What's good here? Cedar Cabin in Lexington

August 12, 2009 

WHAT’S GOOD HERE: Get to know the people behind local restaurants.

Dean Quenneville opened the Cedar Cabin in Lexington in March with his brothers, John Quenneville and Mike Daly. It actually was a re-opening of sorts. The Quenneville family ran the old Cedar Cabin in Ballentine for more than eight years in the 1980s.

What’s good here?

“One of our best items is our shrimp — fried or broiled shrimp. We also have good fried chicken or our own homemade onion rings.”

How do you make those onion rings?

“I can’t tell you. (The television program) ‘PM Magazine’ tried to get that out of us (when it aired a feature on the old Cedar Cabin in the 1980s). We didn’t tell them. I still can’t tell you.”

Tell me about the original restaurant.

“We were in Ballentine in the ‘80s. We had meat and three and a regular menu. We’re doing similar to that now. We have lunch and dinner specials and a regular menu. We have steaks and really good seafood and sandwiches.”

And your parents ran that place?

“Yes, the whole family, really. We built it and all worked there the whole time. It had a big following.”

Who eats here?

“It’s family style. We have lots of people from the Lexington area, but we draw people from Ballentine and Chapin who remember the original restaurant.

“We’ve had about 70 ex-employees come in to eat, and hundreds and hundreds of old customers come in and talk about how good it was.”

What’s the most popular item on the menu?

“I would say the fried shrimp. It comes with two sides, and you have eight or 10 to choose from.”

Prices?

“We have lunch specials under $5. At night, the highest price is $16.99.”

When is it busier, lunch or dinner?

“Both. We probably do more business at night. Probably about 60 percent of our gross money is at night. ... From 6 to 8 Friday and Saturday is the biggest crowd.”

How big is the restaurant?

“We seat 130 in two dining rooms; the patio seats another 30.”

You’re close to Lexington High. Does that bring in a lot of business?

“Yes, with school starting back up, we hope to get more from the school. And families from the games.”

It’s still a family business?

“Yes. I’m in the kitchen. I’m the youngest. John is up front, and my brother Mike is in the kitchen and does the Web site and maintenance.” (John’s wife, Amy, and daughter Staci help manage and operate the restaurant, as well.)

ABOUT CEDAR CABIN

WHERE: In Scarborough Square on U.S. 1 in Lexington, near Lexington High School

MENU: Seafood, steaks, chicken, sandwiches, specials

HOURS: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday

ALSO: Beer and wine available

MORE INFO: (803) 785-7770, cedarcabinrestaurant.com

MAKE A NOMINATION: Do you have a restaurant, nightspot, server or bartender you would like to see featured in “What’s good here?” Send nominations to Megan Sexton, msexton@thestate.com or call (803) 771-8418.

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