Closer Look

Ms. Lois’ is about ‘food and family’

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Emma Cait Breeden

Ms. Lois’ Restaurant is a Franklin favorite when it comes to dining. First opened in May 1993, Ms. Lois’ continues to satisfy locals with treasured food and an atmosphere reflecting southern hospitality. In fact, the charming checkered walls and quaint environment offer an experience unique to Macon County. 

Marcie Sinden, current owner and daughter of founder Lois Stamey, explained that Ms. Lois’ Restaurant was opened due to her mother’s love of cooking. Stamey had helped run many restaurants in the area and co-owned The City Restaurant (now Franklin Café) for nine years, until she went out on her own to showcase her cooking talents at Ms. Lois’. Stamey has since retired but Sinden keeps the popular establishment operating on the foundation of her mother’s quality menu items. 

MARCIE SINDEN, daughter of founder Lois Stamey, purchased the restaurant from her mother in 2001.

Some of Ms. Lois’ specialties that are based on her recipes include, “Meatloaf on Mondays and our famous hand-breaded, boneless, fried chicken breast. Sides include things like homemade mashed potatoes, homemade macaroni and cheese, and our incredible green beans,” said Sinden. “Every day for lunch and dinner, we feature a special with a variety of sides to choose from. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, we also serve homemade soup and chili and we have several different salads to choose from. There’s something for everyone.” 

When asked what sets the restaurant apart from others in the area, Sinden said, “At Ms. Lois’ we pride ourselves on quality and consistency. But above all, we strive to make our customers feel welcome and at home.” 

She explained that the atmosphere of Ms. Lois’ focuses on the close relationships staff and customers develop. 

“Most of our customers have been coming to eat with us for almost 31 years now and we consider them to be family. Our employees are the same way. Most of them have been here for several years, some of them more than 10, and they stay because of the same reason. It isn’t just about the food here. It’s about family.” 

The relationship between Ms. Lois’ staff and regular patrons is one that has involved sharing life and changes. “People go through marriage and divorce; we see babies born and families grow,” noted Sinden. “We’ve watched kids go through school and graduate. We pray for our customers during sickness and hard times, and when we lose someone we feel the loss as strongly as if they were our own.” 

Sinden grew up in her mother’s business, waiting tables alongside her from the beginning. After high school, she attended college. Eventually, she returned home ready to follow her mother’s path, purchasing the restaurant on Aug. 1, 2001. 

“It hasn’t always been easy owning a restaurant, but it’s definitely been worth it,” Sinden said. “I have gotten to build the business that my Mom started; I hope it makes her proud to see how we’ve grown.” 

She added, “We may be a very small restaurant, but we like to make a big impact — on your taste buds and in the community. We aren’t just another restaurant. It’s about so much more than that, which just makes our food even better.” 

While Sinden has worked diligently over the years to grow her mother’s restaurant, she is ready to offer her gratitude to loyal customers. 

“The restaurant business can be fickle, but these people have stood beside me through good and bad, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their unwavering support.”

Emma Cait Breeden is a senior and an honors student at Franklin High School.