open a restaurant together.
“Originally we wanted the restaurant to serve all home-cooked Southern meals, but it quickly turned into more of a fresh-cooked burger joint because that’s what the customers seemed to like best,” Hudgel said.
She said her mother is big on buying fresh and locally produced ingredients. The restaurant gets its beef, bacon and chicken fresh daily from Kingsport Provisions and Hamilton Meats in Johnson City. And Judy’s Bakery provides fresh-baked breads every day.
“We use only the freshest ingredients possible,” Hudgel said.
The restaurant also cuts its fries every morning from Idaho potatoes and fries them to order.
“We use our freshly baked grilled sourdough bread on all of our burgers,” Hudgel said. “We have delicious hand-breaded onion rings and chicken strips. We also offer root beer floats and hot fudge sundaes.”
The family-owned business is operated by Hudgel along with her mother, Heather Whittle, sister Alexus Whittle, and occasionally her fiancé, Joshua Holman, and her father, Dale Whittle, who owns Johnson City Handyman and has worked to remodel the restaurant.
Hudgel said the restaurant currently offers mainly carry-out, delivery and catering, but it does have two indoor tables for customers who want to eat there.
Customers can call in their orders or order online through www.masonjareatery.com or through the Facebook page.
Hudgel said the restaurant is currently working on building a bar inside to provide space for about three or four more customers, “and there is also talk about building an outdoor patio on the side of the barber shop in our building,” she said.
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Hudgel invites folks from the area to drop by and give Mason Jar Eatery a try.
“We love every minute of our job, and we strive to provide the absolute best meals and customer service to every customer who walks into our establishment,” she said. “We also love getting to know our customers because we believe in making it the most comfortable and personable experience possible.”
For more information, call (423) 401-8660 or (423) 765-2273.