Meet the Family

Perhaps you’ve noticed. I’ve fallen a little behind on this blog. Masters 2017? Really? School is in full swing, our fall dinner menus are ready, our smoker is smokin’ all week long, and the weather is taking a little breather between seasons. Well, it’s high time I got back on this.  

So – first things first. I think you should meet the family behind this “family-owned restaurant that is committed to helping you feed your family with fresh-cooked meals.” We are the Poplins, and we have been in this building serving food that we are proud of since 1993.

First, the vision, energy, and passion behind What’s Cookin’ Downtown is my husband, David Poplin. You probably won’t see him when you come in since so many of the things that must be done to run a restaurant happen in the back office. He has worked in the restaurant industry since the 1970s in all capacities – kitchen crew, bartender, manager, chef, owner – and here he gets to do all of them. Sometimes he even gets to do his favorite job: dishwasher. His ability to respond creatively to shifts in the market combined with his high energy, continual commitment to high standards, and hard work have allowed us to meet challenges and to continue growing.

Our son, Mac, is our general manager and is learning the ropes of this multi-faceted business. You could meet him on a catering delivery, or maybe when he is stocking casseroles in The Shop. He has a sharp eye for the bottom line, and we depend on his ability to make thoughtful decisions. Come in for dinner on the weekends and you will definitely get a chance to meet him since he runs the front of The Restaurant in the evenings. He’s the really tall one with the great smile.

You might meet our daughter, Grace, up front at the register in The Restaurant, but more likely she will be making your biscuits for breakfast or your Club Sandwich at lunch. She has a degree from USC in art history (with minors in psychology and studio art) and an eye for food, and she can run the line in the kitchen like a seasoned crew leader. If you ever try a lunch special that features slightly funky but familiar food, she probably came up with the idea and recipe.

And I’m Anne. You won’t see me very often since I only help out when my schedule allows (I’m a teacher). I type menus sometimes, I make copies, and occasionally I make donuts on Saturdays (soon, Ginny Southworth, soon!). I also try to keep up the webpage and the blog. Well.

None of this would have been possible without the support (every kind you can imagine) of my dad, Henry Summerall. We owe him a debt we can never repay. You might meet him and his lovely wife, Martha, when they stop by for a bite to eat.

So now you’ve met the family. Bring yours on by so we can meet you!