New owners for Amber Restaurant

Sandra ClarkFood, Halls

A Halls institution has changed hands.


T.J. Eubanks, Becky Mills and Thomas DeBarros at the Amber Restaurant in Halls.

Amber Restaurant is now owned by T.J. Eubanks and Thomas DeBarros. Eubanks, who holds a doctorate in education, teaches at Norwood Elementary School. DeBarros works full-time at Amber.

Becky Mills continues as restaurant manager.

Founded some 40 years ago by Bobbie and Don Padgett, Amber Restaurant has become known as the breakfast place on the north side of town and has long been a Saturday morning stopping point for campaigning politicians. It serves traditional breakfast foods including pancakes, sausage and biscuits, and omelets. It is open seven days a week 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lunches may be eaten in or carried out. The menu features the traditional meat and two with eight or more meat specials daily.

Eubanks said owners Dwight and Donna Padgett decided to retire during the pandemic shutdown. Employees were concerned. Becky Mills has been restaurant manager for 20 years and many servers have long tenure as well.

“This restaurant was founded in 1977, the year I was born,” said Eubanks. “I ate here as a kid. We couldn’t let it close.”

So the deal was made, and new owners Eubanks and DeBarros reopened Amber on May 1.

Both are working there, along with Mills. Everyone is wearing a mask and hand-washing is frequent. Seating is at every other table.

“Hey, we’ve got great customers, people who come here every day. We’ve got quality food and a staff that’s warm and welcoming. We’re keeping the same hours and menu. Come eat with us,” said Eubanks.

Amber Restaurant is at 6715 Maynardville Pike in Halls. Info: 865-922-7641.

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