Yes, there is ongoing Main Street construction in Courtland, and yes, Vivian’s Country Cookin’ restaurant is open and welcoming customers for takeout.
“I want to keep it as takeout, at least for the time being,” said owner Vivian McClintock. “It’s going to be a step-by-step thing for me right now.”
Vivian’s had set up a food truck at 224 Main St. since early May, with a smaller staff, but that operation has now been moved inside.
“It carried us through the whole (pandemic) situation. It was a lot easier for customers to approach the ‘fry truck,’ so that kept us going.”
Open for takeout from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays, they have an outdoor patio table and two picnic tables in front of the restaurant for those who want to eat on site.
“If they do choose to eat inside, we do have every other booth roped off,” said McClintock, noting they currently do not have servers. “It’s still limited seating in the restaurant.
“I think moving everything inside has been a bit confusing to our customers because if they are driving by and they don’t see the fry truck, they’re assuming we’re closed. So I’m working on getting signage. We’ve got the sign in the window that says ‘come in, we’re open.’”
With the ongoing Main Street construction, it’s been slow the last couple of weeks.
“They’re not working in one spot and finishing it, they’re going back and forth, so right now it’s been two weeks and it’s slowed us right down,” said McClintock. “They’ve already dug up the opposite side, on the side of the bakery, but they haven’t dug up our side yet so that still has to happen. I don’t know what any day that construction is going to bring or how far down the road they are.
“I have to be patient with it all. I’m taking that (slow) time to make a plan to move forward.”
Moving forward means adding to their takeout menu which includes smoked brisket on a bun, pulled pork on a bun, and their own fresh burgers.
“One of our biggest sellers is the ‘dirty burger’ – that’s got peameal and cheese and fried onions on it. And then we’ve just added some wings and we’ve got the poutine. So it’s still ‘fry truck’ stuff.
“What I plan to do is … I’ve gone back into my menus when I was open and I plan to offer our best-selling items to the customers – still as takeout. And that will be ‘order in ahead.’ As we see what the customers would like to have, then I’ll take it from there.
“So I am planning on re-opening and adding more things to the menu, but I want to do it right. And I have a couple new staff members who will join us because I’m going to need support once we move forward.”