Server Jan Atkins chats while serving a customer at the Quickie restaurant, which has operated in Albany for almost 70 years. (Staff Photo: Brad McEwen)
ALBANY — A local institution, the Quickie restaurant, has been warming the hearts and tummies of Albany area residents for nearly 70 years, New owners Tamara and Jamie Layfield hope to continue that tradition.
The couple purchased the restaurant this past spring after hearing previous owners Mike and Janet Woodward were looking to sell, but the idea of restaurant ownership had been on Tamara’s mind since her sister-in-law April Moore had relocated to Albany from Atlanta three years ago.
In addition to her career as a banker,Tamara Layfield had built a reputation for making and selling homemade desserts and Moore had been the manager and cook at a family-owned restaurant for 20 years. When that restaurant closed, Moore headed south and took a job with Waffle House.
After that it didn’t take long for the two to begin thinking about doing a restaurant of their own.
“We had always talked about an opportunity,” Tamara Layfield said. “I’d been doing cakes, pies and desserts and April can cook anything.”
Layfield said when the opportunity presented itself, the duo felt they had to take a chance. “We jumped at the opportunity.”
Despite taking over an established business, the pair still had a lot of work to do to renovate the Slappey Boulevard location and begin carving out a new culinary identity.
“We came up with a menu based on April’s background, which was mostly southern, family style food,” Tamara Layfield said. “Then we slowly made some changes to fit our vision.”
That vision included offering patrons fresh, homemade food in an inviting, friendly environment.
“You really can’t get more homemade than here,” Tamara Layfield said. “April makes everything from scratch. The food is awesome.”
Leesburg residents Robert and Ann Joiner agree with that sentiment, saying that after stopping there for lunch less than two weeks ago, they have already been back three times and plan to make it a regular destination.
For those customer’s with a sweet tooth, the Quickie also offers a variety of Layfield’s homemade desserts.
“I do all the classic cakes,” Layfield said. “Red velvet, caramel, German chocolate, carrot, Italian cream, coconut, you name it.”
In addition to the cakes, Layfield also makes various cobblers, custards and pies, including her new treat, the Quickie pie.
To add to the family-friendly vibe, the restaurant has started doing the Friday Kid’s Club, a concept designed for families with young children. Layfield said they use the larger back room of the restaurant that is typically rented for parties to show a kid’s movie every Friday night at 6 pm. The restaurant keeps two members of the staff on hand to watch the kids.
She also said she is beginning to see more and more regulars, many of whom have frequented the establishment for years. Layfield said even two members of the family that originally started the Quickie in downtown Albany in 1954 regularly come in.
The Quickie is located at 1906 N. Slappey Blvd.