New restaurant in the heart of Mableton serves “Great Food with a Fusion of Inclusion”

Jason Walesh and Glenn Richardson with their thumbs up

[Feature photo: Jason Walesh and Glenn Hutchinson. Photo: Larry Johnson/Cobb County Courier]

by Larry Felton Johnson

I’m going to “break the fourth wall” in this article about Glenn’s Cafe, and write in the first person directly to you.

The reason I’m writing directly from me to you is that I really want Glenn’s Cafe to be successful.

The first reason I want Mableton and Austell’s residents to support this restaurant is personal. Glenn’s Cafe is in the heart of Mableton, on Floyd Road in Mableton Walk (the Publix shopping center).

That puts it midway between my home on the eastern edge of the city, and my office space in Austell Cowork in downtown Austell. Having a friendly restaurant with good food at reasonable prices on the way to and from work is an obvious advantage.

The second is that the restaurant has a theme of providing an inclusive environment for Glenn Hutchinson.

Hutchinson is the brother of Jason Walesh, co-owner of the restaurant along with his wife Patricia Walesh.

Co-owner Jason Walesh. Photo: Larry Johnson/Cobb County Courier

Hutchinson has Down Syndrome, and is the friendly and enthusiastic greeter for the restaurant.

I spoke with Jason Walesh Friday while he was serving food, and began by asking him how long the restaurant has been open.

“Our grand opening was Wednesday, and we had about a two-day soft opening,” he said. “So we’re still learning everything, but we’re getting there.”

I asked if he had previously been in the restaurant industry.

“About 15 years ago, I was in it for about 12 years,” Walesh said. “And I did everything from busing tables, I worked on a cruise line for a while, and thenwas managing restaurants.”

“And then I got into manufacturing. And they kind of are the same, you know, so it just felt simple,” Walesh said.

“Glenn just recently moved in with us, he’s my little brother,” he said. “And we wanted to have something for him other than just going somewhere for the day, to get some work experience.”

Walesh said their plan is to open the restaurant to the Down Syndrome community to bring in more people to work in inviting surroundings.

“So our … mission statement is ‘great food with the fusion of inclusion’,” he said, pointing out the sign with that slogan on the back wall of the restaurant.

Speaking of the food, Walesh said that the recipes are things he and his wife had developed over the years. He said when they’d go to a restaurant and find something they liked, they’d try to duplicate it at home, and over the years developed an eclectic range of recipes.

“And so when we were putting together the menu, it was all there,” Walesh said. “We have the Cubana, which is a taste of South Florida, we have the “Bluffaletta”, which is like a New Orleans flair, and then we have the Million Dollar Chicken Sandwich, which is a staple.”

“The million dollar chicken, the hummus and the olive spread we call the trio,” he said. “And that is a good cross section of what our menu tastes like.”

“I just started making bread pudding a couple months ago,” he said, “and I’ve gotten great feedback on it.”

Jason and Patricia Walesh have been prominent in the Smyrna art community. In fact it was Becca McCoy, who is active in the Smyrna Arts Council, who alerted me to the restaurant.

Glenn’s Cafe prominently displays murals. One was painted by Jason Walesh, and the other by his wife Patricia Walesh. Smaller art work is displayed around the restaurant.

There are a number of reasons I encourage you to try out Glenn’s Cafe.

  • It’s a restaurant on Floyd Road that breaks out of the usual fast-food chain fare prevalent along that strip.
  • It’s in the heart of Mableton, and if we want good restaurants, we’re going to have to support them.
  • Support for inclusiveness.
  • To look at the art work
  • It’s near the Silver Comet trail, so you can combine visiting the trail with patronizing the restaurant.
  • It’s a friendly, inviting environment.
  • But finally, restaurants make it on their food, service and pricing, and the food is good, the service is friendly, and the prices are reasonable.

So give it a try. I think you’ll return if you do.