Loveless in Nashville

You’ve probably seen the chick flick Sleepless in Seattle. Today, I want to talk about Loveless in Nashville. No, that’s not an on-line Lonely Hearts Club in Music City.

It’s a none-too-fancy restaurant that has been serving mouth-watering chicken, biscuits, and jam since, oh, the days of the Pony Express. Loveless Cafe.

Yes, the food is wonderful, in that fill-your-belly-to-bursting southern cooking kind of way. But I haven’t been there for, like 28 years. So why write about it now?

Because, a quick web search indicates that it’s still there. And I can tell you one 28-year old reason why.

Newlyweds, and fresh off of a move from Connecticut to Nashville, where we planned to take up residence, my bride and I walked into the famed Loveless Cafe for dinner. We were such newbies to the area, in fact, that we didn’t have a bank account set up yet. I think it was about our first week in town.

I remember the usual friendly Southern service. Very large quantities of wonderful food that I wish I could afford to eat in these days of more restricted caloric intake. The homey atmosphere. And, at the end, the travelers checks (remember those, anybody?), always advertised as “same as cash” – that’s all we had to pay for the meal. Like I said, no bank account yet, and no cash in our pockets.

Loveless’ didn’t take travelers checks. Ooops.

So how did they handle this embarrassing situation? I will paraphrase the waitress’ words: “Now, that’s all right honey, you just take this bill, and once you have your bank account set up, just send us a check for it.”

Huh?????

Needless to say, this native New England couple was blown away. Yes, we sent them a check. And yes, I never forgot. And somehow, almost three decades later, I’m simply not at all surprised to see that they’re still in business.

Treat people like that and it’s hard to lose.

(Apparently, CC Chapman has been there too! If you’ve been to Loveless, leave a comment with your impressions!)

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Twitter: @swoodruff

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About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

10 Responses to Loveless in Nashville

  1. Cam Beck says:

    I saw Loveless on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Apparently their biscuits and jam are one of the 7 Wonders of the World.

  2. ChristinaStallings says:

    This is an AWESOME story. I love it. It especially hits home as a newlywed. If I ever travel through Nashville this will become a stop without question. Thanks for the terrific post.

  3. Joe Ruiz says:

    Steve,
    Great story. The stuff legends are made of. I have heard similar stories here in Richmond. There is a local family owned grocery store Ukrop’s and they have demonstrated this level of customer love. Sadly they just sold to a major Grocery company and in 2 years they will be history.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. What a wonderful story and a perfect example of what happens when you take the time and effort to do customer service right. Treat people like people, be compassionate and understanding and go that extra distance and you will never be forgotten.

  5. Karen Swim says:

    Steve, this kind of service once the norm, is now a treasured rarity. It really does make you stop and think though…with all of our technological wizardry, we are still human beings who appreciate that personal touch. So simple, yet so many companies lose that in all of their systems, metrics and charts. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story!

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  7. Brett Duncan says:

    Oh yeah, I’ve been there. I grew up about an hour north in Hopkinsville, KY. Still only went to the Loveless once, but the guy who played Goober on the Andy Griffith show was in there eating. Pretty cool.

    And yes, great story. Gotta love Nashville. The best little big town in the country.

    bd
    @bdunc1

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