JONESVILLE — This Saturday will end 60 years of restaurant life for one Jonesville man who opened his first dining establishment in Mount Airy at the age of 27.
“It is bittersweet. I’m going to really miss it,” said Glenn Goad, owner of Glenn’s Restaurant on U.S. 21 in Jonesville, of his retirement.
Glenn’s Restaurant will be open this week from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Saturday, Goad’s last day of work.
“I’m going to miss my little children most,” he said. The kids come into the restaurant and always get a quarter from Goad to put in the bubble gum machine.
“It’s more like a family than a restaurant. The same people come all the time.”
In the mornings, Goad said, the men from the community will gather around a round table in the right corner of the restaurant, which had been open for breakfast, lunch and supper until a couple of weeks ago, and tell tales and share news about what was going on in the neighborhood.
For Goad, who turned 80 two weeks ago, the restaurant industry hits close to home. “I believe I was 12 when I made my first hot dog,” he said Monday morning sitting at that same round table.
The Flat Rock community native, from just east of Mount Airy, had two brothers, of his 10 siblings, who also owned restaurants, one owning Tastee Freeze and the other, Ray Goad, who owned Ray’s Kingburger, Ray’s Starlight Restaurant and Sweet Sue’s chains.
“I bought my first restaurant when I was 27, and I have had eight restaurants,” said Goad.
Six of the restaurants, four in Mount Airy, one in Dobson, one in Sparta and the one in Jonesville, were named Glenn’s. The other two were John Boy’s, with one in Jonesville which has since closed, and the other in West End Elkin, which now has different owners. John Boy’s was named for Goad’s son, John Glenn Goad.
Glenn’s Restaurant, which is just off I-77 at the U.S. 21 exit, will be closing Saturday, but Goad said a new restaurant is set to open in the same location about a month after the closing. “The man who is going to take this I trained him when he was 13 and all the way through school,” he said of Terry Brown, owner of Terry’s Cafe and Catering in State Road. “He’s a good cook and he will do good.”
Goad said he isn’t sure what he’ll do with his free time once the restaurant is closed, but he is looking forward to watching his grandsons play basketball.
An all-Northwest player himself, Goad proudly pointed out the canvas on his restaurant wall featuring his daughter, Angie Mounce, who was a star volleyball and basketball player at Surry Central High School and went on to play for Appalachian State University, and her three sons, Chase, Carson and Clay Mounce. All three grandsons, graduates of Mount Airy High School, have played college basketball, one at Furman, one at University of North Carolina Pembroke and one, Chase, who just graduated and is headed to play professionally overseas, Goad said, adding, “I’m more proud they are all-A students.”
He also will spend time with nearby family members, including his daughter, Anita Southard, and son, John Glenn, who has helped him cook on Saturdays in the restaurant, as well as his grandchildren, Eddie Brown and Candace Murphy, and great-grandson, Aebry, who is 5 and he calls “Buckshot.”
“Sixty years is a long time to stay in the business,” said Goad, who remembers being a senior at Flat Rock School when the school burned in 1957, losing a teacher and one student to the fire.
“I’m going to miss the children, and I have two dogs spoiled,” he said. “They get a bone, a weenie and bacon every morning.”
He said one of the dogs will come to the back window and look at Goad while he’s at the grill until he slips him some food. Then there is Luke, whose owner will park in front of the restaurant’s window. “He would look at me through the window,” Goad said. “I love animals.”
His restaurants have always been open six days a week, with Goad coming it to start breakfast around 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning, and having much of lunch cooked before opening the doors to the breakfast crowd.
But on special occasions, as fundraising benefits for those in need, Goad has been known to open up for a couple of hours on Sundays. “I did a benefit here about a month ago for March of Dimes, and we raised $1,500 in just two hours,” he said, noting that his staff always volunteers their time to work the benefits.
“I’ve never turned anyone away. People come in off the highway, and I feed them,” Goad said. “And if they didn’t have the money, I never asked for it, but I always seemed to have a better day that way. I got more of a blessing.”
He isn’t sure how well he’ll be able to sit on the sidelines in retirement though. “I really don’t know. It is possible I may help cook a little here,” Goad said. “There is a good chance I’ll be somewhere. I can’t stay home. I cooked so long, it will be hard to give it up.”
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.