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March 29, 2012

Fine Dining ... On the Go

Stearns restaurateur moving to Woodson Bend in Bronston

STEARNS —  Since 2005, Suzanne’s Fine Dining has been a fixture at the depot in historic Stearns but restaurateur Suzanne Nutter recently found an opportunity which she couldn’t pass up.

Suzanne’s Fine Dining is moving to Woodson Bend Resort, a 455-acre gated community located on Lake Cumberland in Bronston.

Through May, Suzanne’s will remain open in Stearns Sundays only for buffet service from noon until 3 p.m. When the new location opens on April 13, Nutter and her staff will be pulling double duty — working in Bronston on Fridays and Saturdays while serving Sunday buffet in Stearns.

Once the transition is complete, Suzanne’s Fine Dining at Woodson Bend Resort will be open Thursday through Sunday. During the high point of the summer season (while school is out), Nutter plans to open every day but Monday.

As the hours expand, so will Suzanne’s menu. Favorites such as the prime rib and southern fried catfish will continue to be mainstays.

Woodson Bend features 480 privately-owned condos (many which can be rented throughout the year), an 18-hole golf course, 136-slip boat dock, five tennis courts, basketball and volleyballs courts, a playground and an Olympic-size swimming pool.

The restaurant is located pool-side one floor below the club house and can accommodate 150 people. In addition to in-house dining, Suzanne’s will also provide pool concessions, boat/golf packages and condo provisions. As resort facilities may also be booked for weddings and other events, Nutter plans to continue her catering service as well.

“Woodson Bend Resort is extremely excited to welcome Suzanne on board to become the restaurant operator for our facility!” Mark Sloan, Woodson Bend’s General Manager, stated. “Many of our owners were already aware of the quality of her food and service in her restaurant in Stearns. When the opportunity presented itself for us to bring her food to our resort, we moved as quickly as we could to secure her services. We look forward to the fine dining experience she will bring for us for many years to come!”

A key factor in luring Suzanne’s to the private resort was the promise that the restaurant’s fans could follow. Woodson Bend’s previous restaurant operations have not been open to the general public. However, patrons of Suzanne’s Fine Dining will be allowed entrance with a reservation.

“That was my first condition,” Nutter said. “I have to continue to serve the people who have been so loyal to me.”

Nutter hadn’t actually planned to enter the food service industry when she moved to McCreary County with her husband Dave and daughter Amanda back in 1994. After trying her hand at interior design, Nutter turned to substitute teaching while enrolled at Somerset Community College. She earned her Associate in Arts degree with a 4.0 GPA in 1999.

As she prepared to begin student teaching through Eastern Kentucky University, Nutter began to toy with the idea of starting a catering business. Having always loved to cook for family and friends, she felt that she could parlay that talent into a entrepreneurial career.

Nutter opened as a caterer in the depot restaurant over the holidays eight years ago. The season was such a hit that her customers clamored for her to open a restaurant, which she did on Valentine’s Day.

“I’ve had a real learning curve,” Nutter said. “It’s prepared me for this new adventure.”

While excited to open a new chapter, Nutter is sad to be closing her Stearns location.

“I love McCreary County,” Nutter said. “My heart is here … our home is here. We’ve lived here for 17 years. But I feel that God has opened this door for me.”

For more information, visit www.suzannesdining.com or “Suzanne’s Fine Dining” on Facebook.

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