Welcome to our new web site!

To give our readers a chance to experience all that our new website has to offer, we have made all content freely avaiable, through October 1, 2018.

During this time, print and digital subscribers will not need to log in to view our stories or e-editions.

Weekly 150: Lou Sherwood

Forestwood Restaurant

Posted 5/4/21

It seems 1996 was a transitional year for McKenzie as three memorable and iconic businesses locked their doors for a final time. Moseley Seed and Feed, Wrinkles Hardware and Forestwood Restaurant. While working on the story for John Moseley, I came across the story of Lou Sherwood’s retirement written by Linda Bolton.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Weekly 150: Lou Sherwood

Forestwood Restaurant

Posted

It seems 1996 was a transitional year for McKenzie as three memorable and iconic businesses locked their doors for a final time. Moseley Seed and Feed, Wrinkles Hardware and Forestwood Restaurant. While working on the story for John Moseley, I came across the story of Lou Sherwood’s retirement written by Linda Bolton.

Below is the piece remembering Forestwood Restaurant:

A 26-year-old McKenzie landmark is changing face, with the closing of this week of one of the city’s oldest and finest family restaurants. Forestwood Restaurant closed Tuesday evening and Adrian’s Car Stereo will be relocated to the Highland Drive building.

Forestwood owner Lou Sherwood said the decision to close was made because of family illness.

“I have a lot of wonderful memories to take with me when I lock these doors,” said Ms. Lou. “I made a numerous amount of friends that I’m going to miss seeing day after day.

I owe part of my success to my children and grandchildren,” she said.

Ms. Sherwood’s son, Steve, served as general manager and cook, and daughter, Patsy Melton served as manager and waitress throughout the years. Her daughter-in-law, Genia Sherwood, and grandchildren, Torey and Adrain Green and Ross and LaTisha Sherwood have also worked at the restaurant in various capacities over the years.

Ms. Lou said she and her family left McKenzie in 1946 and lived in Memphis for 11 years, followed by 11 ½ years in Scottsboro, Alabama where she owned and operated Lou’s Diner for four years.

“That diner is still open. But my home is McKenzie and Trezevant, so we decided to move back,” she said.

From 1966 until March 1969, she owned and operated Silver Dollar Restaurant at the intersection of Highway 79 and Old McKenzie Highway where Union Planter Bank [now Regions Bank] is now situated.

“They had built a new Pure Oil Station at that location and I went in beside it,” she said.

“But I’m proudest of this place (Forestwood) and my many repeat customers. We opened August 6, 1970, with 135 chairs and added a dining room in 1972 for a total of 300 seats,” she said.

Forestwood not only catered to the dining needs of area families, it also proved a meeting place for area clubs, businesses and organizations. The McKenzie Lions Club conducted business at the restaurant for 15 years and McKenzie Rotary Club utilized the facility for 26 years for its weekly meetings.

The restaurant also served as the location for Ms. Tibby Edwards Liles radio talk show, which was broadcast live from the restaurant for seven years. “The Tibby Edwards Show” featured numerous celebrities on the hour-long event.

“Hal and Dixie Holbrook held their wedding rehearsal dinner here, as well as Hal’s birthday dinner. We had Hal’s birthday one night and the wedding rehearsal the next night,” she remembered.

“We have had so many governors and state senators here,” she continued. “Once during a celebration for former Governor Gordon Browning’s birthday, four other governors and ex-governors attended.”

Ms. Sherwood stated she is proud of the fact that she has always operated the restaurant amid harmony with city officials.

“I have been here through five mayors of McKenzie and have never had a disagreement with the city. I never asked for much, but when I did, I always got it,” she said.

Ms. Sherwood said she has been blessed with many wonderful employees throughout the years. Sarah Gallimore of Trezevant has served as a waitress for 17 years, Christine Pinson of McKenzie has served as cashier and hostess for seven years and the three McGahey sisters have been in her employment for several years.

“I have so many good supporters. It has been wonderful,” she said.

When asked how she plans to spend her retirement years, she stated, “I’m just going to rest. I have worked in the restaurant business for 50-plus years and I’m going to lay it down and watch TV.”

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment