Mom and Pop’s restaurants are the locally owned food stops where people look for a family oriented atmosphere. Among these locally owned Mom and Pop restaurants in the Mount Vernon area is Tubby’s Chili Parlor and Ice Cream located on the corner of Cooper Road and Richmond Highway.
This Mom and Pop venue has been in business for over 20 years, as the menu describes, and remains to be the local stop that people know.
Mike Elliott, a customer, said "we come here frequently…since they have been open. But I have known them since I was a little kid."
The locally owned restaurant has had "two or three owners and we took it over" said Mike Hill, who is a co-owner of Tubby’s Chili Parlor and Ice Cream. "We just took over the first of May," said Claudia Hill, his wife and co-owner.
said "I worked for a guy who built restaurants" and this was one of them. In fact, "a lot of people around here know him" said Claudia Hill referring to Ralph Roof, a retired business man.
But this restaurant is among many businesses which are locally owned by the Hills. For instance, Claudia Hill said she also owns Johnny Mac's Rib Shack, which is a couple miles down the road, and Krazy Cuts, which resides within the same shopping center as Tubby’s Chili Parlor and Ice Cream.
Its "a comfortable place" said Mike Hill acknowledging the room. Claudia Hill said "It brings people back to the 1950s thoughts" from the bar stools and tables. With the atmosphere of the small restaurant and the family management, including their son Jimmy Hill, Tubby’s Chili Parlor and Ice Cream provides a very personal experience.
"20 years ago it was strictly ice cream and we changed it over," said Claudia, "we can’t do ice cream only." But "we follow the Tubby’s receipt, the original Tubby’s receipt" that is made with "a batch freeze machine" said Claudia. Ice cream flavors include chocolate, vanilla and strawberry but "we do serve smoothies" said Claudia,.
The restaurant also gives a little southern taste with the chili, hamburgers, hot dogs, and Barbeque that can be found on their menu along with their homemade desserts.
When asked their specialization, Claudia said "North Carolina Barbeque" made with vinegar and spices. Mike said "We bake our bread too."
When asked what he normally orders, Elliott said "The Chili Mac or the hamburger… [or] the chocolate custard." The Chili Mac Claudia said includes "chili with Spaghetti noodles, sour cream, and cheese" and can be customized by the diner’s preference.
Claudia Hill said it is "a place for people to go that’s not very expensive. We try to keep our price down." As an example, she said the "cheapest thing is like a hamburger [$ 4] or a chili dog [$ 2.50] combo." When asked the most expensive item, she said "there really isn’t…We really wanted to do something people could afford."
Besides their customer- based community, the Hills also want to help the Mount Vernon community. Claudia Hill said "We try to do things to support the local schools. It helps the school and helps the kids." As an example, she said she was helping schools sports by participating in a discount card for local businesses which can be purchased through school athletes for sports such as basket ball.
Mom and pop bring a personal touch to customers. And they show us the bits and pieces of the historical community that remains. Claudia said "It brings friendliness in."