New Eatery: Southern Comfort Cafe- Opens Up In Orlinda Tennessee
Southern Comfort Cafe in Orlinda TN is the culmination of an amazing journey with a shocking twist.
ORLINDA TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) – They say it’s the journey. If that is indeed true, then Darcy Fournier of Cross Plains has traveled further than most. Fournier recently opened a new restaurant in Orlinda Tennessee, and though he offers a great selection of delectable dishes, the journey there was nothing short of a miracle. You see, Darcy Fournier opened a restaurant– after he died.
Ok, first let’s talk about the restaurant. Fournier is not new to the culinary arts, he once had a successful restaurant in West Virginia. After becoming a single father, he accepted an offer to become the Vice President of a Property Management company that saw him close his restaurant and relocate to Portland TN. He excelled but missed having a restaurant. After years of dreaming and planning (and the “journey,” -we’ll get to that in a moment) Fournier carefully picked a spot in Orlinda Tennessee, and tossed out a shingle that read– Southern Comfort Cafe.
Southern Comfort Cafe specializes in Southern Comfort foods with breakfast served all day (featuring homemade biscuits with homemade sausage gravy). They also serve lunch and supper. “We make most items from scratch including various desserts and we have daily non-menu specials like chicken and dumplings or pot pie…all homemade,” Fournier says. We do not freeze meat…fresh ground beef for hand-formed seasoned beef that is grilled. Fresh hand-breaded chicken and fish. Homemade meatloaf and pasta. Fried okra, fried green tomatoes and more.
Now, let’s get back to that journey….
In 2016, while traveling from Portland, TN on HWY 52 with his then 15-year-old daughter he passed by a stand-alone building on HWY 52 in what he thought was still Portland. The old building and location intrigued him. He pulled into the lot, looked inside the window, and noted a clothing store that was seemingly out of business, so he took a picture of the building. His daughter asked — “why’d you do that?” He replied “I love this building and location and I’m going to find out who owns it, I’m going to open up a cafe here one day. ” 4-years went by.
Over the years his route often had him passing the old empty building, which remained closed. Though he tried, finding the owner of the building proved problematic.
Then February 11, 2020, came and changed his life forever. On this date, as part of his role as Vice President of a Property Management Company, he climbed into his company car, a Prius, and proceeded to head to Cincinnati Ohio to attend a housing conference in which he was scheduled to be a keynote speaker.
It was raining heavily and I65 in-and-out of Kentucky was shut down for 3 hours due to the weather and road conditions. Fournier waited on the highway roadside with 300-plus other vehicles until State Police allowed passage. Instructions were; -Stay below 45 miles per hour, which he did.
The rain let up as he entered Mumfordville, Kentucky and traffic was allowed to increase some speed, which he did.
Unfortunately, Fournier hydroplaned and spun out into the median between North and Southbound I-65. He was scared but otherwise unharmed until a tractor-trailer also hydroplaned on the southbound side, colliding with his Prius in the median.
Fournier had to be cut from the vehicle and was worked on by EMTs for 16 minutes before being pronounced dead at the scene. Amazingly they finally got a pulse and rushed him to Louisville Hospital where he needed two emergency surgeries which had to wait until he was stable. He died for a second time at the hospital but was revived again successfully and had both surgeries but lapsed into a Coma. He awoke a month and a half later and was told he suffered a traumatic brain injury and most likely would never move or talk again.
Fournier would not walk for 2 years- until July of 2022 when he started walking and talking. Fournier promised himself that if he continued to improve he would once again open a cafe.
Fournier searched Facebook for a suitable place to open his cafe in Robertson or Sumner County. Among the many replies, there was one from a woman asking if he would be interested in taking over her lease. He asked her where she was and she said 7475 Hwy 52 in Orlinda Tn. Not familiar with Orlinda by name Fournier was aware of Hwy 52. Fournier went to the address and was shocked and elated -it was the same building he saw with his daughter seven years ago. The rest shall we say is history…
Fournier signed the lease in December of 2022 and officially opened on February 1, 2023.
“Dreams don’t die if you never give up.”
For more on Fournier’s menu, hours and location check out the Southern Comfort Cafe on Facebook
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