It Don#039;t Matter back in business

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 3, 2005

After an eight-month hiatus, Highland Home residents can finally say 'It Don't Matter' again.

That's because the restaurant with the catchy name opened its doors under new ownership in February.

Originally built almost three years ago by John Faulk, a local homebuilder and restaurateur, It Don't Matter found a quick following among the residents of northern Crenshaw and southern Montgomery Counties.

New owner Pete Hayes admits the name is one of the reasons travelers down Highway 331 just have to stop and take a second look.

"It's something you hear everyday of your life, 'It Don't Matter,'" Hayes said. "It's catchy. We knew we wanted to keep the name when we opened back up in February."

Hayes said he's heard several stories on how the restaurant came to be named.

"I heard John came in from work one night and his wife asked him what he wanted to eat," said Hayes. "He said 'it don't matter.' So when he finally got the restaurant built, he decided to name it that."

Hayes said Faulk decided to close the restaurant to focus on his construction business.

"I think it got to be too much for him because he had a lot of other things going on," said Hayes. "But he built a fine building on a great location."

The interior of 'It Don't Matter' has country written all over it. Polished hardwood floors, quaint cast iron pots and pans hanging from the walls and an old fireplace near the center of the main dining area. There are three floors to building and Hayes said the restaurant could accommodate large parties for special occasions in its banquet room.

Hayes works as a repairman full time for the Montgomery Public School system. His son, Pete, also called 'Lil' Pete', and Michelle Miller co-manages the restaurant for him, but Hayes said he's at 'It Don't Matter' everyday during his off-work hours.

"There's always something going on in the restaurant business," he said. "Everyday there's something different."

Hayes said he's always been interested in owning a restaurant and he knows how people like to be treated.

"I've always gone to a restaurant somewhere and said, if I owned one I'd do this, or I'd do that," he said. "I know that when folks come to a place they like to be spoke to and treated nice. We're just country folks trying to make a go of it and we're here for the long term. Highland Home needed another restaurant if nothing else because it gives people an opportunity to try a different place to eat."

Hayes said the restaurant features a lunch buffet on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And while food items offered on the buffet come and go one dish remains constant.

"This is the south son. If you don't have fried chicken on there, you're going to get a whipping," he said with a laugh. "We also have beef liver and onions. People love that. They swarm in here when they know we have beef liver and onions. Sometimes we'll offer spaghetti and meatballs. Chicken and dumplings. Or chicken and dressing. Then we have vegetables like cream corn or green beans. For dessert, there's homemade pies like peanut butter pie, pecan pie or brownie cheesecake."

On the weekends, Hayes cooks steaks. 'It Don't Matter' offers a 10 ounce ribeye for $9.95 or a 16 ounce ribeye for $13.95. Both entrees come with baked potatoes, an all-you-can-eat salad bar and rolls. Hayes said the meat his fresh, hand cut during the week and measured to exact weight.

"I take pride in my steaks," said Hayes. "I've come up with a marinade that everybody just loves the taste of. When people eat one of our steaks I want them to be full and hurting when they go home. I want them to say 'I know where I can get a good steak.'"

Hayes said he likes it when people ask for to-go boxes because he and his cooks are generous with portions.

"That means they got their money's worth," he said.

Hayes said he also offers T-shirts for sell as souvenirs to travelers passing through Crenshaw County.

"We had a lady in here the other day from Georgia," he said. "She stopped and I took her picture with the sign out front and she brought some T-shirts. She told me, 'me and my husband say that all the time, 'It Don't Matter.'"

It Don't Matter is open from 5:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., Monday through Wednesday for breakfast and lunch; 5:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. on Thursday, for breakfast, lunch and dinner; 5:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Fridays; 5:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Saturdays; and 6 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Sundays.