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Tinnells continue long history of good eats at cafe

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By Alex Wimsatt

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - After more than 40 years in the restaurant business, Albert and Linda Tinnell have no intention of hanging up their aprons any time soon. 

In fact, the Bullitt County couple recently opened a new restaurant just south of the Salt River in Shepherdsville. 

But Linda’s Cafe is more than a restaurant, it’s a one-stop shop with a cafeteria, a general store and a bar. 

Named after Linda Tinnell, the evolution of Linda’s Cafe began with a three bedroom home on S. Preston Highway. 

“We saw a lot of potential in that house,” said Linda Tinnell. 

After months of planning, the Tinnells began renovating the former residence to make way for tables and chairs, retail space, bars and bar stools, stock shelves and counters and a drive-thru service window.

The cafeteria at Linda’s Cafe offers pick-and-choose breakfast and lunch menus that are sure to please hearty eaters any time of the day.

Made from scratch breakfast items include cooked apples, biscuits, gravy, toast, eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, bacon, country ham and more. 

Customers can purchase any combination of these items with Linda’s Cafe’s meat and two platter for $3.49. There’s also the meat and three platter for $3.99.

And for those picking up breakfast on-the-go, Linda’s Cafe has a number of perfectly portable specialty sandwiches, each for $3.49 or less. 

What’s more, breakfast is available all day beginning at 5:30 a.m.

To accommodate their early lunch hour customers, Tinnell said lunch items begin rolling out on the cafeteria counter at 10 a.m.

Linda’s Cafe also has a salad bar stocked with new items daily. 

Though the salad bar menu is ever-changing, there are regular entrees and sides on the lunch menu like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, meat loaf, beans and fried cod.

There are also specials for each day of the week: Mushroom burgers on Monday, roast beef on Tuesday, liver and onions on Wednesday, pork roast on Thursday and barbeque pork on Friday. 

For $6.49 customers can get a plate lunch with a serving of meat, two vegetables and bread. 

And don’t forget, the cafeteria at Linda’s Cafe also sells homemade pies whole or by the slice. 

Next to the cafeteria is Sonya’s Little Country Store, which has a drive-thru service window for folks who can’t get to the cafeteria during dining room hours. 

From lottery tickets, packaged beer and toilet paper to groceries, energy drinks, batteries and candy, the general store sells a little bit of everything.

Behind the cafeteria and Sonya’s Little Country Store you’ll find Al’s Place.

Whether you’re looking for a place to unwind with your buddies or you just want to have a beer with your meal, Al’s Place sells beer by the drink.

Tinnell said Linda’s Cafe is a dream come true, adding that even after all the years she and her husband have been in the restaurant business they’re still having a good time. 

It was more than four decades ago that Linda and Albert Tinnell opened their first restaurant in Bullitt County.

The Tinnells owned the Country Kitchen ten years before they took over a cafeteria at the Jim Beam Distillery. 

In the mid 1980s the couple opened the iconic Kitchen Family Restaurant off Highway 44 near Interstate 65. 

After 18 years running the Kitchen, the Tinnells sold the business and retired in 2003.

It wasn’t until three years ago that the couple came out of retirement to run another restaurant and general store, which the couple recently gave up for Linda’s Cafe. 

“I didn’t want to retire,” Tinnell said. “I like being around people and cooking.”

Tinnell said running so many businesses has been a lot of work, but as she said, neither she nor her husband have ever minded hard work. 

“When Albert and I got married I asked him how long he thought we’d work. He asked, ‘What do you mean?’ I said ‘when do you think we’re going to retire,” Tinnell said. 

“I’ll never forget it. He had a smile on his face and he said, ‘I guess we’re going to work until we die.”

Linda’s Cafe is located at 745 S. Preston Highway, just south of the Salt River and is open Mondays through Saturdays. 

The cafeteria is open 5:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for breakfast and lunch, while drive-thru service is available 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

Al’s Place is also open 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. though beer cannot be served until 6 a.m.

For more information, call (502) 955-8777.