Former Warner Robins restaurant owner is back with food like ‘grandma and grandpa’ make

A woman who once ran a popular southern cooking restaurant in Warner Robins is opening a new place in Macon.

Ma Duke is expected to open soon in the shopping center next to Piggly Wiggly on Rocky Creek Road at Pio Nono Avenue, said co-owner Teresa Cohen. She said she is waiting only on a health inspection to open.

“We are getting ready to take Macon, Georgia, and the Georgia area back to the traditional way of cooking, like our grandma and grandpa taught us how to cook,” she said as she stood outside the restaurant last week.

She formerly owned and operated Creative Home Cooked Meals on Commercial Circle in Warner Robins. She said she was doing well there but she wanted to try opening a restaurant in Atlanta, so she moved there.

It didn’t turn out so well, she said, in part because she had a bad location and people kept breaking in and stealing her equipment. She came back to the Macon area three years ago and worked as a general manager for Church’s Chicken while planning to get back into the restaurant business herself.

Then she saw that the location formerly occupied for many years by Johnny V’s restaurant was available, so she got it.

She plans to be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. She will have a lunch special of a meat and two sides for $5.99.

“I want to make sure I make my prices affordable for everybody to come in here and eat,” she said.

Her menu will include fried chicken, meatloaf, barbecue ribs, oxtails, chitterlings and a wide variety of meats and vegetables. Just as with her restaurant in Warner Robins, it will be a serving-line style restaurant, but she said more space means room for more items.

Breakfast will include country ham, link sausage, patty sausage, biscuits, grits, hash browns and eggs cooked to order. Seniors, which includes those 55 and up, get coffee for free.

She has a large, colorful sign on the building painted in a 1950s style, she said, because she wanted the restaurant to be a throw back.

“I wanted something traditional,” she said.

She co-owns the restaurant with Robert Jones, who is in his first restaurant venture. He offered to invest in the business after trying her cooking, he said.

Wayne Crenshaw has worked as a journalist since 1990 and has been a reporter for The Telegraph since 2002. He holds a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Georgia College and is a resident of Warner Robins.