After more than 40 years, Coal Grove LJ still popular eatery

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 14, 2005

COAL GROVE - The milkshake machine hums near the front window as Whitney Crabtree prepares another yummy treat for a hungry customer.

Toward the back of the building, Deana Sherman readies a hamburger to hand to a customer at the drive-through window. Just about any day of the week, L&J in Coal Grove is a busy place as customers come hungry and leave happy.

An area business staple for more than 43 years, the dairy bar started by Leroy and the late Jean Pauley is known for its shakes, thick crinkle-cut fries and sundaes, served to folks in cars or those on foot who walk up or pull up to the front windows and find a friendly person inside to greet them.

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"People say we have the best hamburgers and fries in town," said Mary Delawder, who has worked at L&J 20 years.

None of the three ladies wanted to even try estimating how many people the dairy bar serves each day, or even each month or year. In the winter, traffic slows a bit but in the summer, employees stay busy all the time, Delawder said.