BY LORCAN MCCORMICK
Special to The Enterprise
The interior design and presentation of a restaurant is a detail we unconsciously process but attend no conscious mind toward. There is one detail that, yes, when someone walks into Opera House, they are mindful of the pomp and circumstance; perhaps a date, or perhaps a birthday, has led them here. From Burger King to the local diner down the road, we process how much it is going to cost us from the design of the establishment. So there is something generous, and very pleasant, about the fact that Chas’ Lunchbox Diner does not signal its price to us, but instead presents an instant familial sense of warmth.
Chas’ opened on August 25 2021, named after owner Myla Fuqua’s daughter Chastity. Fuqua has had a desire to own a restaurant for many years, but the location of the Diner germinated during her time working at the Dresden Courthouse during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I wanted to have a place where the community could eat and it be around the city square.” Myla listened during her time at the Courthouse, where she took temperatures and other pandemic-specific related duties, and absorbed the interest for more local eateries in the area. She also absorbed the tremendous generosity and pleasantness of her coworkers, which she notes on multiple occasions during the conversation. A love of Dresden and its people had been kindled.
“A place where we could serve home cooking – almost everything served is made from scratch.” The attitude of the menu; plate lunches of soups, salads, sandwiches, and burgers with a more diversified offering for dinner; pastas and seafood alongside burgers and sandwiches; is reflective of the attitude of the whole diner. Decorations and local photography adorn the walls and tables, unpretentious and familial. The servers – Kim Rook and Bethany Dailey – are humorous and friendly. Fuqua wanted a family restaurant, and has done everything to create this image in spirit and appeal.
December 7-10, this week, Chas’ is holding a silent auction, on its social media Facebook page and in-house, to fundraise for the Sharon School Special Needs Program. Bethany and her husband, Brendon Dailey, who works in the kitchen, have a son who is a part of the program, an extension of how family is at the core of everything at Chas’. The Lunchbox Diner is located at 515 TN-118 Dresden, TN.