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New restaurant opens in former Taylor’s location

Franklin County lost a favorite spot when Dot Taylor decided to close Taylor’s Restaurant in Russellville, but hungry locals have something new to try, as Hilltop Diner opened Monday in the same location with a similar style and setup.

Hilltop Diner will be a meat-and-three restaurant with a cafeteria-style setup. Plate lunches anchor the menu offerings, and Hilltop Diner will also serve fan favorites like barbecue, smoked chicken and burgers.

“We are excited to give the people of Russellville a meat-and-three option like this inside of city limits,” said owner Byron Cheek.

Cheek is not new to the Russellville restaurant scene; he has owned The Grind Café and Coffee Shop right down the street for two and a half years.

Cheek said he was happy with his setup at The Grind, but when Taylor asked if he would be interested in re-opening a new business in her location, it was an offer he could not refuse. He will continue to own and operate the café along with this new dining venture.

Although Hilltop Diner is not the same as Taylor’s Restaurant, several former employees of the Taylors’ are now employed at Hilltop Diner to keep some of the same recipes.

“We hope to keep some of the same favorites they were known for,” Cheek said.

Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Director Cassie Medley said it is great to have people like Cheek who are willing to invest in Franklin County.

“It’s always nice to have options to eat,” Medley said. “I think they are really enhancing Russellville and also Franklin County because they are here.”

Medley said it is apparent how hard Cheek has worked to re-open the building and bring new life and excitement.

“They go above and beyond,” Medley said. “I think they are going to be really successful here.”

Cheek said he and his wife acquired the restaurant in November and have worked hard ever since to remodel it.

There will be new meat-and-three options regularly. Cheek said he hopes for a smooth opening, and he plans to adjust the menu once everything is fully in gear.

Hilltop Diner is now open after having its grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony Monday.

Hours will be from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

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