Mickey’s Café: A Kernersville Treasure

Southern food, friendly environment, and a longstanding history in the Kernersville community make Mickey’s Café one of a kind. Owner Wendy Smith describes the café as being a “modern version of an old-fashioned, home-cooking-style café.”

“At the café, you can get breakfast plates with anything you want on them: eggs, Southern-style omelets with sausage gravy, side meats, grits, hash browns, biscuits or bread in the morning. As for lunch, we have sandwiches, burgers, BLTs, and a foot-long hot dog special, with large French fries and a medium drink. We also have pintos, cornbread, onion rings, and all the fixin’s until late at night. We have 32 flavors of ice cream, and you can get either a cup or cone, as well as a slice of vanilla or chocolate pound cake. In short, it’s your mother’s or grandmother’s kitchen,” said Smith.

Sounds yummy! The café’s menu also includes the café’s famous tenderloin biscuit. Along with their food, Mickey’s Café is known for its family-like atmosphere. In fact, the café’s name is rooted in Smith’s family.

“Our name came from my father, Mickey Marshall. He left his name to his grandson (my son, Mickey). My father and mother, Edna, even invented our “Mickey Pancake” and “Kiddie Cone” in honor of my son,” said Smith.

Smith’s career in the restaurant industry started with her parents. According to Smith, her parents, husband, son, nephew, and sister have been in the restaurant business in Forsyth County for over 30 years.

“My dad, Mickey, and mom, Edna went into the restaurant business in 1977. I have been in the business since I was six years old. We first operated Kernersville Seafood on South Main Street in the 70s and 80s. Then, we owned Mickey’s Country Kitchen in Walkertown from 1982 to late 2008. We ended up selling this land to Walgreens. After that, in 2011, we purchased and changed the former “Bill & Leah’s” on West Mountain Street to present-day Mickey’s Café. We like to think that we are carrying on the tradition that brought George Washington to Dobson’s Tavern at the corner of Main and Mountain Streets for breakfast on June 2nd, 1791. I do think it takes a special person to have a restaurant as their career. It does get hard sometimes, but I do love the work,” said Smith.

While touring the Southern states and visiting Revolutionary War battlefields, President Washington traveled from Salem to Guilford and stopped at the tavern for a bite to eat. Smith hopes to keep up the tradition of home cooking and delicious food that attracts people from miles around. This tradition also draws in local people, making strangers at the café soon feel like family.

“Mickey’s is a clean, well-lighted place where families, groups of friends and take-out customers are welcomed. We have many people who want to have a real “tenderloin biscuit” or two to start the day. Mickey’s is a café where you might get number for your order (this just helps us keep the orders straight), but usually, you are a friend with a name. We know your name and know which customers have a history of dropping in week after week, year after year,” said Smith.

Freshly prepared food, cordiality, cleanliness, fast service, and a feeling that your food was cooked just for you are some of the many ways Smith would describe Mickey’s Café. Looking into the future, Smith has big plans for the café, including opening another one.

“We are hoping to open a second Mickey’s Café (with a cafeteria line with steaks, chops, and Southern vegetables) in Walkertown. This way, folks in that town will have a place where they can meet their family, friends, nurse, minister or a tradesman and sit down for a nice meal together. Or become one of the many folks who come every Friday and Saturday for a tenderloin biscuit,” said Smith.

The next time you are in need of a home-cooked meal or just want a place to meet and share a bite with your family and friends, Mickey’s Café in Kernersville is the place to go.

Mickey’s Café is located at 265 W. Mountain Street in Kernersville. Call 336-996-0676. Be sure to follow them on Facebook.