Shanna's Country Kitchen celebrates 25 years in business

Shanna's Country Kitchen celebrates 25 years in business

LINCOLN - Twenty-five years after a hairdresser turned restaurateur opened a breakfast joint on Louisquisset Pike, her daughters and granddaughters have continued to allow the family business to thrive.

Shanna's Country Kitchen at 1517 Louisquisset Pike celebrates its silver anniversary on Nov. 5.

Founded by Sonny and Gloria Arnold in 1988, the restaurant is owned by Dale Blanchette and her sister, Cheryl Dolan.

The restaurant, which has expanded to double in size since it was established, to include more seating and a separate room for parties, is named for Cheryl's daughter, Shanna Dolan, who was then the only grandchild.

She now manages the restaurant alongside younger sister Courtney Dolan. All are lifelong Lincoln residents.

Shanna, who also cooks on Sundays and has her grandmother's recipes memorized, started working at her namesake eatery at a young age.

"As soon as she could reach the table, she started busing," Blanchette said, as did Courtney.

They both started waiting tables at age 12, and now Shanna's sons come in to lend a hand.

Blanchette, who has taught math at Tolman High School in Pawtucket for the past 12 years, takes care of the restaurant's finances. As for Cheryl, "She does whatever we need her to," Shanna said with a smile.

Everyone pitches in to keep alive the dream Mrs. Arnold had 25 years ago.

"She was the entrepreneur of the family. She envisioned that she could do it," Blanchette said, even with no experience in the food industry.

Mrs. Arnold died five years ago, but Courtney said her presence is still felt in the kitchen, where her chili and biscuits and gravy are still made. Homemade muffins and hash are also among the most popular dishes on a menu that consists of equal parts comfort food and healthier fare.

She left the family with a legacy, Blanchette said, adding that it is rewarding to watch her nieces run the business as they begin to raise families of their own.

For Shanna and Courtney, the best part is being able to serve the community.

"The same guys fill up the same table every morning," Shanna said. "They'll call to make sure I'm up before they leave the house."

Customers then enjoy coffee served in one of the dozens of mismatched mugs, each promoting a different charity organization or business.

"They make you smile at 6 a.m.," Courtney said.

Shanna's Country Kitchen is open Tuesday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Breakfast is served all day and lunch starts at 11 a.m. Catering is also available.

Call 401-725-5670 for more information.