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Big Loafer a mainstay at Huntington Mall

Apr. 25, 2012 @ 06:20 PM

BARBOURSVILLE -- In its 30 years, the Huntington Mall has seen a number of different restaurants come and go through the years, but only two of the original restaurants remain the Big Loafer and Chick-Fil-A.

A standby all of these years has been Sydney Burdick, one of the original owners and manager of The Big Loafer. Though Burdick is no longer in the store every day, she's still a big part of the restaurant's success. Day to day operations are overseen by Sydney's business partner and husband Michael Burdick.

Sydney Burdick attributes the long-standing success to a number of things.

"I think putting God first in your life helps," she said. "Having a product that everyone likes is a big thing, and having good employees is vital."

Devout Christians, the couple keeps an open Bible in the corner of the restaurant at all times.

"I think we have a unique niche," said Michael Burdick. "Specialty sandwiches are hard to come by because everything is so industrialized. We make almost everything we can by hand. You can't just have a group of teenagers come in and do what we do on machines. There is nothing else like it. People order like it's fast food but we serve our food on a tray so there's a little more customer service to it. We're very responsive to our customers."

The restaurant is named for a sandwich called the Big Loafer featuring meatloaf, onions, coleslaw, mustard and ketchup on a special yeast bread. The handmade yeast bread is featured in a number of items including the Italian Loaf (Provolone, ham, and banana peppers) and the Cheeseburger Roll (crumbled ground beef, cooked onion, and American cheese). The menu also includes hot dogs, mettwurst sausage and coleslaw.

The store is also known for its homemade chili, cookies and cinnamon rolls.

"I've estimated that about 40 percent of the people who have walked by our restaurant have never tried it," Michael Burdick said. "A $5 investment in a sandwich is a lot if you don't know what you're getting. But once people have tried our food, 999 out of 1,000 are going to go 'Wow.' They find it's a great value for their money."

Big Loafer is open during standard mall hours. Cash and most major credit cards are taken. For more information, call 304-733-0424.

If you go: Big Loafer

Type of food: Diner, sandwiches.

Address: Huntingon Mall Food Court.

Phone number: 304-733-0424.

Payments accepted: Cash and most major credit/debit cards.

Hours: Mall hours.