DISHING UP INNOVATION
By Laura Leite Telescope News
(Ninth in a series. The pandemic has been a challenge for Republic county restaurants. Many found innovative ways to serve and support the community they call home. Over the next few weeks, the Telescope will take a closer look at local restaurants and how they have persevered.)
Shannon Langston and Linda Swanson started AnTeaQues in 2009 as their retirement project from nursing. Shannon retired four to five years ago and Linda has been retired for about a year. They worked nights as nurses and split the days at the store.
“I have always wanted an antique store and Linda and I have been friends for years,” said Langston. “And we just decided together to open AnTeaQues. We always planned to open the restaurant, but it took a little longer to get the kitchen ready.”
“My favorite part of owning the store and restaurant is the people,” said Langston. “I also enjoy seeing the unique antiques that are brought in to sell.”
The store is set up like a little mall with each booth being run by a different vendor. The restaurant also features two specials a day from a menu that Langston and Swanson decide on about two weeks out.
“We deliver meals to those that want them delivered in Courtland,” said Swanson.
“We started breakfast about a year ago,” said Langston. “We have a group that likes to get together here in the mornings for breakfast since we open at 6 a.m.”
“We were closed down for the first part of COVID during which time we completely redid the kitchen,” said Langston. “Then we opened up for curbside and delivery, with the deliveries averaging 15 to 18 per day. We were busier with COVID than we were normally, we did a lot of curbside.”
“We are starting to see more people coming in to eat and Sundays are starting to pick up although it is still about half and half for curbside/ delivery versus eating in the restaurant,” said Swanson.
Normally the restaurant is open from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Mondays, 6 a.m. -5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. “Our fried chicken is the favorite meal,” said Langston. “Shannon used to worry about what to serve, and I suggested she should just serve fried chicken, so we serve it the first Sunday of every month,” said Swanson. “We also have fried chicken every Friday and people enjoy liver when we have it,” said Langston.
AnTeaQues is planning a flower planting party in May with wine and hors d’oeuvres. “We also hold a lot of community events here, but we miss the ladies that used to come in to play bridge,” said Langston. Swanson added, “We also had the purple hat ladies and other groups that we hope will be back.”
Langston and Swanson are looking forward to having Easter dinner at their restaurant and events at the restaurant and events out back at their grain bin. They bought the lot to the north of the restaurant and plan to host events there once the outdoor space is completed.
In addition to the restaurant and antiques, AnTeaQues also has an overstock store across the street for customers to visit.